DOB NOW Safety

About the project

“Building One City”—an initiative launched by Mayor Bill DeBlasio in May 2015 is a roadmap for progress and transformation at NYC Department of Buildings. This plan calls for many NYC Department of Buildings interactions to be handled online to improve customer service and transparency.

What we did

This new initiative needed a name. After speaking to key stakeholders and examining the goals of the initiative, we proposed brand names that reflected existing realities as well as aspirational qualities of the overall initiative. DOB NOW was chosen after one round of naming based on meeting key criteria identified in our early meetings.

After the name was finalized, we created a flexible and cohesive brand system that enables the DOB to create different permutations based on key “themes” or “buckets” central to DOB’s interactions with the public. These “themes” include Inspections, Build (Permitting), Safety, and Licensing.

Related links

NYC Buildings
Rick Chandler, commissioner of the New York City Buildings Department, discusses plans to overhaul and upgrade its technology to meet the demands of the 21st century construction industry.
City Buildings Department to finally stop pushing paper, will roll out $30M state-of-the-art system
City debuts new $29.6 million computer system to speed up construction jobs
The Real Deal:
DOB to roll out electronic filing
DOB kicks off e-filing program
Press Release:
Buildings Dept. Launches DOB NOW Program to Modernize Agency
The Architects Newspaper:
NYC Department of Buildings launches new $29.6 million online filing platform

We created NYC Build it Back, a story of collective resilience and individual strength

  • NYC Build it Back Collateral Materials
  • NYC Build it Back - Stronger & Safer Logos
  • NYC Build it Back Flyer
  • Mayor Bloomberg launches NYC Build it Back
  • NYC Build it Back Billboard in Coney Island: We can help you Build it back
  • NYC Build it Back Program Community Event
  • NYC Build it Back Poster
  • NYC Build it Back Website
  • NYC Build it Back Twitter page
  • NYC Build it Back Logo variations

About the project

After Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc in 2012, New York City launched Build it Back. Conceived as a powerful, federally funded program to help homeowners rebuild, Build it Back needed to engage a sweeping audience, and enroll thousands to register for assistance.

What we did

We provided a suite of services. After strategizing the contours of the registration campaign, we spearheaded creative direction, brand design, naming, visual design, copywriting, video production, radio spots, interface design, print ads and a social media campaign. Working alongside the client, we:

  • Devised a framework and a communication strategy that simplified a complex program and presented it in a consumer friendly way.
  • Created and internally circulated an NYC Build it Back manifesto rooted in transparency, clarity, and a mission to help.
  • Captured an emerging narrative of collective resilience through multiple authentic, long-term homeowner stories.


By October 31, 2013, NYC Build it Back had reached 25,000 registered applicants, exceeding original expectations by at least 20%.