It may be obvious to anyone who’s visited CityofBoston.gov over the past 20 years, but the City’s digital platforms lack a style guide.
In the past, we had rough frameworks, and more than once various people at City Hall proposed style guides of their own, but nothing was ever widely used. We made design decisions on the fly, color schemes and fonts be damned. The City’s Digital Team is changing that.
You can now check out our brand guidelines on the Boston.gov pilot site.
Our guide is rooted in feedback from Bostonians. At the start of our redesign efforts, we spoke to users inside and outside of City Hall, and they helped inform our style decisions. Themes like boldness and humility emerged in those conversations, which you’ll see reflected in our typefaces and color palette. We will continue to rely on input from users as our guide develops and evolves over time.
In talking to users, we also learned there is a need for a central place to go to find information about brand guidelines, something that hadn’t been available in the past. That’s why we’re making the style guide public and easy for everyone to access and use.
This guide isn’t just for the new website — the new visual identity is something we will apply to all of the City’s digital tools. You can see the effect in our work on everything from the Mayor’s State of the City address:
to the Boston PayTix app:
Whether you’re paying a parking ticket or looking at resources for moving apartments, you should always know you’re interacting with the City of Boston.