The Route to Success for Phoenix Metro Light Rail’s New Creative Campaign

Jazz PlayerPhoenix Metro Light Rail left the station for the first time around this time last year. It was one of the most successful light rail launches in the country, with more than 200,000 people flooding the 28 new stations along the 20-mile route.

Although we can’t lay claim to Metro’s overall success, we are proud to have played an instrumental role in its branding: “Your Life on Track.”

Now we have a new campaign hitting the streets. I’ve asked our art director, Shawn Hardy, to tell you a bit more about the creative process in creating this beautiful poster campaign.

Basketball player“In concepting the ASU venue posters, we wanted to focus on specific activities and places that METRO light rail puts on track throughout the Valley. Simply mentioning or showing all these would become very dull very quickly and wouldn’t portray METRO light rail as a modern alternative mode of transportation.

The challenge became how to depict activities in an engaging way that would tie them directly to light rail. The answer came from the symbolism found in your route map—common to almost all subway and rail maps. The colorful, curving lines of these maps make an ideal brush with which to paint or symbolize the lifestyle that is now available on track via light rail.

Ballet DancerFrom live music to museums; from sports to shopping; from dining to stage shows—almost any experience or venue can be colorfully created and instantly linked to METRO light rail through the use of these track lines. This instant brand association gives the concept enormous versatility for use in a wide variety of MLR messaging and branding. The simple, colorful symbolism lends itself well to all visual media, including print, outdoor, TV and web. And because photography or detailed illustrations aren’t needed, the artwork is relatively inexpensive to produce.”

Shawn Hardy, Art Director, Park&Co

8 Comments On This Topic
  1. Tony Arranaga posted
    December 22, 2009 at 3:11 am

    Great work! Looking forward to seeing your designs on the streets of Downtown Phoenix!

  2. David Bickford posted
    December 22, 2009 at 4:10 am

    Great posters. Will copies be for sale? I might want to frame some and display them at home.

  3. Park posted
    December 22, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Thanks Tony and David for your comments. We’re glad you liked the work. I’m not sure if they will be making them available or not. Great question. Let me look into it for you.

  4. DD Kullman posted
    January 19, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Hey Park,
    This is a really cool campaign. Love the art direction. Kudos to Luis, Shawn and your staff.

  5. Park posted
    January 19, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Thanks DD. I concur: Creative did a brilliant job. We appreciate you taking the time to notice and comment.

  6. Michael Gold posted
    January 21, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Love the concept and execution of this campaign. It’s the proverbial picture that’s actually better than 1,000 words. Simple, memorable, and very meaningful. Congratulations!

  7. Park posted
    January 21, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Thanks, Michael. We’re fortunate to have an extremely talented designer in Shawn Hardy. The creative team nutted it out, and Shawn brought it to life. I sent your kind comments to the team; I know they’ll appreciate them. Hope all is well in Florida. When are you coming west to ski?

  8. Park Howell - 2010 Phoenix Advertising Person of the Year - Park&Co | posted
    March 10, 2010 at 9:40 am

    [...] do meaningful work on their behalf. For example, the agency was recognized for two other campaigns: Metro Light Rail and INT [...]

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