Water Taxi

Services: Brand

The Challenge

Harbor Boating has operated the Baltimore Water Taxi for more than 40 years. As a partially federally funded transportation service, the Water Taxi is a major tourist attraction and a commuter service for people who live and work in Baltimore.

Despite its popularity and years in service, the Water Taxi’s historically blue and white boats were antiquated and the service had lost brand equity. At the same time, Harbor Boating was undergoing a shift in ownership and launching a new fleet of 10 boats with a new, black and gold color palette to reflect Baltimore City’s official colors.

With the flagship boat scheduled to launch in less than 30 days at Maryland Fleet Week, the Water Taxi needed a new logo and supporting graphics. Soon after the launch, additional graphics were required for marketing materials that would be used for promotion during the tourist season. Time was ticking and Harbor Boating needed a new agency partner to solve the challenge quickly.

The Solution

In five days, Vitamin successfully developed and delivered five distinctively different logo and graphic concepts to Harbor Boating. Though the timeframe was tight, each concept was steeped in meaningful design and careful attention was given to typesetting and the practical application of each concept. The concepts were presented as comprehensive campaigns including mock-ups of how the logos would appear on the bow and stern, as well as how landings, billboards, wayfinding and advertising could be executed for each individual concept. Vitamin also designed a new route map, promotional pamphlet and sales kit to support Harbor Boating’s marketing and sales initiatives and improve riders’ understanding of the Water Taxi’s routes.

The Results

  • Harbor Boating selected a concept and approved the graphics Vitamin designed in the first round of design presentation. The new boat launched at Maryland Fleet Week, complete with the logo and supporting graphics Vitamin designed.
  • Vitamin redesigned the route map, VIP Guide and Rack Card to be simple and user-friendly, resulting in increased value and usability to travelers. All of the promotional materials are now on tourist racks across Baltimore.
  • Harbor Boating earned increased buzz and conversation, including an influx of press coverage in major local media outlets highlighting the new boat design and modernized logo.
  • Soon, the blue and white boats will be completely phased out and the new logo Vitamin designed will be applied to the entire fleet of 10 new boats.
Figure 1.1
Water Taxi branding directions
Figure 1.2
Water Taxi Logo Design
Figure 1.3
Water Taxi Brochure & Map Design
Figure 1.4
Baltimore Water Taxi
Figure 1.5
Baltimore Water Taxi
Figure 1.6
Baltimore Water Taxi