Bringing Bikes to the Streets of Chicago
Using the joy and freedom of cycling to brand Chicago’s bike-sharing initiative
Design a Chicago-centric bike-share brand that would win over cyclists across the city.
Six months in, 12,000 cyclists racked up 780,000 trips and 1.7 million-plus miles, relieving traffic congestion and easing commutes for everyone.
A brand that celebrated the joy and freedom of cycling and also felt like a part of Chicago’s sprawling transportation ecosystem.
Chicago’s federally funded, citywide bike-sharing service, called Divvy, makes a fleet of bicycles available to commuters and tourists 24 hours a day. Alta Bicycle Share (which runs bike-sharing systems in Boston, the Bay Area, DC, and New York City) collaborated with IDEO to spread Divvy’s message, “Divide and Share!” to the cyclists and would-be cyclists of Chicago through the brand.
The new brand would appear on its bikes, stations, company vans, member fobs, and website—and it needed to be ready to hit the streets in just six months. IDEO partnered with local brand strategy studio Firebelly Design to collaborate on a solution. IDEO led the early research, conceptual brand development, and naming phase of the project; the Firebelly team led the visual design and developed the brand guidelines.
The brand has become a functional and fun part of Chicago’s transportation landscape and has been embraced by Chicago commuters. Just three weeks after it launched, the City of Chicago called the Divvy Bikes program the busiest bike-sharing system in the world. Six months into the service, enthusiastic cyclists have racked up over 780,000 trips and 1.7 million-plus miles, and over 12,000 Chicagoans have become members.
"IDEO pushed us outside of our comfort zone and helped us think differently about launching a new brand," said Gabe Klein, Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner.
Building a new bike-sharing brand in Chicago.