January 19, 2015

Signs of things to come

The Story

Clearfork is a new mixed-use development on what was the last undeveloped piece of the legendary Edwards Ranch. Many Fort Worth landmarks like Texas Christian University and the Fort Worth Zoo now sit on what once was Edwards Ranch property, but the Clearfork portion remained virtually untouched since 1848. Having just completed the Clearfork branding and positioning, the client asked us to produce some vinyl banners to announce the coming development.

“Sure, we can do that, but…”

The Work

With a newly completed road cutting through the property, this was the first time most people had seen this property since before Fort Worth (the actual fort) existed. We felt this called for something a little more unique than a vinyl banner.

Pulling back from the assumed solution of banners and focusing instead on the goal of attracting passersby’s attention, our ideas included an iron ranch sign, cattle guards and a water tower. What won out in the end were what the team dubbed “word crops.” Three eight-foot-tall words were strategically placed around the property: discover, legacy and vision.

The road to the final product was a long one, since none of us had ever seen word crops before. We cut an “A” out of a sheet of plywood in the side yard of our office and hauled it out to Clearfork to see where the words should go. Our production manager then talked with a variety of vendors to see if anyone could do it on-budget (one could). We had a test letter made with three colors of paint to see which worked best (silver).

The Results

The word crops were a success in several ways. First, they captured people’s attention and made them curious about what was coming to the property. Second, they garnered some social shares as people took photos with the words and shared them on their networks. Thirdly, (shameless plug) they earned Schaefer the Best in Show American Advertising Award for 2014.

Best of all, they’re a perfect example of what we mean when we say, “Give us your goal, and we’ll seek what’s possible.”