The art of creating an icon

We kicked off concepting for the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park’s new campaign with a road trip. We sent the team to the bridge to explore, concept, write and design. And they came back with Come Across.

Come Across isn’t just a play on words. It’s an invitation that’s different for everyone who accepts it. See, the bridge isn’t just a Colorado attraction. It’s an icon. A landmark. A place of almost holy quiet and almost unbelievable stimulation. Everyone who visits is inspired in ways unique to them.

We did TV and billboards and display. All the things agencies do. But we kept wondering, if the bridge inspired all this work in us, what would it inspire in artists?

So we reached out to three people, each of whom qualifies as a local treasure. Joel Van Horne records raw indie symphonies, uniquely Colorado hymns to the natural landscape he was raised in. Mona Lucero is one of Denver’s premier fashion designers, draping the structures of the human body with fabrics the same way nature surrounds the precise lines of the bridge itself. And Will Lee-Ashley combines details other people wouldn’t even notice into collages that bring chaos to the natural order, and vice versa.

On May 14, these three artists, the filmmakers from Boyte Creative, and Vladimir Jones all stepped out onto the bridge without any plan other than to let our surroundings guide us.

And it worked.

Advertising is kind of art. Kind of. If you squint. And sometimes, you get to do something like this. To bring real art into the world. Art created in the company of a small band of talented, humble, altogether awesome strangers who came together for a couple days just to see what they’d come across.

Matt Ingwalson

- Author -

Matt Ingwalson

Executive Creative Director