TransLink’s ugly Compass card could use an art contest
Remember when TransLink staged a contest to name its new electronic fare card? Sadly, the dull “Compass” came out on top in 2011, even though the public also suggested better names, such as “Sockeye” and “Oolichan”.
Nevertheless, the name of Compass—which seemingly no one is calling a “smart card” anymore—isn’t nearly as dreadful as its design. A bunch of location pins encapsulating the letter “C” on a blue, orange, or grey background (depending on whether you have an adult, concession, or ticket card)—well, it’s nothing special to look at.
Luckily, it’s not too late for TransLink to do something about this. After all, the full rollout of Compass, which was originally scheduled for 2013, has been delayed to summer 2014.
My proposed solution? An art contest to design the front of the Compass card.
Such a contest could be open to art students across Metro Vancouver—or even all artists in the region. It could be judged by a panel of art professors and professional artists, with the finalists going to a public vote.
The winning artist would have their design printed on the card (with credit), get paid a reasonable fee, and receive lots of media exposure.
And TransLink wouldn’t have an ugly Compass card any longer.
Artists and designers: Got a great design for the Compass card? Share it with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.