Yellow Springs
Community Information Project

Project Plan


Click for pdf version



Executive Summary

Planning Considerations
and Criteria

Implementation Plan


A1 - CIP Proposal

A2 - CIP Budget

B - Planning Process

C - Forum Participant Survey

D - Forum Workshop Reports

E - Yellow Springs Brainstorming Session

F - CUPA External Perception Survey

G1 - Website Analysis Report of Findings

G2 - Website Analysis Appendices

H - Marketing Charette Report

I - Ideas Sort

J - Community Asset List

K - Cultural Corridor Description

Welcome to the online edition of the Yellow Springs Community Information Project Project Plan.

Appendices are provided in pdf format ONLY. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required. pdf versions of the main plan sections are also available from their respective pages.



These are projects that the CIP will take full charge of, from concept development through implementation. We will communicate and coordinate with community groups as required but the projects do not require their direct involvement in order to be successful. These initiatives will be designed and prioritized to communicate specific messages to specific target audiences.

  1. Identity Campaign

The first initiative and core effort of the Plan will be to create a "signature" for Yellow Springs. A communications campaign will be developed to clarify and focus the identity that already exists and unify the message we convey and how we convey it.

Based upon our research, Yellow Springs is already recognized as a "fun, funky, unique" destination. The purpose of the Identity Campaign is to solidify and expand upon the positive image of Yellow Springs and broaden its appeal to more effectively communicate the message that Yellow Springs is a great place to visit, live, learn, and work.

The first step in the process will be to develop an identifiable visual identity and a descriptive phrase that will be an immediate "flag" to visitors about what they can expect in Yellow Springs. It is essential that we create a descriptive phrase and graphic identity that will become an immediate symbol of what Yellow Springs has to offer while not altering our internal or existing external identity.

In an effort to clarify this identity and develop an appropriate communications campaign, the CIP will utilize the services of design and marketing professionals. The following are but a few of the ways the campaign might be implemented:

  • Create one unique brochure that stands apart from the others.

  • Combine with goal of supplementing existing materials.

    • Develop new brochures that bring additional dimension and information to those currently available.

    • Graphically unique but easily reproducible.

      • Specific brochures for dining, galleries, etc.

    • Format that is easy to display, carry and reference.

  • Create banners for light poles, posters for storefronts.

  • Create new promotional items like bags.

    • Allows businesses a mechanism for self-promotion with the addition of a specific tag to the bag.

  • Media campaign

The CIP will provide a template or style manual for any and all local groups, businesses and institutions to use in the creation of their own promotional materials or simply add the identity piece to the materials they have already developed.

The Chamber of Commerce is a likely partner in the effort to communicate the message to the broadest audience possible both for local acceptance and in the efforts to attract visitors.

The key to the success of this campaign is broad acceptance and implementation of the program by the community. The more ways in which a unified message is being communicated, the stronger the Identity Campaign will be and the more success Yellow Springs will have at attracting visitors, residents, learners, and workers.


The signature or brand developed needs to be suitable for use in a variety of ways to identify the community. Here are a few possible examples:


      A cover piece or slender folder/envelope whose purpose is to serve as a carrier for brochures or information materials of interest to a visitor or prospective home buyer. It should display the signature identity as well as general information about the community and access keys about further information.


      Information pieces about the schools, shopping, walking tours, recreation, etc which currently exist and need to be updated or which need to be designed and produced could have a general design or unifying look about them to reinforce good feelings about the community.


      Local retail merchants might benefit from a signature bag for purchases which would have both the signature design and some identification of the shop as well.


An online or hard copy shopper’s newsletter could be created for visitors. Local sales or other promotions and upcoming events like street fair could be assembled into an attractive newsletter format and issued periodically to stimulate visitation.


The signature concept should be able to be expressed in terms of a template or style manual which would facilitate its use in a wide variety of applications easily and without further art work or copy writing.


The second initiative of the plan will be to develop strategies to communicate specific messages to targeted audiences.

One such initiative is targeted communication of housing opportunities to attract new residents who might find the community a good fit. The means to achieve this end is seen as a two-prong campaign. First would be the preparation of appropriate information materials about the schools, housing opportunities, recreational activities and other amenities which make living here attractive. Second would be to inform realtors and other housing search portals about the community and furnish to them the materials described. We will communicate with local and regional realtors who sell in this market so that they will be current about the community and can better match their clients with housing here. Current plans for housing development should mesh well with this effort and CIP will coordinate with local developers as well. Housing opportunities and supporting information will be integrated with the Website and Information Center.

A primary market of new residents is those hired by our own local businesses so a focus of this communication campaign is to ensure that those responsible for the hiring of local employees relocating to this area are aware of the current residential opportunities in Yellow Springs. Another target market identified was faculty and staff from area universities, a group already in abundance in Yellow Springs. CIP will work with realtors and developers to establish a communication strategy to ensure that people who are planning a move to the area or people already in the area who might be attracted to Yellow Springs be given the opportunity to explore our community as a potential new home.

Other initiatives will be designed and prioritized to communicate specific messages to specific targeted audiences.


These are projects that will require direct coordination and implementation from community groups. CIP may or may not be the lead partner but the scope of the endeavors requires direct active partner participation and may be limited by the resources available from both partners and CIP.


This initiative by CIP will be to sponsor the design and execution of a very attractive and useful website as recommended in the consultants report, Appendices G1 and G2. The CIP will solicit proposals for a consultant to prepare the design and initial implementation of the site. At the same time, we will enlist the cooperation of other local website sponsors to help shape the program and coordinate the various sites and their function. As important as constructing the site is the need to continually update the information it contains. Although most such sites rely on submissions for updates this strategy has seldom worked and the sites quickly become stale and out-of-date. A major effort will be made to design a plan for generating the resources maintain and improve the site continuously so it can continue to function as a major component of the Information Project strategy.



The Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce has for some time operated a visitor center function at their office in the Train Station. This function is limited under current conditions while the Chamber is revamping its operations and completing a strategic planning activity. The function of a full-fledged and vigorous visitor information center is viewed as a vital core activity in the CIP plan. Depending on whether or not the Chamber elects to continue this work and/or to expand or contract such activities, this plan will pursue implementation of an expanded center as a very high priority. We will work with the Chamber to assist and support their activities or undertake an independent effort perhaps with other partners if they choose not to continue.


In cooperation with interested partners we will explore various possible locations for the Information Center which provide visibility, identity, access, operational efficiency, and adequate storage. The Center will be part of an overall signage improvement program to improve visibility and direction for major physical features of the village/township. We will partner with village government, Chamber of Commerce, the Design Advisory Commission and other interested organizations to explore the options and find an appropriate location.


Operation of the Center will be by a combination of volunteers and paid personnel to guide the volunteers. We will work to find an appropriate formula for sharing costs and responsibilities among the entities concerned. This will be a long-term activity so a stable mechanism for support and staffing will be needed.


Most of the initiatives explored by the CIP involve activities traditionally carried out by Chambers of Commerce. The Yellow Springs Chamber is currently preparing a strategic plan to redefine its role in the community. Depending upon the outcome of that planning activity, the CIP will work in a supportive role to assist and facilitate the activities and initiatives described in this plan and/or undertaken otherwise by the Chamber. The hope is to be able to turn over most or all of the responsibilities for information dispensation from the CIP to the Chamber as soon as possible.


A clear and urgent need is seen for supplementary materials to be developed as soon as the signature or brand model has been created. Near the top of the list are a new brochure for the school system and similar materials for other educational facilities. We will work with the Chamber on business directory materials and similar tools to help visitors and residents find local shopping and service resources.



At this point in the planning process all initiatives which involve only the CIP will have been implemented or will be in the process of implementation. The periodic review process described below may identify such ideas as we go forward, but there is nothing new determined in the plan.



This idea was conceived as a way to make every contact point with visitors into an information center location. Local retail business, events, or service vendors like gas stations can become Visitor Contact Sites, creating an integrated network for distribution of information about Yellow Springs. Implementation will require an education program as well as the development of suitable materials and dispensers so this initiative will take enough time for planning and ramp-up to take it well into the second year. CIP will develop a specific plan in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and retail merchants in the beginning of the second project year.


CIP will work with village government and the Design Advisory Commission which has already drawn up guidelines for integrated directional signage for the community to achieve implementation early in the second year.


A promising device not only to provide current information but to serve as a later reminder or reinforcement of a pleasant visit or attraction for a revisit is a visitor newsletter. We anticipate two versions of this. One would be available on the Website and could also be delivered via e-mail to subscribers. The other would be available in hard copy and be distributed through the Information Center and cooperating merchants and service businesses. Both would have essentially the same information about upcoming events like street fair or art exhibits, special sales in local shops, etc. Both would be produced regularly and cooperatively with the Chamber of Commerce, Community Resources, Yellow Springs Historical Society, and/or other partners. Its format would be based upon the Yellow Springs signature identity and it would be distributed free of charge. Content would be determined by consultation with concerned entities.

Subscription to the newsletter will be through an application card, distributed in local businesses and through the Chamber, which will ask for an e-mail or street address as well as specific areas of interest for each consumer. This will allow for continuing targeted communication to those individuals who have signed up for the newsletter.


These are projects that currently are viewed as beyond the direct scope of CIP involvement but have the potential to dramatically enhance the objectives of the project. CIP will monitor the progress of the new initiatives without the commitment of significant resources at this time to determine if they might in the future fit more directly into the scope of the CIP.


The CIP Planning Coordinator is a charter member of this initiative and its main liaison in Yellow Springs. This regional development activity promises to be a major factor in communicating the arts and cultural assets of this community to a wider audience. We intend to continue participation in this activity in order to assure adequate focus on our already strong arts community as the effort develops. More information about the Cultural Corridor Project is included in Appendix K.


There is a long list of ideas and initiatives which are not part of or go well beyond the mission of the CIP. Many of these are good ideas with great potential. They are listed in Appendices C, D, and E. Although CIP cannot take the leadership in pursuing these we will advise/support others who want to do so. In some cases we can supply further background information, advice and even cooperation and assistance in planning, coordinating or finding support but in most our limited resources will prevent any significant support.

One of these key projects is finding or creating additional parking convenient to the downtown business district. Although village government has worked on this problem for many years a solution must be reached soon. All of the efforts of the CIP and the Chamber and Community Resources will be useless unless we can accommodate both visitation and local parking needs to support commerce in the business district. CIP will work with everyone concerned to help find a workable solution.

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