New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority may be switching to electronic readers so that riders can tap their way onto buses and trains, but that hasn’t stopped artists and brands from putting their imprint on the agency’s Metrocards. In February, Supreme launched custom Metrocards with the brand’s logo. Artist Barbara Kruger’s design bowed on Wednesday, which true to form, features her provocative phrases in her signature typeface.
The yellow card on Monday will get another makeover by none other than Jet.com.
“To us, it was always an iconic canvas,” said David Echegoyen, vice president of marketing for Jet.com. “The Metrocard was a place where brands with a high interest in design could showcase what they were about.”
Echegoyen said Jet.com will be the one brand-designed Metrocard for a period of time, available at 10 Manhattan subway stations.
“Jet’s focus is going after affluent metropolitan markets,” Echegoyen said. “We’re blessed with audiences in metro areas that have shown a preference for Jet.com over other ecommerce sites. We felt we could take the liberty of saying, ‘Why don’t we design something beautiful?’ We wanted to make a design statement. I’m proud that as a brand we can make a statement without making it a business.”
Echegoyen said the Metrocard will help Jet.com create immediate relationships with its customers. The site, which slightly over-indexes toward women, believes “beautiful design incites an emotional response from customers,” he said. “That will continue to be our premise. Internally, we talk about being people-driven and technology-enabled.”
The transit card features Jet.com’s signature shade of purple in a zigzag pattern on one site, and on the other, Jet’s logo blown up so that only the “e” and part of the “j” and “t” are visible, along with a small logo. Said Echegoyen, “It doesn’t even say ‘.com’ on the card.
“There’s a cost to designing a Metrocard and an element of design approval,” Echegoyen said, without citing figures. “This effort was about getting to a place where we were happy with the design, but [the MTA] has the ultimate veto. We wanted something representative of the brand that we felt they would approve.
“I think we’d do it again,” Echegoyen said. “We’re generating awareness and relationships.”