Santa Ana, CA

Just south of Los Angeles is the culturally rich city of Santa Ana. As the federal seat of Orange County and a major thoroughfare of southern California, the population density of this historic town expands and contracts wildly each day. The challenge was to create an all encompassing active transportation campaign that reached the contrasting audiences and improved road safety.

santa-ana-title-01
santa-ana-title-01

Santa Ana, CA

Just south of Los Angeles is the culturally rich city of Santa Ana. As the federal seat of Orange County and a major thoroughfare of southern California, the population density of this historic town expands and contracts wildly each day. The challenge was to create an all encompassing active transportation campaign that reached the contrasting audiences and improved road safety.

OVERVIEW

Santa Ana is a historical backbone of Southern California. Settled by émigrés whose descendants grew Santa Ana into the fourth-densest city of its size in America, the current population is mostly comprised of young community-minded Hispanic families. As the most liberal voting city in Orange County, residents have pushed for a larger focus on initiatives that improve street safety. Hence, city leaders have spent the past 10 years evolving Santa Ana’s infrastructure with mixed-use spaces and improved pedestrian safety.

Teaming up with fellow SVA Masters in Branding alumna Gena Cuba and well-known transportation planning agency Alta Planning + Design, we strove to address the consequences of inherent gaps within Santa Ana’s infrastructure. Many city streets do not have adequate lights, crosswalks or lanes for bicycling, which may have led to the high rate of collisions and injuries. But we approached the problem through the lens of increasing visibility while city officials handled the infrastructure gaps.

OVERVIEW

Santa Ana is a historical backbone of Southern California. Settled by émigrés whose descendants grew Santa Ana into the fourth-densest city of its size in America, the current population is mostly comprised of young community-minded Hispanic families. As the most liberal voting city in Orange County, residents have pushed for a larger focus on initiatives that improve street safety. Hence, city leaders have spent the past 10 years evolving Santa Ana’s infrastructure with mixed-use spaces and improved pedestrian safety.

Teaming up with fellow SVA Masters in Branding alumna Gena Cuba and well-known transportation planning agency Alta Planning + Design, we strove to address the consequences of inherent gaps within Santa Ana’s infrastructure. Many city streets do not have adequate lights, crosswalks or lanes for bicycling, which may have led to the high rate of collisions and injuries. But we approached the problem through the lens of increasing visibility while city officials handled the infrastructure gaps.

KEY CHALLENGES
  1. Bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the road
  2. Driving or bicycling while intoxicated
  3. Riding bicycles on sidewalks
  4. Drivers passing bicyclists too closely
  5. A large influx of commuters from surrounding communities

 

Our challenge was to discover where and how we could address bicycling safety within Santa Ana in advance of a finalized bike master plan and leave a lasting impression on the population. Through surveys and interviews, we identified that we could encourage citizens and visitors to be more courteous with a message of unity. Instead of paying attention to one group more than another, we could unify the cities safety initiatives and give the community one message to stand behind that promoted courtesy as a community value.

KEY CHALLENGES
  1. Bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the road
  2. Driving or bicycling while intoxicated
  3. Riding bicycles on sidewalks
  4. Drivers passing bicyclists too closely
  5. A large influx of commuters from surrounding communities

Our challenge was to discover where and how we could address bicycling safety within Santa Ana in advance of a finalized bike master plan and leave a lasting impression on the population. Through surveys and interviews, we identified that we could encourage citizens and visitors to be more courteous with a message of unity. Instead of paying attention to one group more than another, we could unify the cities safety initiatives and give the community one message to stand behind that promoted courtesy as a community value.

RESEARCH

Our strategic efforts kicked off with a full weekend of biking around Santa Ana to get a feel for the infrastructure, behavior of motorists, and all-around bikeability of the city. We spoke with key influencers in Santa Ana who were actively bringing change to their city, as well as transportation advocates in Los Angeles and Santa Monica who have taken on similar efforts and brought about change one bike lane at a time. Concurrently we released a survey through the city and schools to poll how people felt about transportation in Santa Ana.

Through our research within the city and beyond, we learned that Santa Ana possesses a very proud and colorful culture where the average cyclist bikes because they have to in order to make it to school or work. Car traffic is heavily influenced by the vast commuter population to the federal and technological hubs based in the city. Pedestrian traffic is much higher than surrounding regions as families walk children to school and frequent the historic downtown which is a hive of activity for arts, music and festivals.

STRATEGY

From our research and discussions with the city, we recommended against pursuing language that was prescribing or relied on fear-mongering. Instead, we strove for a more harmonious and inclusive direction that did not alienate any one subset of the population. The platform “Parallelism” endeavors to remind everyone that we are all travelers heading in similar direction side by side.

To express this platform, we brainstormed tag lines and eventually settled on “Travel Safe, Share the Space” to represent the platform. Visually, we developed several mood boards with styles reminiscent of the local Hispanic culture and worked to develop the main idea of the executions. Our client was most receptive to an illustrated character inspired by the party game “exquisite corpse.” The character would be a cyclist, a driver, and a pedestrian sharing the space side by side.

RESEARCH

Our strategic efforts kicked off with a full weekend of biking around Santa Ana to get a feel for the infrastructure, behavior of motorists, and all around bikeability of the city. We spoke with key influencers in Santa Ana who were actively bringing change to their city, as well as transportation advocates in Los Angeles and Santa Monica who have taken on similar efforts and brought about change one bike lane at a time. Concurrently we released a survey through the city and schools to poll how people felt about transportation in Santa Ana.

Through our research within the city and beyond, we learned that Santa Ana possesses a very proud and colorful culture where the average cyclist bikes because they have to in order to make it to school or work. Car traffic is heavily influenced by the vast commuter population to the federal and technological hubs based in the city. Pedestrian traffic is much higher than surrounding regions as families walk children to school and frequent the historic downtown which is a hive of activity for arts, music and festivals.

STRATEGY

From our research and discussions with the city, we recommended against pursuing language that was prescribing or relied on fear-mongering. Instead we strove for a more harmonious and inclusive direction that did not alienate any one subset of the population. The platform “Parallelism” endeavors to remind everyone that we are all travelers heading in similar direction side by side.

To express this platform, we brainstormed tag lines and eventually settled on “Travel Safe, Share the Space” to represent the platform. Visually, we developed several mood boards with styles reminiscent of the local Hispanic culture and worked to develop the main idea of the executions. Our client was most receptive to an illustrated character inspired by the party game “exquisite corpse.” The character would be a cyclist, a driver, and a pedestrian sharing the space side by side.

EXECUTION

Our approach to developing the poster concept was to be as future facing as possible and represent where Santa Ana was headed. Women cyclists are not commonly seen in the lead position within transportation advocacy campaigns and we wanted to challenge the current inherent fears among the fastest growing bike commuter population.

Despite the original scope of work not including a poster illustration, we settled on a strategic design concept that we wound up jonesing to create ourselves. My illustration style and Gena’s stellar creative direction helped this poster reach its zenith. With each section representing a different target audience, we defused a pushback from prescribing language and instead focused on creating a visual solution that best represented parallel lives.

We hope this campaign brings awareness and mutual respect to the various road user in southern California. It was a pleasure working with the city and it’s people to make this effort happen.

72

Street Pull Banners Installed

12

Bus Shelter Posters Installed

santa-ana-branding-07
EXECUTION

Our approach to developing the poster concept was to be as future facing as possible and represent where Santa Ana was headed. Women cyclists are not commonly seen in the lead position within transportation advocacy campaigns and we wanted to challenge the current inherent fears among the fastest growing bike commuter population.

Despite the original scope of work not including a poster illustration, we settled on a strategic design concept that we wound up jonesing to create ourselves. My illustration style and Gena’s stellar creative direction helped this poster reach its zenith. With each section representing a different target audience, we defused a pushback from prescribing language and instead focused on creating a visual solution that best represented parallel lives.

We hope this campaign brings awareness and mutual respect to the various road user in southern California. It was a pleasure working with the city and it’s people to make this effort happen.

santa-ana-branding-07