5 ways to incorporate social media into your placemaking

5 ways to incorporate social media into your placemaking  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Here at Hue & Tone Creative, we love working on projects that contribute to a sense of place – especially if that place is our hometown of Greensboro, NC. 

Throughout our work with spaces like Revolution Mill, we’ve developed an interest in all things placemaking, economic development, and real estate related. Whether you’re a marketing generalist or, like us, you strive to take on more economic development projects, we believe placemaking is a concept every marketer should be familiar with. The methods used in effective placemaking can be applied to a number of campaigns across a wide range of industries. 

The Project for Public Spaces (PPS) defines placemaking as “a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value. More than just promoting better urban design, placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution.” 

Placemaking is all about creating spaces and places that people want to be – places where citizens feel comfortable living, learning, working, and playing. These places are people friendly, visually interesting, accessible, and memorable. 

Robert Steuteville, editor of Public Square: A CNU Journalargues that a Quality Place possesses the following features: 

  •  A mix of uses

  • Effective public spaces

  • Broadband capability

  • Multiple transportation options

  • Multiple housing options

  • Preservation of historic structure

  • Respect community heritage

  • Arts, culture, and creativity

  • Recreation

  • Green space

  • Quiet, unless they are designed to be otherwise

Now that you know what placemaking is, it’s time to figure out how to marry your social media strategy with more traditional placemaking efforts. That’s called Digital Placemaking – and PPS defines it as “the integration of social media into Placemaking practices, which are community-centered, encouraging public participation, collaboration, and transparency.”

As you start to incorporate social media into your placemaking efforts, here’s 5 ideas you can use as a springboard for your brainstorming: 


1. Use social to amplify temporary placemaking efforts

Temporary placemaking is the bootstrap version of true placemaking – and it’s perfect for activating areas people perceive as unsafe. It allows you to experiment with a variety of ideas on a smaller scale, and then grow what worked.  

Good examples of this are an interactive art project, an activity or game, or an event. Even something small like an Instagram-able mural or photo background can help transform an otherwise unused wall. 

 Once you have your project in place, set up a hashtag and a sign or photobooth that will encourage people to use and share their experience. 

5 ways to incorporate social media into your placemaking | Hue & Tone Creative

2. Use social media to establish your city/space as a tastemaker

Instead of hiring influencers, it’s time to set your own trends -- start utilizing your social accounts to amplify your subject matter expertise. That means using your accounts to show off your expert knowledge about a place – Where do you get the best Pho? What boutique do visitors need to check out? What downtown city corner has an incredible history?  

Answer those questions for your followers and you won’t have to hire someone to show off what’s cool about your city or space.

Hashtagging properly and regularly interacting with followers will help activate people who already live in your city -- and long term you’ll be enticing new people to visit your neck of the woods.


3. Establish transparency using open source data

Did you know City of Greensboro does a good job of making public data available? Their open data program, “Open Gate City” was launched in 2016 to facilitate transparency, promote community engagement, and stimulate innovation. Open Gate City is a collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies' "What Works Cities Initiative."

Check it out here.

The idea behind open data is that data should be readily and freely available to the general public to use and republish as they wish. Additionally, the idea of open government means that access to government documents and proceedings allows for effective public oversight and protects against extensive state secrecy.  

City governments and public agencies can leverage open data to help build positive relationships with the public. In addition to building general good will, these open data efforts are a treasure trove of potential content for municipal marketing efforts. 

4. Create a hashtag campaign that encourages citizens to share their views  

Create a unique hashtag and use it as the central sharing point of your campaign. Embed the hashtag across all your touchpoints – social, web copy, print collateral, direct mail, email advertising, and online ads -- and encourage people to use it when they’re talking about your campaign (or your city).  

Don’t just sit behind your screen though! Hit the streets with merchandise, handouts, spray paint, or banners, and get to know the people you’re targeting. In-person marketing efforts are sure to connect with a new group, not just the same old group of active users that are constantly retweeting you. 


5. Use social media channels as a tool for crowdsourcing data 

With its exponential reach, social media is an incredibly powerful - and free - tool for crowdsourcing. If you’re stumped on what the public wants to see in a space, use social media to start running polls, start discussions, or gather feedback. 

The insights you gain can then be built into future stages of your placemaking campaign! 

Hue & Tone Creative: Your placemaking partner

Ready to brainstorm some fresh ideas? Or, maybe you just need the creative muscle to execute your ideas? Let’s talk and see if we make a good fit: 336-365-8559.

6 Signs it’s Time to Update Your Company Logo

The New Year is all about making positive changes: taking up a new hobby, improving your exercise routine, or embarking on another personal journey. Something else you might want to update? Your logo. As your company’s primary visual symbol, your logo is one of your brand’s most important assets. If you haven’t changed it in a while, here are a few signs it’s time for an upgrade.


It was a DIY project.

It’s no secret that fledgling businesses are strapped for cash, and it’s not uncommon for startups to hand the logo design to an artistic friend or family member. Now that your business has had a chance to grow a bit, it may be time to enlist the help of a professional graphic designer. A professional designer will have the best skills and experience necessary to create a modern, polished design that can compete in today’s marketplace.


It was designed for print media.

Ten years ago, company logos were most likely to appear on stationery, in newspapers, and in yellow pages. Nowadays, most consumers are squinting at websites on their phones. If your logo was designed for other times, certain details might not have been taken into consideration.

Ask yourself the following questions: is your logo still legible when shrunk to fit a smaller screen? Does it mesh well with your website design, colors, and fonts? Does it still command attention when placed on a web page with competing information? You might also want a logo that makes an appealing mobile app—think of Apple, whose infamous logo doubles as a desktop icon.


Your business has evolved. Your logo hasn’t.

Almost all businesses grow and change with time, adapting to different marketplace demands. For instance, you may have started a bookstore ten years ago, and expanded to offer coffee and small gift items. Does your logo reflect what you now offer? If not, it may be time for a logo that better represents your current services.


It uses dated design trends.

Many graphic design elements which were once extremely popular can now make a logo look dated. Color gradients, drop shadows, and “glossy” buttons are all design features that are—for lack of a better word—so 1990s. If your business is spelled out in Papyrus font or, heaven forbid, Comic Sans, it’s probably time to refresh.


Your company has made, or is making, significant changes.

Moves, mergers, and acquisitions: there are countless huge changes which can affect businesses. If your company has undergone a huge identity change, a new logo can deliver brand clarification that signifies new, better things are happening for your company.


It’s never been changed. Ever.

Many business owners worry that once their logo changes, their business will lose its brand recognition. But these concerns never stopped Starbucks, Google, or countless other popular brands from pursuing a change. A skilled graphic designer will be able to keep your brand’s core identity while still polishing the logo for a modern audience. A sleeker, more refined logo will signify to the marketplace that your company is present, relevant, and not afraid to embrace new challenges and new techniques—while retaining the core values that it has always held.

Greensboro Graphic Design Company: Hue & Tone

Looking for a graphic designer in Greensboro, Winston Salem or the surrounding areas? Hue & Tone is a creative graphic design agency specializing in logo design, web design, social media management, and more. Be sure to check out our design portfolio to see clients we’ve helped in the past, and give us a call if you’d like us to build you a custom, modern logo that truly tells your story.

Friday Links: Surprises + Simple Strategies

This week we couldn’t decide on just one topic, so we have a little bit of everything -- from taking pictures to social media facts and standing out -- we’ve got something for everyone this week.

One | Taking pictures with your smartphone can be a pain (trust us, we know!), but these 17 tips and tricks will help you take better iPhone pictures. It’s amazing the results you can get with just a few simple tricks!

Two | Did you know that your biggest advocate on Twitter is most likely someone with a low number of followers? This is just one of the 10 most surprising social media facts

Three | “Look around you right now, I guarantee you can see at least one brand mark somewhere.” Ever wonder how big brands leave a lasting impression? Creating a brand that is consistent and thoughtfully executed will leave a lifetime mark. Here are 12 simple strategies all memorable brands use.

Four | Over the course of the day, almost 5 million pins are shared on Pinterest! So... now you’re probably wondering “How can I stand out and make sure people are seeing my pins?” Implement these 4 simple tweaks to help stand out.

Five | If you checked out our post earlier this week, you know we talked about GSO inspiration. And, we couldn’t resist adding one more local business to our list! Vivid Interiors (located Downtown) has been sharing some of their favorite Hygge and West wallpapers on their blog. Not only would they look great in your home or office, but these snapshots also make cute iPhone wallpapers!

If you’re in Greensboro this weekend, check out the 100 for 100 art sale or National Trails Day. See you on the blog Tuesday!

Finding inspiration in Greensboro

We love Greensboro -- we often find ourselves stopping mid-step to snap a picture downtown or telling our friends about an upcoming event... and it’s all because Greensboro is a genuinely interesting place. With all of the history, parks, libraries, and murals in Greensboro it’s hard not to find something that will spark your creativity. We’ve picked out four places in the ’Boro that should be your first stop if you’re in need of a creative jolt. From murals and greenery to downtown shops, we’ve got it covered!

Elsewhere: A living museum set in a former thrift store, Elsewhere was just highlighted for having one of the world’s most unusual artist residencies. According to their website, “When you go Elsewhere, you enter the middle of an ongoing experiment of people, places, and things. We are constantly building, playing, trying, changing, inventing, and exploring new environments. Our artists, scholars, and creatives in-residence are excavating the past to design new futures. When you come to Elsewhere, you become part of this evolution.” This is a great place to go if you’re having a creative block. The giant array of artwork, artists, and creative energy is sure to spark a new idea.

Spring Garden Mural: These bright colors and unique patterns give Spring Garden a pop of color! But what really inspires us is the idea behind the mural -- members of the Greensboro Mural Project chatted with pedestrians in front of the wall to learn what issues mattered most to them. The Greensboro Mural Project is an arts organization that engages the people of GSO in the creative process of making a mural in their community. Their mission is to “make Greensboro a more colorful city.” Their work is scattered across Greensboro -- check out one of their pieces on Lindsay St., Friendly Ave, at the Interactive Resource Center, or Backpack Beginnings. Perfect if you need a little color in your life!

The Center City Park: A lot of times taking a break from your home or office can cause inspiration to strike! This park in downtown Greensboro is one the best places to go for fresh air. It’s lively, calming, and thanks to Action Greensboro something is almost always going on. With all of the events, food trucks, music, arts, and people around downtown is a great place to refresh.

The Forge:  A ‘makerspace’ (think coworking for craftsmen + craftswomen) located in Downtown Greensboro, The Forge just recently relocated to a new building more than twice the size of its old space. They strive to provide the community with inexpensive access to a workshop area and a collaborative space, with separate areas for advanced software development, digital design, textiles, woodworking, and more. Perfect for tinkers and innovators alike, this space provides access to advanced equipment and high-end technology that would be hard for an individual to afford. Tours are available, so stop in and get inspired by the innovation!

Inspiration can come from anywhere… especially in Greensboro! Where did we miss? What is your favorite place to find foodie, design or innovation inspiration in Greensboro? Let us know in the comments!

Friday Links: Greensboro Favorites

For a twist on our usual Friday Links we’ve compiled a list of our favorite Greensboro things! We’ve been in Greensboro a little over a year, and while we still have a mile long list of things to try out, we definitely have some favorites -- here’s a quick list of everything we’ve been loving!

Favorite Spot: Our office at Revolution Mill!
Haven’t seen our space yet? Drop in and see us! You’ll get why we love hanging out in our office.

Favorite Restaurant: Boba House
We recommend the springs rolls and Hawaiian stir fry,  but everything we’ve sampled at this healthy and compassionate eatery has been vegan heaven.

Favorite Brewery: Red Oak 
We might be a little bias because they’re a client, but you can’t beat the clean, unfiltered taste of a Red Oak beer!

Favorite Coffee: Green Bean
A GSO staple, the Green Bean regularly makes lists “best coffee shops” and “must go to” lists. We love them for their amazing baked goods, vegan cream cheese, and close proximity to the office!  

Favorite Local Non-profit: CSDHH
There’s so many great local non-profits to pick from, but after working with CSDHH, we were blown away by their commitment to empower and inspire change for the deaf community.

What did we miss? Where do we need to try? Leave us a comment and let us know!

( Love Greensboro? Drop us a line and we’ll send you some I <3 GSO stickers! )


Friday Links: Resume cuts, Greensboro from above, and more

Hue &amp; Tone Creative - Friday Favorites links&nbsp;

Hello and happy Friday! It's been a crazy week here at the Hue & Tone offices...but I'm winding down and getting ready for a (hopefully) relaxing weekend. 

Before I say goodbye for the week, here are a few things I've been reading/viewing/loving lately...

One | When I'm designing resumes, the most frequent feedback I give is to make cuts! This post offers some good advice on what to keep and what to cut from your resume.

Two | This gorgeous video makes me proud (as always) to call Greensboro home (and home to my business). 

Three | Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat, Pray Love fame) shares eleven ways to think intelligently about creativity in this great TED talk.

Four | You may have noticed that our posting schedule has changed substantially since we started this blog. And that's okay. 

Five | Ever wondered what makes some social posts take off, while some sink? Here's a nice overview from one of our favorite social media scheduling tools, Buffer.

What are your weekend plans? Do you have any great links to share? Let me know in the comments below.