The Alaska Railroad is an iconic brand and Alaskans have a great love of the "blue & gold" cars that grace the landscape of the Last Frontier. Though there is a long legacy of appreciation for all that the Railroad has done to build this state, the Railroad is so much more than a historical figure. It's both alive and relevant today.


Spawn focused on uncovering the spirit of the brand with new positioning to illuminate what it stands for in the hearts and minds of its audience. Discussions with stakeholders helped to build an organic understanding that the brand was more than a collection of assets: a logo, photography, copy and color palette.

Building on Alaska's Unique Nature

The old logo (now the corporate seal) did not clearly communicate "Alaska Railroad" to consumers not already familiar with the brand, and lacked legibility in smaller formats. The new logo uses a custom font derived from the word "Alaska" featured on the side of each rail car. The reference to the train itself, using the exact type treatment featured on the side of the train, strengthens brand recognition before, during and after each visit.


The Alaska Railroad is complex, with multiple business lines: passenger, freight and real estate. And it's made up of employees who are the heart and soul of the operation. They keep the engines running, interact with customers, both local and from faraway places, and manage Railroad resources to continue to build and grow Alaska. Our work included extensive focus group work across all business lines, an internal messaging strategy and revamping of training and orientation materials to introduce and launch the new brand internally. The result was seamless buy-in and support when the new Alaska Railroad brand went public.


Spawn transformed the brand's image and connection to consumers: from its identity including brand characteristics and personality, to retooling an outdated media strategy and developing fresh, engaging creative. Both the creative and media strategy were thoughtfully designed around the consumer decision-making journey.


The 2016 season called for a new campaign. We needed a message that illustrated the true nature of the Alaska Railroad experience, and one that broke through the clutter. Spawn introduced "Now Departing Ordinary" to launch into the spring season. Whether one is a local or a visitor on vacation, Spawn's concept positions Alaska Railroad as the alternative option to other modes of transportation, one that can only be found, far away from ordinary - in a place that you can only get to by the Alaska Railroad.

American Marketing Association - Alaska Chapter

Pinnacle Award


Pinnacle Award


Pinnacle Award

Print Ad

Public Relations Society of America - Alaska Chapter

Award of Excellence

First Place, Website

AIGA Alaska Chapter The Big One

Gold Award & People’s Choice

Promotional Deisgn & Advertising

Davey Awards

Silver Award

Integrated Campaign