Your pocket-sized reminder that “Istanbul loves you.”

Our journey towards rebranding a city lovebrand: the new İstanbulkart

We’ve redesigned an iconic piece of Istanbul and turned it into the expression of our city’s love: The new İstanbulkart

We led the entire creative process behind İstanbulkart’s recent brand transformation and relaunch campaign. Following a fourteen year legacy as Istanbul’s official transit pass, İstanbulkart acquired new fintech and mobile banking capabilities. With new technical features and a wider range of service points, İstanbulkart developed into a comprehensive city card. On a mission to rebrand a product with over 10 million active users and an essential part of everyday life in Istanbul, we crafted an emotionally fueled story through the three words Istanbul’s residents needed to hear: Istanbul loves you.

Istanbul loves you.

Istanbul is home to over 15 million, a cultural and financial capital, and a metropol that moves at a pace that often feels overwhelming. Nevertheless, the city’s residents share a profound attachment to it that exists beyond material motivations. We turned to this unique connection when introduced to the İstanbulkart rebranding project.

In our surveys, people consistently reported that they loved Istanbul deeply, but felt that their feelings weren’t reciprocated. Especially following the conditions of the pandemic, the tension had intensified. This revealed an opportunity to give the city its own way of displaying affection, which became the point of origin for İstanbulkart’s brand transformation.

Istanbul is home to over 15 million, a cultural and financial capital, and a metropol that moves at a pace that often feels overwhelming. Nevertheless, the city’s residents share a profound attachment to it that exists beyond material motivations.

Flipping the script on the conventional “I love Istanbul.” format, we sought to answer this question throughout our work on İstanbulkart: “How does a city show its residents that it loves them?” It tends to your needs, creates new opportunities to live it fully and makes sure you feel loved. İstanbulkart’s new identity focused on this bold and heartfelt sentiment, which developed into a dynamic visual world and communication campaign with the most universal icon of love, the heart, as a leading visual asset throughout our designs.

Since July, our work for İstanbulkart’s relaunch has received multiple national awards including first place from Kristal Elma in the Best Rebranding category, two Istanbul Marketing Summit Gold Awards in the Best Brand Repositioning and Best Rebranding categories, two GMK Achievement awards for our motion design and outdoor postering, and first place from the debut MediaCat Curious Felis Strategy Awards in the Best Brand Repositioning category.

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Our new “Istanbul loves you.” campaign launched early July, 2021 and micro-surveys immediately showed an approval rating as high as 85% for İstanbulkart’s new designs within two weeks of release.

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