What good is a trail if no one can find it?

Destination by Design conducted a place branding exercise and created a promotional map series which highlights Watauga County’s key tourism assets.

Watauga County is arguably one of the most vibrant outdoor recreation areas in Western North Carolina.  Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park, the New River Paddle Trail, and an array of other trails attract outdoor enthusiasts to the county throughout the year.  In a place like Watauga County, appropriate mapping and wayfinding are of the utmost importance.  Recognizing this truism, Destination by Design produced a recreation map series that would allow the Watauga County TDA to better leverage its outdoor recreation assets.

Equipping Adventurers in NC’s High Country

Enabling the visitor to easily find a destination’s assets is critical to tourism success. Though Watauga County features numerous prominent outdoor recreation assets, a map series of these assets has long been the missing link in the area’s tourism promotion equation.

DbD brought expertise in design and place branding to the table to develop well-branded, well-designed, and visually appealing maps to showcase the county’s tourism assets.

A Map is More Than the Sum of its Routes

A great map will easily guide you to your destination – but the best maps reach beyond their routes, intuitively creating a sense of place for the user.  From the asset inventory and stakeholder engagement to stunning photography and graphic design, DbD sought to embed the place brand into the promotional map series to create a more powerful product.  Front to back, these maps were functional and solved a critical issue for the WCTDA while appealing to the area’s visual brand.

A Local Connection

The Watauga County Map Series allowed DbD to highlight the team’s broader involvement in related projects throughout the county.  Having worked on the development of Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park, a variety of trail and stream enhancements, and many other area recreation projects, this map series allowed the team to come full circle on project involvement with the county’s outdoor recreation assets.