February 3, 2023

Saddle up for Zoo Ball

Here’s to the Wild Ones

Zoo Ball is the Fort Worth Zoo’s largest fundraising event of the year. Guests come together for a notoriously good time in support of wildlife conservation programs, locally and around the world. As one of Fort Worth’s most anticipated social events returned to the community’s calendar, Zoo Ball demanded an invitation worthy of the occasion. 

In one of his last performances before retirement, country music legend and prolific songwriter, Robert Earl Keen, would take the stage and set the tone for the kind of affair Fort Worth does best – Texas outlaw.


What’s in an Invitation?

Zoo Ball is a great opportunity to bring people together in celebration of the Zoo’s ongoing commitment to wildlife conservation. And the invitation is the first step in attracting donors in our philanthropic community to attend and participate in the Zoo’s charitable efforts.


  • Generate buzz among new attendees and past guests
  • Communicate important event details
  • Create a memorable invitation that plays well beyond the event
  • Raise dollars to fund wildlife conservation and education programs

Rounding Up The Best

Schaefer’s creative team was off to the races and curated a Texas Outlaw concept that reached into the hearts of the philanthropic community and beyond. To set the tone for the event, our team developed an event theme moodboard. This visual representation of country elements included western saloons and cowboys allowing us to explore new ways to engage with the guests leading up to the event. 

We gathered all our ideas together and set off on crafting the Save the Date package, Commemorative invitation, and Auction guide.


Save The Date & Invitation Suite

To unite the objectives and theme of the event, we developed a logo and paired it with a rugged, yet sophisticated color palette including shades of gold and black. Complementing the palette was a suite of custom illustrations featuring native Texas species of plants, animals, and the infamous Texas outlaw. 

As a subtle nod that helped tease performer Robert Earl Keen, we included some of his most famous lyrics throughout the save the date and invitation. Most notably, the event name is abridged from his iconic song, “The Road Goes on Forever.”


Custom Card Deck

When it comes to cards they don’t call it Texas Hold’em for nothing. Leveraging themes of the old west, we created a saloon-inspired, 54-card playing deck that featured Texas animals, like the jaguarundi and armadillo. The deck was created in collaboration with Big Box Little Box, who was able to bring the details and textures that were important to the card and box design to fruition. 

Included in the deck were educational facts and illustrations about Texas wildlife, giving guests a unique way to commemorate the event and pay homage to the wild things and wild places we all love.


It was crucial that the invite not get lost in the shuffle of daily mail while also rousing members of the community to think, “I can’t miss that.” The event attracted previous and first-time attendees, with tickets selling out. Not only was the Zoo able to receive impressive support from individuals and local businesses, but the fundraising event raised more than seven-figure sums. The Texas Outlaw theme generated social sharing before, during, and after the event. The annual event offered maximum entertainment that made for wild memories that people are still talking about.