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Spike 150

Spiking Interest in Utah’s History

Spike 150
Spike 150 pattern
Spike 150 Logo

What We Did

  • Branding
  • Content Creation
  • Digital Advertising
  • Event
  • Interactive Development
  • Traditional Advertising


State of Utah


2018 – Present

The Challenge

What does it take to help build an event worthy of one of America’s most important accomplishments?

The Solution
1 the core of the brand
Branding & Creative Direction

On May 10, 1869 in Promontory, Utah one of the most monumental and historically relevant events in American history occurred; the joining of the Transcontinental Railroad. 150 years later the State of Utah and other key partners we prepared to throw the biggest party since 1869 to celebrate this momentous day and pay tribute to the workers and people who were responsible for connecting America.

Spike 150 Logo full color

To begin branding the event, we created a simple logo and visual identity for the series of events that we’d named Spike 150. The story of the Transcontinental Railroad, and its impact on Utah, is one that is varied and complex and we wanted the visual story to be inclusive of all parts. So we created a flexible design language of tiles that each represented an important aspect of the railroad’s historical story.

When put together, this menagerie of tiles started to create a quilt like pattern reminiscent of the patchwork American landscape the Transcontinental Railroad connected.

Spike 150 Quilt of America

The tiles were randomly placed together, colored, and turned 10 degrees with a railroad and the center. Dubbed the Quilt of America, this visual language formed the basis for all the events’ art direction.

Quilt of America
Spike 150 Business Cards
2 the website

Every great event needs a great website to be the centerpiece for information. The Spike 150 website was designed to tell the story of the railroad, showcase the statewide events, handle ticketing traffic, and ultimately be a long-term time capsule as a record of the events that occurred to celebrate the 150th anniversary.

/ Visit spike150.org /

Spike 150 Website
3 getting communities involved
Community Outreach and Invitations

Starting with the 149th anniversary celebration of the joining of the railroad, we helped with getting the larger state community engaged, excited, and invited to the 150th anniversary celebration and the other statewide events that were to occur. Through a series of save the dates, toolkits to engage partners, invitations, and more we were able engage the community, counties, and cities all around Utah as we strived to create 150 different statewide events for Spike 150.

Spike 150 Countdown Clock
Spike 150 Pins

To help get community partners (cities, counties, etc.) on board with Spike 150, we mailed partner toolkits to key stakeholders within the various organizations. Designed to encourage their involvement it included fact sheets, pins, a countdown clock, plastic toasting glasses, and more.

Spike 150 Brand Toolkit
Spike 150 Save the Date

Key stakeholders and community leaders were invited to the primary events, initially with a formal save the date. We then created a unique “ticket satchel” invitation that house individual invitations for each of the primary events that they were invited to attend; including the Sesquicentennial Ceremony.

Spike 150 Tickets
4 letting the public know
Advertising & Promotion

Ultimately, Spike 150 was a community event designed for the community to celebrate the historical accomplishments of Utah’s heritage. Various advertising and media methods were used to reach out to the general public and get them interested and excited in the events including newspaper advertising, billboards, pole banners, radio, tv, and more.

Spike 150 Newspaper

Because a community celebration without the excitement and support of the community, isn’t much of a celebration.

After all the promotion of Spike 150 nearly 2.5 million people came from all over the world to participate, and once again, our nation came together to educate, inspire, innovate, and share the legacy of the Golden Spike.

The Stats
Spike 150 Pole Banners
Spike 150 External Communications
5 getting schools involved
Graphic Novel & AR Campaign

One of the major components of the state’s Spike 150 initiative was an education and learning segment designed to get school aged kids involved with the story of the Transcontinental Railroad and those who built it. We helped develop an augmented reality program that allowed kids, with their phones, to place themselves in scenes and objects from the past including in the famous “driving the final spike” photo.

Spike 150 AR Poster

We developed an illustrated poster for the campaign and sent one to hang in every classroom in the state of Utah. These posters included a QR code, allowing students to unlock the past on the developed AR website.

Spike 150 AR Mobile

6 the big day
Sesquicentennial Ceremony

On Friday May 10, 2019 at Promontory, Utah more than 40,000 people joined community leaders from the State of Utah, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and cultural heritage groups to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the driving the golden spike. A weekend of celebration continued after the formal 150th anniversary ceremony at Promontory Summit.

From May 10-12, visitors were encouraged to reflect on the impact of the Transcontinental Railroad and be inspired to become innovators of the next big unifying discovery by participating in a variety of activities.

Spike 150 Ceremony Program
Spike 150 Anniversary Celbration
Spike 150 Credentials
Spike 150 Scenes
7 more than just may 10th
Other 150th Anniversary Celebration Events

The completion of the railroad, much like the first moon shot in 1969, unified our nation and showed the world that great things happen with vision, hard work, dedication, and collaboration. The yearlong celebration included more than 150 events hosted in communities throughout the state.

Spike 150 Other Events
Spike 150 Stop Watch Hand