Business Communities

Downtown Waynesville Celebrates Heritage with ‘Appalachian True’ Campaign

Downtown Waynesville’s Historic Main Street District is taking on a new identity. The Downtown Waynesville Commission (DWC) partnered with Hornsby Creative, a brand strategy and design studio, to create a new brand identity for the Municipal Service District (MSD), which includes a stretch of Main Street and adjacent portions of Church, East, Miller and Depot streets. The final product reflects months of planning and research, including social media polls and community input gathered during a public visioning forum last year.

“District input was extremely important because we wanted this to be a group effort that the entire community had a role in,” says DWC executive director Beth Gilmore. “We were pleased to have about 90 people attend the forum, including property owners, merchants, residents and community leaders.”

In addition to gathering community input, Hornsby Creative spent several discovery sessions with the promotions committee of the DWC digging deep into what makes Downtown Waynesville special. Because the DWC is a Main Streets America program, the combination of the town’s historic arch, the mountains and street won out as a primary mark over about half a dozen other design concepts the company worked on and presented.

“As someone who lives here myself, it was important to take the time to get it right,” says Hornsby Creative founder John Hornsby. “We wanted to not just reflect where the Main Street District has come from, but look forward to where it is going.”

The “Appalachian True” slogan is designed as a simple phrase that can be rallied around and that captures the essence of the community. It was selected to reflect Downtown Waynesville’s authenticity, charm, small-town values and proud mountain heritage. The brand design includes a library of logo variations and style guidance to help tell the story of what makes Downtown Waynesville Appalachian True.

The newly defined image is part of a larger vision for the MSD. As part of a five-year strategic planning process, DWC members are aiming to position the district as a destination where nature enthusiasts come to shop and dine in between outdoor adventures; as a place where Appalachian heritage is preserved and celebrated through artisan art and crafts, food, music and dance; and as a commercial hub where residents meet everyday needs.

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