Placemaking: Transforming cities together

a bright building wrap creates a visual branding statement a great example of placemaking

But what is placemaking and why is it important?

Placemaking is a collaborative transformation of open spaces to create vibrant, engaging, and sustainable places that people want to visit, live, work and play in.

City dressing forms part of the placemaking mix.  It can use art installations, landscaping, projections, urban greening, large scale signage and other design elements to enhance the aesthetic appeal of spaces.

Field and Lawn and Ollywood are two businesses bursting with creative flair, working together to create unique and engaging urban experiences. Combining a passion for innovation and true creative flair with practical skills to bring placemaking and city dressing projects to life. 

Our latest blog looks at how Business Improvement Districts, local Councils and businesses can harness the power of placemaking and city dressing to boost tourism and the visitor economy.  

1. Stunning signage

Large scale outdoor lettering and signage can spell out your mission, vision and values.  Eye-catching and attention-grabbing, big lettering will give your town, city or high street instant visibility and brand recognition. 

Keep it on brand and create custom letting, in line with your online place marketing strategy. This will help you create a cohesive vibe on and offline.  Tap onto the online chatter and link the lettering with a hashtag to take the conversation online.  

large scale outdoor letteing and signage

2. Dare to be different

Differentiation from other local highstreets and shopping centers is key in a crowded market.  It’s important for businesses, places and cities to stand out from their neighbours to encourage footfall. By using placemaking and city dressing, businesses can create a unique and memorable experience that sets them apart from other areas. This can generate positive social media sentiment along the way.

Find out how we worked with the Photographers’ Gallery in London to create a world class outdoor art gallery installation that proved to be a real talking point, on and offline.  Read the full case study here

outdoor art installation to create visual impact in relation to placemaking

3. Positive Placemaking perceptions

Placemaking and city dressing can help improve perceptions. By investing in the physical environment, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to the local community and help create a more vibrant and welcoming streetscape design.

Placemaking and city dressing can provide businesses with visually appealing backdrops and outdoor advertising displays. This means that customers will be eager to share images on social media. By creating an “Instagrammable” art installation, businesses can tap into the power of social media.  By doing this, towns and cities can generate awareness that will increase visitor footfall.  A great example of this in action is high level flags and banners combining artistic flair with clear visual cues. 

outdoor advertising display on flags and banners, installed at high level


Creating an engaging and enjoyable physical environment, with subtle but effective wayfinding can help improve town centre footfall and visitor dwell time.  Effective outdoor wayfinding and signage can direct people to visit places they might not even know about!  You can combine outdoor banners and flags with clever place branding to create a cohesive identity and a strong sense of place.  

By providing a memorable, on brand experience, both inside and outdoors, businesses will increase the likelihood of repeat custom and word of mouth recommendations. 

outdoor signage to help wayfinding and brand recognition

5. Project it!

To support local shops, businesses and restaurants, local authorities and business improvement districts are always looking for ways to draw people back to the high streets. Field and Lawn have worked with many Councils and BIDs on lots of different placemaking projects to make High Streets more attractive and colourful.  

Find out how we supported Cambridge City Council with their projection mapping project. Read the full case study here.

Projection mapping is a unique and wonderful way to add to a town or city’s calendar of outdoor events. The bespoke video content could be educational, commemorative or artistic. The actual event is all remotely controlled so everything is looked after. You can just sit back and enjoy the show.

Placemaking will play a huge part in the ongoing recovery of our highstreets as we navigate through challenging economic times.  We are committed to enabling big visions and creative thinking.  The team at Ollywood and Field and Lawn can help bring your placemaking project, art installation or large scale outdoor signage to life.   

Thanks to Kate Elliot for providing the Photographers’ Gallery imagery.  It was great to work on this blog, which we hope will provide some inspiration, ideas and guidance on creative placemaking with Ollywood.