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Colorful Murals To Brighten Downtown Dodge City

A Southwest Kansas town celebrates their culture and heritage with help from the team at Gardner Design.

Dodge City approached Gardner Design about helping to celebrate their culture and heritage with three distinct themes. The resulting murals now beautifully decorate historic downtown.

No two projects are the same for Gardner Design. This project required contemporary artistic and printing methods to pair with tried practices the studio has employed on other murals and environmental spaces across the region.

The historic nature of downtown Dodge City meant that applying artwork to its buildings needed to meet historic preservation guidelines. The artwork would be printed instead of painted, which opened up an illustrative process that involved digitally painting on top of 3D renderings and was the perfect method for the artist’s own distinctive style.

Preliminary 3D renders used during the illustration process
Detail from Homage to Dodge: A Tribute to the Wild West

Speaking of the artist, Efe Tekdemir of Gardner Design, the primary designer on the project, said that he finds inspiration in his surroundings.

“I had a great time pouring over the books and images provided to make something authentic to Dodge City. From the arrangement of the buildings in the murals to the types of personalities you see—all of it came from those inspirations gathered in my time spent in Dodge City.”

“I value taking moments to observe people and the culture of a community.”

Efe Tekdemir, Designer, Gardner Design
Preliminary sketches and color tests for Queen of the Cowtowns

Three new, distinct murals adorn the city sidewalks, each pulling inspiration from Dodge past and present. One focuses on well-known actors from the classic Western genre, evoking a sense of the larger-than-life Wild West. Another pays homage to the rich history of cattle drives in Dodge City with vibrant colors, dynamic composition, and modern typography. The third mural celebrates the community’s rich Latin American culture with traditional dancers against a night sky.

Homage to Dodge: A Tribute to the Wild West
Detail from Queen of the Cowtowns
Fiesta in Motion: A Celebration of Latin American Culture

You can see more of the work Gardner Design’s team has created all over the region, as well as nationally and even internationally.

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