Lisbon Repositions Tram Wires as Functional Art

For some, wires draped across urban environments are purely unattractive clutter. For others, they’re art. Veering in the more optimistic direction, the city of Lisbon recently turned its web of tram wires into a tastefully interactive experience. Here’s how it worked.

Why I’m Curious

The success of this campaign is heavily grounded in a less-than-obvious insight: the cross-sections of tram wires appear to spell out letters. And when one pieces those letters together, a typeface is created that inspires adventures around the city.

Such an insight would seem to have been bred out of time spent exploring unique traits of Lisbon. Not just listing off obvious attractions, but really looking at aspects of the city that span the entire environment in order to create a tourism-inducing experience outside of cliche destinations.

For us, the takeaway reminds me of a saying creatives often coin: “first idea.” First ideas are those that materialize in an initial brainstorm. At first they seem amazing – brilliant even – but 24 hours later they’re not quite as shiny as initially perceived.

In the case of this work, the agency clearly avoided the dreaded “first idea” creative approach. Now it’s our turn to always do the same.



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