If you have ever tried to find your way through a corn maze, then you know how confusing and sometimes terrifying it can be to get out of it. Often you can’t help but marvel at the creative mind that came up with the maze.
Building and designing a corn maze has gained traction in the last few decades and only recently did designers take it a notch higher by creating some unique works of art that are just stunning to behold.
If you have been thinking of building your own corn maze, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
It Doesn’t Hurt to Have a Background in Art
Now there are two main ways that you can design and build a corn maze. First you can plant a field of corn, let it grow a few inches then carve out the design that you wanted.
Alternatively, you can create the design by first laying up the ground work and only planting the seeds in the design that you are looking for. You can even hire the services of a company such as https://www.mazeplay.com/ which plants the corn according to the design of the corn maze.
Corn mazes have become so popular that fields have now become the canvas and the corn the paint for many a designer. Intricate and elaborate mazes that are simply beautiful can be seen all over the country.
Some of the best designers do not have a background in farming but often have a background in art. Some having done some beautiful pieces on canvas have tried their hand at creating a corn maze with absolutely jaw dropping results.
Moral of the story is that if you have an interest in corn maze building and you have a background in art, then this can be a highly beneficial skill in build an amazing maze.
Planning Needs to Start Early
As soon as the corn farmers cut down and harvest the corn in November, they will already be thinking about next year and the theme they would like to run with.
Therefore, corn maze designers need to start early and work with the farmers as soon as this year’s corn is harvested. This means brainstorming and coming up with all sorts of designs and ideas and collaborating with the farmers to pick the best one.
Once having settled on an idea. The corn designer will then consider many different concepts to then come up with the perfect design of next year’s corn maze.
And if you think the most strenuous task is harvesting the corn, then you are in for a surprise. In fact, the most time-consuming part of the whole process is coming to an agreement with the farmer. This might take a month while other times it might take several months until the farmer is really impressed with the design.
You Definitely Need Some Technical Skills
Technical skills are crucial when building and designing a corn maze. This is because after you have drawn the corn maze design on a graph, the next step will be to transfer the design onto the real field.
There are several ways that you can do this. The simplest option is to use a tractor to carve out the maze. However, you will need to be extremely accurate on the graph.
Alternatively, you can use a GPS guided mower which you can guide through the field. The benefit of this option is that it can be extremely accurate and ensures that the corn maze comes out just as it is in the drawing.
Some clever designers use a mobile app where they place the drawing on the screen and trace out the outline. This is a great way to create accurate corn cuts and is ideal for more intricate designs.
Technical skills therefore are an important component when building a maze as you are able to transfer the design of the maze from the paper onto the field using an accurate scale.
Making the Corn Maze Interactive
Nowadays it is not enough to simply come up with a beautiful design, you also want to make sure that you keep the guests and families entertained.
A few clever ways that you can do this involve finding a theme song, adding boxes with messages and clues in them as well as including tubes which families can use to communicate with each other when they are in another part of the corn maze.
The benefit of this is that it keeps everyone engaged. Losing your way in a corn maze for hours on end can be frustrating and it’s therefore important to ensure that everyone is having fun.
When designing your corn maze, you can play with your imagination to come up with interactive ideas as well as theme songs that suit the time of year or the theme.
Throwing Guests off the Right Path
Sometimes it’s not always about giving guests ideas and clues on finding the right path. Other times it is also about throwing them off the right path.
If there are sections of the corn maze that seem obvious and where many guests will likely take a certain direction, you can throw them off their trail by adding in a trick.
When the guest finally hits a dead end, they will figure out that they’ve been tricked and this will prove even more fun and engaging.
That said it is important not to let the guest feel like a fool. If for instance the clues trick them into a long dead end then this might frustrate them. In this case the best thing would be to find a relatively short dead end so that they can back up and take an alternative route.
Also, you want to avoid making the maze extremely difficult as this is also an easy way to frustrate the guests and the kids. Try making the maze only slightly difficult where the guest feels challenged but still see it as something that they can conquer.
Take Note of the Weather
One of the greater challenges that designers need to face is the part the weather plays in all this. Everything is cool when there has been sufficient rainfall and the crops are healthy and green. The designs turn out perfectly on the fields.
However, if the weather didn’t turn out as expected and say there was a draught, then this could mess up the design. A savvy designer will need to make last minute changes to ensure that the corn maze turns out nicely. For instance, some parts may be sparse forcing the corn maze designer to alter the maze a bit.
Also consider the time you will invite guests to try out the maze. This should coincide with pleasant weather that isn’t too cold, too hot or during rainy conditions.
Take Note of Copyrights
Sure, there aren’t any laws governing the reproduction of images in cornfields, but that is no reason to slack and to not consider the rights of the owners of the images.
It is prudent to get in contact with the owners of the images and ask if you can make a maze of them.
Some Mazes Will Take Time
Sometimes the designer comes up with a large design to be applied on a larger field. And while in the average case the guest may take around 90 minutes to work their way through a maze, others may take several hours.
In this instance, the guest may even take time to rest and they figure out their next move and may even order lunch. When building your corn maze, it’s up to you to decide how intricate you want to make it and how long you would prepare your guest to figure out their way out of the maze.
Often the size of the maze is directly proportional to the time guest will spend trying to figure it out and to find their way. The larger the maze the longer it will take and vice versa. The trick is to hit the right balance between a fun time and a challenging time.
Bigger Doesn’t Always make it More Fun
When the idea of corn mazes first came out, a 3-acre maze was considered huge. Now designers have tried to compete and beat each other with new records. This has made the 3-acre maze seem tiny. One infamous maze was 63 acres and many people failed to find their way out of it which sparked numerous 911 calls.
The idea is to find the magic number that is challenging to guest but doesn’t wear them out. Many top designers will claim that a 5-acre maze offers the prefect blend of fun and activity allowing the guests to enjoy their experience to the fullest without resulting in a safety hazard or panic.
This size is also often compatible with guest finishing it within an hour and a half. Remember that you do not want to get the guests agitated and thinking that they cannot solve the maze after getting lost in it for too long.
Intricate Designs are not always the Best
Many farmers will ask the maze designers to come up with as much of an intricate design as possible. But while this may turn out to be a great idea on paper, it may not be the case when it comes to lasting out the design in the corn field.
First off, complex and intricate designs will make it hard for people to make out what it actually is. This is because the designs may not pop out as much when on the field. If farmers want to convey a message, they are better off with a much simpler design that makes it easy for others to make out what it is.
Secondly with intricate designs it is far harder to transfer the design on paper onto the field. Getting the proportions and the dimensions just right can prove to be a nightmare for a designer. This is often not something that farmers will understand. All they want is the design to be created on the corn field.
The task for the designer therefore becomes one of trying to convince the farmer that a simpler design is the better option.
An Opportunity for Branding
Mazes may be a great way for farmers to offer a fun time to surrounding community but it can also be a great way to brand themselves and the farm.
Designers will often feature designs that will look spectacular from an aerial standpoint and while guests may often never get to see the maze from this perspective, the aerial photos can be printed on postcards as well as other promotional materials.
When the name of the farm is included in the maze then this can be an excellent way to market the farm. Other times the designer may work closely with the farmer to get a message out to the public and to the community. This message could also be a way to inspire people.
This branding opportunity however may only be possible if the corn maze designer has an artistic background. If you want to make a corn maze, but do not have the level of expertise to be found with other top-notch designers, you can still build a simpler corn maze to entertain kids of surrounding communities.
There are multiple factors to keep in mind when looking to build a corn maze. For instance, it is important to work closely with the farmer to find out what they want as well as to offer input as to the best course of action and the best design. This is because the goals of the farmer and the designer may be in conflict and could only be sorted through proper communication. For example, the farmer may want an intricate design but this could make it hard to make out the image in the field or from the air.