PRT: The Story Behind the Recent Rebrand

PRT: The Story Behind the Recent Rebrand

Viola Aderholt, Aaron Ntoko (Freshmen)

Photo Credit: Ryan Deto/Tribune-Review

While taking the bus to school every morning some may have noticed that some of the buses you ride and see look different. While most of the buses are still of the original Port Authority (PAT) design, a few have been rebranded into Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT). PRT isn’t really new, it’s the same PAT, but has a different design and name. PRT says that,  “Pittsburgh is a growing region, becoming a leader in technology.” “It was time to put the old name and identity in the rear view mirror and reinvent transit for Pittsburgh’s future”.

How does redesigning a brand actually work? The Eagle Times spoke with Dan Gurwin, the designer of the PRT logo design about his experience. Working on a big project, like PRT, the company will hire an agency who recruits a design team to work through all the design aspects of the rebrand. Dan said that he was reached out to by the design team and started his work from there. The guidelines, Dan said, were very open, the only requirements being that it be clear and easy to read–and obviously fit on a bus format. Dan had many ideas that he presented to the team, one was a retro logo inspired by Mr. Rogers’ trolley while others were more modern. Dan said that most people went for the more modern and clean look while designing, but Dan tried many different aesthetics. Dan sent in his PowerPoint slide with all of his different concepts to the team. He didn’t think much of the last slide he inserted, as this was a last minute call to put the design in the slide. This logo was inspired by Massimo Vignelli, a graphic designer who used dots and circles to create the iconic New York subway we all know today. Dan said he liked the use of shapes in his logo, he thought that imagery would create a memorable impact on people whenever they see a bus drive by. With the three iconic circles you may recognize this as the logo on the PRT website and buses currently. 

When will all the buses have the new logo? Dan isn’t sure, although he said that it may take a while since they are only putting in the new logo with new buses. His estimate for finishing this would be 10 years. While that seems like a while, this whole project has taken a while. Dan remarked that he had finished the logo by the beginning of 2020 (aka before Covid). While we don’t know when the design will fully roll out, the wheels on the buses will keep rolling on.

To learn more about Dan’s work visit

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