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