Amtrak Traveler Characters

Illustrated characters representing Amtrak travelers

In spring 2012, I was tapped by The Glass Agency (now un/common) to create some simple, colorful illustrations for a Facebook game they were developing. Conceptually I would take one of Amtrak’s selling points and marry it to the end of character that would most benefit from that feature: heavy-duty commuters, power snackers, Wi-Fi-seeking gadget hounds, environmentally-conscious greenies, and long-distance travelers out to explore and catalog as much of America as they can. Each illustration is color-coded to the icon that represents it and all are designed in a kind of minimal 60s pop-art style (with apologies to Mary Blair).
This was a wildly successful campaign and people really got a kick out of being personified by the fun archetypes alive in these characters.

Illustrated characters representing Amtrak travelers

The Business Traveler

A commuter with a schedule to keep, the business traveler is concerned with efficiency and punctuality. She has no room for laggy transit in her day. She needs the sense of calm and space to spread out and begin her day that Amtrak affords her.

Illustrated characters representing Amtrak travelers

The Snacker

He just wants a cozy space to watch the world roll by and a fully-stocked dining/snackbar car to help the time pass if he gets peckish. His ride is all about comfort.

Illustrated characters representing Amtrak travelers

The Eco-Traveler

Maybe she’s on her way to an Earth-conscious, leave-no-trace festival in the pacific northwest, maybe she’s just headed to the woods to decompress, ukulele and yoga mat in tow. She gravitates to the lower carbon footprint that rail travel provides her.

Illustrated characters representing Amtrak travelers

The Shutterbug

He’s got a lens for every situation, and a keen eye for light, color and framing. Amtrak takes him to photogenic spots all over the country, from natural to urban and beyond.

Illustrated characters representing Amtrak travelers

The Connector

He has all manner of devices, dongles, plugs and connectors and he needs a transportation solution that won’t leave him disconnected. He loves Amtrak’s ample power outlets, wifi and opportunities for maximum connectivity.

In the end, this was a blast to be involved with and I was really able to dig in and dabble with such a streamlined and poppy stable of colors and styles to work with. I really played with intersection of tones and patterns to create drop-offs and relays between the positive and negative space. I also feel these have aged really well, owing to their retro-modern styling.


  • Client
    Amtrak / The Glass Agency