East River Ferry


Launched in 2011, NY Waterway’s East River Ferry Service provides transportation between several locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens along the East River. We were excited when their team approached us to create a distinctive corporate identity for the Ferry. Our goal was to create a fresh, dynamic logo that would be instantly recognizable to consumers and communicate the benefits of the new ferry service.

The biggest challenge we faced in designing the logo was finding a way to convey movement on water without depicting rough waves or excessive speed. We also wanted to incorporate nautical references without being too obvious.

We worked on a tight timeline to apply the identity to maps, brochures, business cards, street team gear, signage, and promotional items. It was a race to the finish line with lots of long nights and weekends. Our hard work paid off, and the end result can be seen on the boats themselves as well as terminal signage, bus wraps, and pole banners around the city.

Since establishing the corporate identity for the East River Ferry, we’ve created their seasonal signage, branded countless events, and designed fresh elements as needed. We’re proud to partner with the East River Ferry and are grateful for the connection we’ve forged with their team. The East River Ferry has helped revitalize New York City’s waterfront, boosting travel to Brooklyn and Queens and providing frequent and reliable service to neighborhoods that were previously inconvenient to get to via public transportation. Ridership vastly surpassed initial estimates, resulting in a 5-year extension of a 3-year pilot project. Its positive impact on waterfront communities has been felt throughout Brooklyn and Queens, encouraging residential and commercial growth. Commuter, daytrippers and tourists all enjoy the ferry, and our thoughtful identity and branding has proved to contribute to its many successes.

First of all, let me say that choosing to work with McMillianCo. was the best thing we did when we launched the East River Ferry back in 2011. They were unknown to us at that time, but their collective talent was so obvious and their passion for good design was so genuine that we decided at the very first meeting that this was the group for us. Launching a brand, any brand, in a major market such as New York City is a ridiculous challenge, but thanks to McMillianCo. we were able to pull it off quite successfully. In addition to developing our corporate brand, they also created our website and an entire suite of marketing materials that perfectly captured the vision and attitude of our company. They are an extremely talented creative team who are intensely pragmatic. Common sense and business savvy sit alongside technical know-how and creativity. That’s a rare, winning combination that complements any innovative design/marketing team.

Plus, they’re just great people. We couldn’t be happier.

– Paul Samulski, VP Creative & Marketing, East River Ferry