New Work: Bright City

| By: Emily Iles
Emily Iles

When we began working with Mobile Science Technologies, it was clear they had a really great tool, but a name that didn’t at all reflect the purpose of their service. As a suite of apps that connects citizens in a municipality with their local government agencies, our first mission was to give users confidence in the app—help them see it as a way to make their community a better place to live.

Carving out a name that is unique (but still makes sense) had become increasingly difficult and competitive, especially for an app. It’s one part unbridled creativity, and one part methodical research into copyrights, competition, and scouring domain name registrars. Out of that process came a name that clearly and quickly let people know the focus of their service: Bright City.

Check out the Case Study.

What’s in the name?

Bright City speaks to the ideas of a connected, high-tech city, increased transparency between local government and the people they serve, and the common aspiration to create a better place to live.

From there, we began developing their visual identity. In our discovery process, we found that the Bright City branding needed to work for two fairly different audiences in different ways. First, municipal leaders needed to see the value in adopting the Bright City platform, and it had to allow them to brand it for their city. Second, people needed to download and use the app to communicate with their city.

Mobilizing two audiences.

Our research and interviews showed that both municipal leaders and citizens were experiencing certain pains and obstacles. People often felt powerless and ignored when they needed help from their local government. The process of finding out who to talk to, how to report a problem and get action can be very frustrating and opaque. City leaders, especially in smaller communities, didn’t have the resources to create their own apps or internal tracking systems, and they often struggled to share information, track results between agencies and quickly connect with their citizens in emergencies.

Bright City activates the lines of communication between people and their local government, and presented a huge opportunity to alleviate each of those problems, but in order to work, both citizens and government needed to get on board. They need to view Bright City as a friendly and simple alternative to a communications process that had often been very dysfunctional in the past.



A simple solution.

We developed an icon that is both an illuminating flame and a start button, as a call to activate the app when you need answers quickly. Bright City is shining a light on processes that used to be confounding, and is modernizing the way local governments communicate and react to their people.


The colors and logo are consistent, but there are opportunities for cities to put their mark on the app and customize the experience for their citizens.


Confident messaging.

We wanted to give credit to municipal leaders for being proactive in making their city more modern and responsive to their people’s needs, as well as let the general public know that Bright City was now available in their municipality to connect them very simply with their local government.

Ultimately, the branding and messaging for Bright City focuses on the common ground that everyone shares within a community: the hope that the place we live is a safe place where people thrive.