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Transit System Katrina Kowalsk i


Graphic Design Capstone Proposal

Theme: the Future


Graphic Design Capstone Proposal

Theme: The Future

E c o L i n c08 March Third

Cincinnati Transit System

Katrina Kowalski

03 Introduction 05 Goals and Objectives 07 Creative Strategies 11 Technical Strategy 15 Schedule 17 Conclusion 19 Background Info & Research 21 Bibliography 27


Our environment is precious and rapidly deteriorating beneath our feet. As our society continues to expand, so does the threat to our world’s well-being. Global warming has become one of the most serious challenges facing our community today. In order to protect the health and economic welfare of current and future generations, we must reduce our emissions of heat-trapping gases by using the technology, Intelligence, and practical solutions already available. I am exploring a future mass transit system in greater Cincinnati, which would utilize an alternative energy source. The ecologically friendly and convenient transit system would provide reliable, affordable and efficient transportation for commuters in the northern Kentucky and greater Cincinnati areas.



The function of the project is to propose an innovative transportation system that would aid in the facilitation of moving greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky towards a more environmentally friendly community in the future through the development of a stronger awareness of each individual’s impact on the environment and to provide a means of support that would not only assist commuters with their traveling objectives but also lessen the negative effects each person has on the environment. Not only will the project propose a future resolution to the transportation and environmental concerns that face our society today, but it will also provide a branding strategy and way finding system for the proposed solution, clever and informative poster series that will enlighten our community in relation to environmentally involved ideas as well as an inspiring motion graphic composition that will encourage travelers to utilize this alternative method of transportation.

Goals Objectives


The branding strategy that will be developed maintains the goals of operating as a creative visual unification element that will appeal to the audience and form an identity for the transit system. The identity upholds the importance of an easily recognizable representation of the green-minded transportation system, which serves as a reminder of the availability of the system as well as the significance of practicing an environmentally friendly lifestyle. The branding will reinforce the transportation’s compassion towards the environment as well as it’s mindfulness of removing more automobiles from the roads and moving more people towards mass transit in the greater Cincinnati and northern Kentucky area. The way finding system aims toward the purpose of directing commuters along their route in a clear, original and informative manner. The way finding will be effortlessly viewed on the transportation system in a highly visible location as well as will be easily accessed on the World Wide Web with the goal of providing potential commuters with the ability to easily retrieve the desired information. The goal of the poster series will be to not only serve as an informative tool, but also as a clever wink to the viewer that inspires them to consider the content and perhaps carry it with them throughout the day. This collateral will be presented digitally on high definition screens thoughout the transportation vehicle in order to maintain the goal of environmental sensitivity through paperless media. As a result of this investigation, I hope become more informed on other environmentally friendly transportation options that are available in the meantime, which would benefit our surroundings and move us into a greener and brighter future. I also would like to encourage our community to pursue alternative transportation methods, which would lessen our negative impact on the world. I feel that the importance of each of us doing our share to improve our environment is becoming increasingly evident and therefore would like to personally pursue a greener lifestyle whether it is through significant or minor actions. Perhaps through my proceedings, I can make a difference and encourage others to do likewise. I sincerely feel that the pursuit of a mass transit system in Cincinnati would be greatly beneficial and highly utilized throughout the Tri-State region.

Goals Objectives

As designers, we are presented with design challenges that aim towards the goal of successfully communicating with our intended audiences and solving communication problems in unique and creative manners. For that reason, as a designer, I wish to develop creative, innovative, informative and inspiring pieces that truly connect with my audience and encourage them to pursue a means of transportation that will satisfy both their traveling objectives as well as their desires to maintain a friendly relationship with the environment. Visually, I hope to create unified pieces that compliment each other and effectively communicate not only the importance of participating in this movement but also the possibility of making this concept a reality. Through a well-organized design strategy, I hope to illustrate the very real potential of a mass transit system that utilizes a fuel alternative. I hope to make this conceptual system as realistic as possible through effective design solutions and presentations. I also wish to complete projects that communicate their message clearly and connect to a wide range of viewers. As a developing designer, I also aspire to push myself out of my typical comfort level and attempt design that is different than design styles I have pursued in the past. I feel that this will be an excellent and beneficial challenge for me personally. I feel that it will require a great deal of personal ambition and energy, but I am excited at the possibility of pushing myself to become a better and more imaginative and distinctive designer. Additionally, I also hope to gain a better comfort with and control of the software I will be using throughout this process. It will be imperative that I focus on my goals and stay aware of my timeline restrictions while working towards the goal of completing a series of projects I am proud of and feel communicate effectively as well as innovatively.

Goals Objectives


Something needs to be done that will help rectify our current deteriorating environmental issues. Presently, there are too many drivers on the road. The infrastructure alone is having a hard time keeping up with increased levels of traffic and is continually requiring repairs which is in turn increasing the numbers or orange barrels and pollution-creating heavy equipment. As a result of these escalating negative impacts on the environment, we are progressively encountering the need to find alternative fuel sources and greener methods of transportation. One of these solutions is the proposition of a mass transit system that not only aids in the transport of large numbers of people, but also utilizes an alternative renewable fuel source, such as wind and/or solar power, resulting in a reduced number of pollution-causing vehicles on the road as well as our dependence on foreign countries for oil, a rapidly decreasing fossil fuel. The elimination of cars from the road would also aid in the reduction of automobile-related accidents as well as a decline of traffic congestion during morning and evening commutes.

Creative Strategies


With the proposition of a mass transit system, the first creative strategy I will pursue will focus on developing a branding strategy as well as a way finding system that can be found throughout the transportation system as well as on the World Wide Web. The branding strategy that will be developed functions as a creative visual unification element that will form an identity for the transit system, which unifies the relationship between transportation and the environment. This will be completed visually through the utilization of color, text, images and symbols, which will reinforce the transportation’s compassion towards the environment as well as it’s mindfulness of removing more automobiles from the roads and moving more people towards the utilization of mass transit. The way finding system aims toward the purpose of directing commuters along their route in an understandable and helpful manner. The way finding will be able to be viewed on the transportation system in a highly visible location as well as will be easily accessed on the World Wide Web with the goal of providing potential commuters with the ability to easily retrieve the desired information. The way finding and information system will also be evident at the various transit stops, in order to inform potential patrons of times, routes, and specific stop location information, while still maintaining a low impact on the environment. I feel that the branding strategy and way finding system are effective applications for this mass transit system because not only will they provide travelers with infor-mation, but they will also provide established symbols that can be recognized with ease and make the connection between passengers and the transit system. The branding strategy provides an important identity for the transit system as well as suggests the unification between a healthy environment and an intelligent transportation system.

Creative Strategies

The second creative strategy I will pursue will be focused on the promotion of the transit system. This will be carried forth through an engaging motion design piece that encourages commuters to use the efficient transportation system. The piece will communicate through the unification of imagery and sound, which will appeal to a large range of viewers. I feel that the importance of this piece is to communicate the message that many elements of the natural world will be benefited as a result of our transition from oil dependent automobiles that produce dangerous emissions to a mass transit system that relies on renewable energy that has no detrimental effects on the environment. The promotional aspect of the proposed energy efficient mass transit system will be reinforced through a series of witty digital posters that can be found through-out the transit system. These posters will serve not only as promotional devices, but will also provide quick facts and thoughts that patrons can reflect on through-out their day. They will involve simple graphics or images united with text in order to quickly connect with the transit guest. Produced digitally, these posters will be able to casually change while producing no paper waste or negative impact on the environment. I feel that promotional investigations are important to this transit system because potential patrons first need to become informed about alternative transportation options. Following their education about other opportunities, they need to become inspired and encouraged to use these other selections. An inspiring promotional device is a necessary element to the move to mass transit equation. A digitally based piece is important because it helps reinforce the move away from waste and pollution and towards the green mentality. As a result of turning to digital media to convey our message, we are able to achieve the highest visual impact with the least environmental impact, which is the most desirable outcome. Through a unique and memorable application, which stimulates the viewer, I aim to connect the gap between human needs for transportation, cultural and lifestyle reservations and hesitations and the environment’s need for people to become active in the fight towards preservation of our resources.

Creative Strategies


The applications would be developed using software such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe After Effects. These programs will help facilitate successful results through assisting myself as the designer by being utilized as tools in the creation of unified and well-defined products. Potential technical factors could restrict full desired success. Such factors would be limited knowledge of software as well as time restrictions inhibiting further education on software prior to project deadline. Other restrictions could involve time management and the ability or inability to properly balance time constrains with completed project deliverables. I believe the most effective manner for me to complete my project goals within the allotted time is to maintain a close observation of my designated timeline. If I happen to encounter software knowledge limitation, I feel that it will be important top utilize my resources and seek help from literature or perhaps a more experienced designer to guide me in troubleshooting my challenges.

Technical Strategies


03.31.08 04.07.08 04.14.08 04.21.08 04.28.08 05.02.08 05.05.08 05.12.08 05.19.06 05.26.08 06.02.06 06.06.08 06.07.08 06.10.08 06.14.08 06.15.08

Classes Begin Inital Design Strategy Concepts - Color, imagery, Type Logo Development & Motion Design Sketching Branding Strategy Development & Motion Design Development Branding Strategy, Way Finding Development & Motion Design Development Midterm Continue Developments Continue Developments & Promotional Poster Sketching Continue Developments & Refinements No Class Final Refinements End Classes Set Up DAAPWorks 10am DAAPWorks Begins Graduation Take Down DAAPWorks



As the population increases so will cars on the road and in turn, will levels of pollution, deteriorating roads, increased automobile-related accidents, decreased amounts of oil, increased gas prices, and worsening conditions of the environment. Action needs to be taken to improve this spiraling problem. One possible solution would be the introduction of a mass transit system which utilizes an alternative renewable fuel source. The transit system would improve safety, reduce the number of cars on the road, and most importantly aid in improving our environment. Introducing an effcient and innovative mass transit system in the greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area would require a social transformation on personal, community and institutional levels that would involve a shift in attitudes, assumption and behaviors of all individuals in the area. I have optimism about the potential future of such an effective transportation system and am confident that this conceptual project could be achieved in reality. Not only would a mass transit system help to rectify many of the environmental problems caused by increased automobiles on the road, but a convenient, affordable, and reliable transit system could help people connect and become more involved with their cities and environments. I truly believe that the future of our environment lies in our hands and there is a fantastic opportunity for the city of Cincinnati to catch up to the modern environmental movement through the implementation of a mass transit system, which would not only get our neighborhoods involved, but it would also promote activity in downtown Cincinnati. Pursuing a mass transit system would be such an exciting possibility that I genuinely feel is a worthwhile cause to move towards in the future.



Global Warming We have the technology and ingenuity to reduce the threat of global warming today. Solutions are already available that will stimulate the American economy by creating jobs, saving consumers money, and protecting our national security. By investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and increasing the efficiency of the cars we drive, we can take essential steps toward reducing our dependence on oil and other fossil fuels that cause global warming. Using energy more efficiently and moving to renewable energy (wind, solar, geothermal, and bioenergy) would significantly reduce our emissions of heat-trapping gases. The United States currently produces 70 percent of its electricity from fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil, but only two percent from renewable sources. Since the burning of fossil fuels releases large amounts of carbon dioxide, the leading cause of global warming but renewable energy does not, increasing the share of our electricity generated from renewable resources is one of the most effective ways to reduce global warming emissions. Cars and trucks are another significant source (25 percent) of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. A serious effort to address global warming must therefore reduce emissions from cars and trucks. Many technologies already exist that can do this, while also creating new jobs in the U.S. automotive sector and other industries throughout the country. In addition, American consumers would save billions of dollars on gasoline, and we would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. By putting energy efficiency, renewable energy, and vehicle technology solutions in place at the federal level, we can reduce our contribution to global warming while creating a stronger, healthier, and more secure nation.

Background Info


Fossil Fuels Fossil fuels - coal, oil, and natural gas - are America’s primary source of energy, accounting for more than 70 percent of current U.S. electricity generation. However, the extraction and burning of these fuels contributes to global warming, causes cancer and other chronic health problems, and degrades valuable land and water resources. In fact, fossil fuel-fired electricity generation is the single greatest source of air pollution in the United States, and power plants are the leading U.S. source of carbon dioxide emissions—a primary contributor to global warming. Fossil fuels also produce nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, hydrocarbons, dust, soot, smoke, and other suspended matter. To decrease our dependence on fossil fuels while improving human health and environmental sustainability, UCS engages in analysis and advocacy that encourages the implementation of energy efficiency measures and increased use of renewable energy technologies. Alternative Energy Sources To combat global warming and the other problems associated with fossil fuels, the United States must switch to renewable energy sources like sunlight, wind,and biomass. All renewable energy technologies are not appropriate to all applications or locations, however. As with conventional energy production, there are environmental issues to be considered. This paper identifies some of the key environmental impacts associated with renewable technologies and suggests appropriate responses to them. A study by the Union of Concerned Scientists and three other national organizations, America’s Energy Choices, found that even when certain strict environmental standards are used for evaluating renewable energy projects, these energy sources can provide more than half of the US energy supply by the year 2030.

Background Info

Mass Transit Mass transit refers to municipal or regional public shared transportation, such as buses, streetcars, and ferries, open to all on a nonreserved basis. An important form of mass transit is rapid transit, such as subways and surface light rail systems, designed for commuting between urban and suburban (or exurban) centers. Mass transit can be divided into fixed route systems (often involving rails), such as streetcars and subway trains, and nonfixed route transit (along surface streets or water), such as buses and ferries, but does not usually include airplanes, taxis, or long-distance rail with more formal ticketing procedures. Mass transit systems offer considerable savings in labor, materials, and energy over private transit systems. Since far fewer operators are required per passenger transported, they can be better trained and more strictly licensed and supervised. When utilized to any reasonable fraction of their capacity, mass transit vehicles carry a far higher passenger load per unit of weight and volume than do private vehicles. They also offer fuel savings, not only because of the relative reduction in weight transported, but also because they are large enough to carry more efficient engines. Further, if emphasis is given to mass transit in the planning of future ground transportation systems, smaller rights of way will be possible, lessening the amount of landscape that must be paved over for highways and roads. Although mass transit offers many savings, it does require some sacrifices in personal convenience. These are the necessity to travel on a fixed rather than an individually selected schedule and to enter and disembark from the system only at certain designated locations. The obvious goal for a mass transit system is to have as few unused passenger accommodations as possible.

Background Info


Rapid Transit Rapid transit transportation system designed to allow passenger travel within or throughout an urban area, usually employing surface, elevated, or underground railway systems or some combination of these. Rapid transit systems are generally considered to be mass transit systems, capable of moving large numbers of passengers in a single train. The large capacities of such systems make them potentially more efficient, in terms of cost and environmental effects, than automobile transportation.Basically a rapid transit train consists of a number of electrically powered, self-propelled cars, each of which draws electricity from a “third rail” that runs near the tracks. Since there is an engine in each car, greater traction is produced than would be generated by a locomotive pulling a series of unpowered cars. London’s underground, which went into service in 1863, is the oldest in the world; initially steam-powered, it was fully electrified by 1896, the same year that the first subway began operating on the European continent in Budapest, Hungary. Boston installed (1898) the first subway in the United States; others followed in Paris (1900), Berlin (1902), New York (1904), Madrid (1919), Tokyo (1927), and Moscow (1935). Toronto’s subway, completed in 1954, was the first in Canada; Montreal’s subway was completed in 1966. By the beginning of the 21st cent. there were 95 subways in 59 countries, 11 of these in the United States—in addition to Boston and New York, there are subways in Atlanta (1979), Baltimore (1983), Chicago (1943), Cleveland (1955), Los Angeles (1993), Miami (1984), Philadelphia (1908), San Francisco (1972), and Washington, D.C. (1976). The London system has the most track (256 mi/410 km), and the Moscow system carries the most passengers annually (3.1 billion). By far the largest underground transportation system in the United States is that of New York City. It carries 1.2 billion people and has more than 245 mi (393 km) of track; it also has 6,273 cars and 463 stations—more than any other system in the world. Moscow has an elaborate subway system with tunnels 15 to 20 ft (4.5 to 6 m) high instead of the usual 10 ft (3 m). In recent years concern over urban crowding and automotive air pollution has stimulated the construction and expansion of many rapid transit systems that incorporate automatedoperation and magnetic-card fare systems.

Background Info

Cincinati Roads & Bridges The Brent Sepence Bridge has been rated the 7th most dangerous bridge inrelation to the highest crash rates. When built, the Brent Spence Bridge was intended to support 85,000 vehicles per day, however, today, over 155,000vehicles utilize this main bridge, 30% of which are trucks. The bridge features a lack of an emergency lane along with obscure viewing of directional signs. The Brent Spence Bridge also has become 1 of 15 bridges throughout the country rated as “functionally obsolete.� Unfortunately a new bridge would require 12 - 15 years to build. Over the next 20 years, Cincinnati planners expect to spend at least $1.5 billionimproving I-75 which supports over 160,000 vehicles per day.

Background Info


Brower, Michael. Cool Energy: Renewable Solutions to Environmental Problems,MIT Press, 1992. Reis, Jim. Brent Spence Bridge. Mass Transit. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition CopyrightŠ 2004, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V.



Katrina Kowalski | Capstone Proposal  

2008 Senior Capstone Proposal

Katrina Kowalski | Capstone Proposal  

2008 Senior Capstone Proposal