To Phoenix, with Love

Our recreation of C.J. Dyer’s classic “Bird’s Eye View of Phoenix, Maricopa Co., Arizona”

At Highform, not only are we inhabitants of Phoenix, Arizona, we’re truly captivated by it.

Our affection for this town is no Stockholm syndrome, though. Between us, we’ve spent fair amounts of time stepping over puddles in Seattle, shivering in scarves on the east coast, and being beaten by the breeze off the San Francisco Bay. But something keeps us coming back to the Valley of the Sun — and it’s not just the weather.

She’s a looker, sure. From the sandstone slopes of Camelback Mountain to the ever-blooming Botanical Garden to the shady streets of the central city, Phoenix is as lush and beautiful as it is an affront to its arid Sonoran surroundings. Still, it’s the story of Arizona’s Urban Heart we find even more enchanting.

Desert Botanical Garden

Since its settlement as an agricultural community in 1867, Phoenix’s rapid population growth has never halted. In 2016, the population was estimated at 1.6 million, making it the fifth largest city in the nation — behind only Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City, for perspective. And Phoenix’s adjoining metropolitan area is believed to be home to another estimated 2.9 million.

Civic Space Park, with Janet Echelman’s “Her Secret Is Patience” suspended above.

The city’s downtown is a burgeoning cultural center, bustling with collegiate and corporate types alike. Numerous galleries, venues, bars, and historical focal points line the narrow streets. Its skyscrapers are home to a bona fide high-tech hub, as are the surrounding suburbs. Here you’ll find aerospace, manufacturing, bioscience, digital media, and more commercial sectors represented.

That’s a far cry from those few farmers who relied on Arizona’s famous “Five C’s” of cotton, cattle, citrus, copper, and climate to drive their tiny economy. But that really wasn’t all that long ago.

It’s this rapid growth we’re so impressed with and inspired by. Highform is dedicated to creating innovative products, immersive experiences, and compelling stories to brand, market, and obtain results for our clients. Our goal, simply put, is to nurture the same type of exponential growth Phoenix has seen in its short lifetime.

And sure, we also like to have a bit of fun — every now and then, we’ll take on a weird little project just for the hell of it. We’ve always loved this classic lithograph depicting Phoenix in its infancy, and we thought it’d be fun to recreate it to showcase the metropolis this town has become.

Check it out below, and make sure to zoom in to appreciate all the little details. We spared no expense to get everything just right. Janet Echelman’s “Her Secret Is Patience” sculpture (14) is there, as are ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the bars and bistros of Roosevelt Row (19). We even included a few developments scheduled for completion in 2019. See the Link (8), the Stewart (10) and Block 23 (23), a new addition to the multi-use CityScape complex.

Click to expand our recreation of “Bird’s Eye View of Phoenix, Maricopa Co., Arizona,” illustrated for Highform by Fedd Khan.

This poster looks especially sharp hung in an office — would you like a copy for yours? Drop us a line and tell us about your business!

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