Quick, Call 9-1-1

Because this logo needs serious help.

Or really, it needs to be put out of its misery.

The idea of a 3-1-1 non-emergency call center was pioneered in Baltimore in 1996. Chicago took it a step further in 1999.

New York City’s is the largest, and it has been quite successful since starting up in 2003.

Philly’s fledgling project, which was launched Dec 31, 2008, has been received with mixed results.

The program is without a doubt a step in the right direction.

Philly311 is on twitter, is set to receive their millionth call, and even monitors the neighborhood citizens’ reporting site SeeClickFix.

However, in August the hours were cut back from 24/7 to business hours only.

Public perception will play a large role in the future growth and funding of the program. Design is key in this regard.

logo_311_NYC This logo does not help. It is overly complex. It looks like many other company logos, without really being as nice as any I can think of. It is not an easily recognizable shape.

And mostly, this logo does not convey easy access to information and help. Much the opposite: the unbalanced colors and shapes suggest a frenzied, harried, mess.

NYC even has a whole set of different logos and posters available for download based on their clear, straightforward logo.

Anyone in Philly Gov have authority to hire a logo designer? 😉