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How L.A. Metro Is Enticing Riders With Better Design

Michael Lejeune
Creative Director
Metro Design Studio
Los Angeles, California

Michael Lejeune, 45, heads a 20-person in-house design studio tasked with bringing more riders aboard L.A.'s public-transportation system. He led the campaign design for this summer's expansion of Metro Rail's Gold Line, a light-rail line that connects Pasadena with downtown and East L.A.

"Public transportation has never been a cool idea in Los Angeles. We probably have the worst traffic in the country, and people regularly commute two hours or more a day, yet drivers of all stripes steadfastly cling to their cars. Our goal is to make Metro cool.

To compete in one of the most media-saturated cities in the country, we're trying to inject a sense of fun and personality, like the herb-seed packets we'll slip under the ticket windows to frequent riders. For our weekly passes, we designed 52 different colorful and typographically beautiful cards, with a different green tip printed on each. To get people excited about the Gold Line, we designed T-shirts that show the light-rail entwined with the colors of the different Metro lines. It's about getting people to engage with the brand more and then get out of their cars."

A version of this article appeared in the September 2009 issue of Fast Company magazine.

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