You Can Make It Here: High Point’s New Brand Strategy

Back to Main Blog

This is a guest post courtesy of High Point Discovered. View the original story here.

What gives a city an identity? What makes a community a community? What makes someone feel like they belong in and to the place they call home?

These are the kinds of questions our own City of High Point government has been striving to answer for the last year as they undertook a strategic rebranding of High Point, NC. And while the word “branding” may trigger thoughts of taglines, logos, and color palettes – a true rebrand is so much more. It’s the story that we as a community tell ourselves and the world about what it really means to be a High Pointer.

That’s what Councilman Michael Holmes and Marketing Manager Ryan Ferguson had to answer alongside our entire community in the last year and a half of rebranding.

“Eight years ago, when I took this job, that’s the first thing I thought about,” Ryan says of the need to rebrand from the City’s previous brand.

Processed with VSCO with 4 preset

Members of the Rebranding High Point taskforce meet to discuss with Civic Brand.

For more than two decades, High Point has had the same brand – and it was no longer helping our City Council connect with our citizens or accomplish their major goals for our hometown. Goals like downtown revitalization, retaining young professionals, and opening up the door for new business start ups.

“Our current brand, while descriptive of who the city is, wasn’t connecting with the folks,” says Councilman Holmes. After moving to High Point in 2009 and being elected to City Council in 2019, Councilman Holmes knew that a strategic brand would be crucial to the city moving forward in growth, innovation, and evolution.

After a deep dive into what the future strategy of High Point needed to be, Councilman Holmes was selected to chair a committee dedicated to creating that new brand. A taskforce was formed, composed of major key players in our city (Visit High Point, Business High Point, High Point Market Authority, High Point University, High Point Discovered, Forward High Point, and more) – but Councilman Holmes and the marketing team knew that this brand had to be bigger than just the leaders.

That’s when the City decided to engage with CivicBrand, a marketing and placemaking company that has built their expertise on rebranding cities across the country. And they do a lot more than slap a new logo on a city.


“A brand is not simply a logo. For us, a community’s brand embodies a set of values, principles and actions that shape a place and draw people to it,” the Civic Brand team explained. Civic Brand does this by actually creating pathways for citizens to voice their opinions on who and what their city should be.

“We got out into the community and talked to so many people,” Ryan explains. “It wasn’t just what the powers that be wanted.”

“We cast the widest net that we possibly could in catching the sentiment of the public,” adds Councilman Holmes.

Civic Brand Photos 0123 2048x1536

An Activation Event by the City of High Point and CivicBrand at Goofy Foot Taproom.

That’s why the City branding taskforce, alongside the placemaking experts at Civic Brand, hosted a variety of activation events to truly hear the voices of everyone in our city. These pop-ups and open forums for conversation were strategically placed all over the city – from Congdon Yards to 83 Custom Coffee, to D-UP, to Goofy Foot Taproom, to the Rockers’ stadium.

The goal? To inspire us as citizens to think about who we wanted to be as a city.

“We got out and we spoke to people on the ground. People wrote their ideas down in surveys. We went into the neighborhoods that typically don’t get a whole lot of attention,” Councilman Holmes explains of the activation events. “I think that gives us an opportunity because now when people see the brand, when they hear it, when they hear the brand strategy, they’ll see themselves and they hear themselves reflected in it.”

Councilman Holmes also pointed out how long it’s been since High Point has been able to share their ideas and be heard by their community leaders. He and the taskforce heard over and over again from our citizens, “You want to hear my ideas?” But over and over again he assured us, yes.

“We want it to be yours, not ours,” Ryan explains of the City government’s perspective. “This is a community brand.”

Civic Brand Photos 5571 scaled

Councilman Michael Holmes at an Activation Event in High Point, NC.

Civic Brand Photos 3072 2048x1536

City staff and CivicBrand at an Activation Event at 83 Custom Coffee in High Point, NC.


After hearing from a wide variety of generations, demographics, and geographics in our city, the taskforce, the City, and Civic Brand got busy capturing all of the voices, ideas, hopes, and goals of the community to create our new strategy – a set of brand principles that will serve as the North Star for our City in making the decisions that will set us up for future success.

“High Point’s brand is about creating an environment where everyone is encouraged to think big, take risks, and express their creativity,” the Civic Brand team surmised. “By doing so, you can transform your community and inspire others to love it, too.”

So who is High Point? What is our legacy and who are we becoming?


We are the people who know that creativity belongs to everyone – that it can’t be limited or gatekept or withheld. We are a community of designers, disruptors, builders, makers, problem solvers, innovators, connectors, collaborators.


We think big and we try new things and we work together and we take risks. We celebrate the creator in everyone, no matter what they’re creating. It could be a new bookcase or a new business or a new friendship or a new community organization. Doesn’t matter here, it’s all creative. And what we create in High Point changes the world.

And that brand is captured in four major brand principles of High Point’s identity:

High Point is the Center of Design 

High Point is Kind & Inclusive 

High Point is Inspiring Creatives  

High Point is a Movement of Makers  

City Gov Logo 2048x1512 (1)

The City of High Point’s new logo.

2nd mark 2048x2048

The Secondary Mark of High Point’s new brand.

And before you say that you’re not creative or you don’t design and make anything, think again about how you define creativity.

“Creativity is a concept,” Councilman Holmes expresses. “Creativity doesn’t necessarily have to look like you are physically producing something. It could be an intellectual property. It could be a book. It could be a podcast. It could be an AI creation. It could be a creation of a new business or of your family… Creativity is subjective to you!”

Connection. Collaboration. Creativity. Those are the values signified in our city’s new primary mark (or logo). The mark – based on over a YEAR of research and engagement in our community – helps show everyone in High Point and beyond the values we stand for. There’s the flow of the “g” and the “i” to showcase collaboration and connection. The “t” speaks to our community’s ability to create something meaningful from scratch. And the “point” sums it all up: this is a place where we come together to make things happen.

The secondary mark (dubbed “h-point”) is one that allows the whole community to get creative with how they take ownership of High Point’s new brand! It symbolizes civic pride and individual creativity (so get ready to see it in a LOT of places around town!). The secondary mark will eventually be usable by folks across our city – business owners, to non-profits, to spray paint artists, to educators, to coffee shops – to communicate the “point” of their organizations and how they fit into the bigger picture of creativity, collaboration, and connection in High Point.

Because while our city’s history is steeped in the creative making of home furnishings, textiles, and the furniture that has made our city world famous, creativity isn’t a one-size-fits-all value. So neither is our new logo.

Processed with VSCO with 4 preset
(From L to R): Councilman Michael Holmes & Ryan Ferguson discuss the High Point, NC rebrand.


Because “making” is less about what you make and more about having the opportunity to make it. And in High Point, you can make it here.  

“At the core of a maker, we all have a different sense of what our success looks like,” Councilman Holmes says. “But what we’re doing is laying the foundation. We’re creating the environment for each individual to make their own success.”    

So whether it’s a cup of coffee, a start-up business, a new piece of furniture, a community garden, an innovative app, or a piece of pottery – you can make it in High Point.  

“I think of ‘make it’ in the sense of opportunity,” Councilman Holmes says. “High Point offers that. We have such a wide diverse set of opportunities here: education, entrepreneurship, jobs, culture.”  

Ryan and Councilman Holmes also note that these brand principles will also serve as a set of “filters” for City Council when they make policy that will affect our entire city. The brand allows council members to ask themselves at every decision: Is this kind and inclusive? Is this inspiring creativity? Is this allowing more people in our city to design and make a worthwhile life here?

“In terms of policy, City Council has to think creatively as well,” says Councilman Holmes, noting how the City Council wants to build a foundation of opportunity for new business endeavors, public art, creative collaboration, and more.

So while the City may be responsible for opening up a gateway for us all to make it in High Point, they also challenge us as citizens to take ownership of the opportunities we’ve been given.

“City Council has now laid down the garden bed,” Ryan says. “You bring your seeds, you plant, you sow, and you create what is going to help us all.”

Civic Brand Photos 3062 scaled

Students at D-UP shared their perspective on High Point’s identity and future.

Civic Brand Photos 3081 scaled

CivicBrand conducted interviews with community members to discover their view of High Point, NC.

“It is incumbent upon all of us to make sure that we do everything that we can to make High Point a welcoming, growing, safe, prosperous, livable city. We’re all part of that.”

Councilman Michael Holmes

So what’s next for all of us as citizens in the city of High Point? According to Ryan and Councilman Holmes: it’s to take up the call to be an ambassador for the place we call home.

“You as a citizen, you were part of these great things,” Councilman Holmes says. “We’re challenging you to come and see why you should invest your time in your energy into your city. Look at what you were part of creating.”

Because not only are these brand principles deeply rooted in the history of who we are as a city; they are the timeless values that will carry us into an ever-growing future. As Councilman Holmes notes: creativity, kindness, inclusivity, a maker’s mindset – those are things that will never get old.

“It is incumbent upon all of us to make sure that we do everything that we can to make High Point a welcoming, growing, safe, prosperous, livable city,” he adds. “We’re all part of that.”

“We want our residents, our visitors, and our businesses to love where they are because we want to keep growing and expanding and providing new things for everybody,” Ryan says.

“This is your town,” he adds. “This is where you want to be the best.”

Civic Brand Photos 5824 2048x1536

Citizens of High Point came together to support the rebrand strategy.

So whatever ward or segment of High Point you hail from, whether you’ve lived here 60 years or six weeks, whether you are a right-brained visual artist or a left-brain programmer, whether you’re raising a family or building a friendship community – you can make it in High Point. And you have the power and opportunity to make High Point better. You can be part of carrying our city into its next chapter. It takes all of us to live into the identity of High Point.

With the support and enthusiasm of the community, this new brand will resonate far beyond the city’s borders, inspiring individuals to recognize their creativity, embrace their unique contributions, and collectively change the world from High Point.

“This is your point,” says Councilman Holmes.

And we hope you’ll continue joining us in discovering what it means to make your point in High Point, NC.


  1. Learn more at

  2. Attend the brand celebration and unveiling on August 5 at the Plaza at Truist Point!

  3. Share this story with someone you know!

  4. Tell your story to a friend, a coworker, or on social media about why you love High Point!

  5. Think about something you create or make in the city and take pride in it by sharing it with us! Post how you are a creative maker in High Point with the hashtag #IMadeThisInHP.
Skip to content