Part of a national trend, Harrisburg is buffing its brand


Sept. 25. The new welcome sign greeting residents and visitors as they travel north into Harrisburg on University City Boulevard is the first step in a multi-year plan to boost the town’s identity and create more cohesive and attractive signage and public spaces throughout Harrisburg.

The new gateway is part of a broader plan to enhance community spaces, signage and the Harrisburg brand.

Specialized “place branding” is being used all over the country to help tell a community’s story, most often in the world of economic development and corporate recruiting. While brands are developed over time by actual behaviors, a serious marketing effort goes a a long way in the competition for new jobs.

The new Harrisburg welcome sign, scheduled to be completed early next month, is the first of three similar structures to be installed on Hwy. 49 entering Harrisburg from the north and south, and at Rocky River Rd. and I-485. A wayfinding sign study is under way as well. Wayfinding signs identify major points of interest. They would match the welcome signs. At the same time, the town is also working with NCDOT to put the town’s logo on town limit signs.

“We want to make sure the Harrisburg brand – our new logo and tagline “The Right Side of Opportunity” – becomes a visible part of our community,” says Mayor Steve Sciascia.

“Our goal is to build a town identity that is synonymous with the strong sense of neighborhood and family living that is the foundation of Harrisburg’s brand. Building our brand into our infrastructure, programs, events and policies will help us achieve that goal.”

Plans include replacing aging message boards in town parks with branded boards, incorporating the town logo on new park recycling containers and creating more inviting public spaces in Town Center.

“As our residents and visitors come to recognize our brand, they’ll know that it’s an indication of high quality and value that is upheld by the town. We want our brand to mean something and become a source of pride for our community,” the mayor said.
The University City Blvd. sign is partially funded by a contribution from Caldwell Crossing developer Aston Properties. Welcome signs were designed by Bizzell Designs and constructed by Casco Signs.


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