Wilmington, NC – With over 900 businesses and attractions in Downtown and an array of special events and festivals, people need to know about parking options when coming to the center city. To help communicate these opportunities, the Bring it Downtown Task Force has debuted new tools focusing on an updated graphics image for the campaign.
Bring It Downtown is a collaboration between the Downtown Business Alliance and Wilmington Downtown Incorporated. The campaign promotes the use of City parking decks, surface lots and on-street meters and positions Downtown as a destination for shopping, dining, culture, events, living and work. The campaign is funded by the City’s Parking Fund and matched by advertisements from local merchants.
The new design came about with the City of Wilmington’s recent decision to expand free parking in the Market Street Deck and Second Street Deck from 60 minutes to 90 minutes. While this gives a little more time for people coming for a meal or shopping at various merchants, making this one change opened the door for a closer examination of the visual branding.
The three longest serving members of the Task Force had strong thoughts. “While the graphic had served the campaign well, it was time for an update,” said Bobby Hamelburg with Finkelstein’s Music and Jewelry. Celeste Glass with The Second Glass noted that “the design needed to be simplified.” Downtown resident Lara Landgraf Murphrey explained that “we had to find a way to better engage social media users.” Additional Task Force members, Gary Coleman with Cape Fear Spice Merchants, Jenna McKnight with Aqua Fedora and Danny Pena with JC Print, all concurred and provided valuable guidance for the new design.
In taking a step back, the group realized that the existing design had been used for over six years. The design was a bit dated and the color scheme and fonts were visually busy. Lastly, the layout made the image difficult to use in some paid and social media applications. After issuing a Request for Proposals to area firms, the group selected Bons Eye Marketing to update the image.
The new design was inspired by the previous graphic image with key refinements. The skyline theme was continued to provide continuity and highlight local buildings and the Riverwalk. Fewer elements make the design easier for the viewer to absorb. Color is used to make the skyline images bolder and draw the eye into the center of the design. The fonts were also simplified and streamlined. The subtext can also be changed out as needed and the design translates easily to black and white or one-color settings.
Graphic Designer Raney Davis explained the process.
The Bring It Downtown Task Force is already using the new design. The bringitdowntown.com web site has been updated to include the image and the group has revised video ads and social media content. Window clings featuring the new design are also appearing at various shops in Downtown.
As the graphic is known as an “open source” image, any merchant who wants to use the image is free to do so. Business owners or managers can obtain a digital version by contacting WDI at .
“We encourage merchants and Downtowners to use the new design,” said WDI President Ed Wolverton. “As more shops and restaurants use the Bring It Downtown image or tag line in paid ads or social media posts, Downtown is able to project a stronger and more unified brand that will spur use of City parking decks and facilities,” he said.
The Bring It Downtown Marketing Campaign was created to help market and brand Downtown Wilmington. The campaign was created to define a universal image for Downtown that all businesses can embrace and use to define a unified message. The slogan is a call to action, edgy and captures attention.
About Wilmington Downtown Incorporated
Wilmington Downtown, Inc. (WDI) is a public-private partnership agency that promotes the economic growth and development of Downtown Wilmington and is a tax exempt 501c3 organization. WDI manages the Bring It Downtown campaign.
About Downtown Business Alliance
The Downtown Business Alliance of Wilmington, NC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to unite, promote and support the Downtown Wilmington community. DBA appoints three members to Bring It Downtown campaign
Ed Wolverton, WDI President & CEO