In April of 2016, a number of local business owners asked the City how they could assist with minimizing disruption that was likely to unfold as the Healdsburg Avenue Improvements started construction. At the City’s request, the Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce formed a ‘Business Advisory Group’ made up of a cross section of downtown business operators and owners, who have met monthly to advise the City and Consultants on key issues of concern, and suggested solutions.
As a result, a group of invited artists, the Business Advisory Group, City Staff and the consultants involved in the Healdsburg Avenue Improvements held a two hour workshop in August 2016 to brainstorm creative solutions. The group discussed a wide range of events, artistic and communication techniques that could be rolled out during construction to create excitement, keep downtown lively and minimize disruptions of business.
The most compelling idea was to utilize the City’s existing banner poles in a creative way, with a new campaign that would celebrate what is special about our Downtown, while providing visitors and residents an opportunity to ‘wayfare’ (discover and explore along an undetermined route).
On September 1st, 2016, the local creative community was invited to submit concepts for how they would approach this idea, through a series of icons and new banners. The Call for Entries, which included a prize funded by the Chamber, drew over 17 submissions from across the Bay Area. A selection committee made up of local business owners and artists shortlisted four individuals and firms for interviews. Following the interviews, the unanimous selection was Katrina Loren, an abstract artist and graphic designer.
Her whimsical, simple, and captivatingly elegant icons draw on both our business offerings and unique elements that define Healdsburg. Working with the concept of a grapevine as her medium, she has crafted 15 different icons illustrated as a single line drawing. The primary logo – which evokes a grape leaf, a heart, a cluster of grapes or a beet – touches on many of the aspects of Healdsburg tha make us unique.
The first eight banners were installed on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016, along with three special banners for the Holidays, also created by Katrina. The banners were produced by local business Bob’s Signs. After the Holiday season, another seven banners celebrating other aspects of our town will be installed, filling out the entire banner pole system.
The banners are intended to remain throughout the construction period, at which time they will be re-evaluated for updating, refinement or revision.
Click below for photos of the installed banners: