Placemaking: Banners, Flags and Bunting

How to brighten up your high street with banners, flags and bunting.

Is your high street, town, city or shopping centre looking to draw crowds, create a social media buzz or simply a more inviting and vibrant atmosphere? If so, you’re in the right place! Placemaking is the process of transforming public spaces into engaging, welcoming, and aesthetically pleasing areas that reflect the unique character and culture of your community.

Explore how banners, flags, and bunting can be powerful tools in place management. They are cost-effective, yet high impact options for enhancing your high street and all local authorities in the UK should consider them for their placemaking initiatives.

The power of placemaking

Placemaking is more than just urban planning; it’s about creating spaces that resonate with people on a personal level. Placemaking can help to foster a sense of belonging and identity within a local community. A well-executed local plan for implementing placemaking projects can breathe new life into your high street, boost local businesses, and make your town or city a destination of choice.

Here are some key placemaking ideas for high streets and town centres.

artistic flags


Banners are an effective tool for storytelling as they offer a great way to showcase the heritage of your local area. They can convey a sense of history, celebrate local events and heroes, or simply add a burst of colour to your high street.

Here's why banners are an essential element of placemaking:

Identity and place branding: Custom banners can be designed with local motifs, landmarks, and cultural references to help define your town’s identity and make it memorable to both residents and tourists.

Artist-led collaboration: Placemaking offers a great opportunity to collaborate with local people and get the wider community engaged with local businesses. During one of Field & Lawn’s recent placemaking projects, two public spaces in Bath were dressed with bespoke artwork to celebrate the city as part of a summer events programme. It featured overhead flags, decorated with designs created by local artist Zoë Power. The project aimed to increase footfall and support local businesses as part of a wider high street renewal project.

Promotion: Banners can be used to promote local businesses, events, and community initiatives. They’re a cost-effective way to support local businesses and increase the number of visitors to your local high streets. Collaborating with local businesses on placemaking projects can help to support your local economy.

Wayfinding: Well-placed banners can also be used as wayfinding signs, helping visitors navigate your high street more easily. This can attract a larger number of tourists to key landmarks in your area.


Flags can play a key role in placemaking by contributing to the identity, character, and sense of belonging in your local area. They often represent the identity and values of a place and are reflective of the community’s values and culture.

Flog Poles

Flags can be a powerful tool in the placemaking process:

Community Cohesion: Flags representing different local groups, neighbourhoods, or cultures can create unity and belonging. This can even help develop a sense of pride that brings wider community groups together.

Celebration: Flags are often used during special occasions and events to create a festive atmosphere that brings people together. For example, Field & Lawn were able to provide a wide range of displays and features for the Coronation of King Charles III. This included Coronation flags on Regent St. Oxford St. Jermyn St. The Strand, Marylebone High St. Bond St. Sloan St. and various other streets across the West End.

Visual Appeal: A row of flags can really brighten up your high street, attracting photographers and influencers to the town centre. Creating a great photo opportunity is an excellent way to attract attention and increase visitors to local high streets.

Cultural Representation: Flags are a wonderful way to display the diversity of your local community. Flying flags from other nations or areas can highlight the unique diversity of your town or city.

Field and Lawn can supply and install a range of different sized banners or custom flags in PVC, fabric, and mesh materials. These can be erected as cross street displays, on lamp columns or attached to building façades. We can assist with your planning, permits and advertising consents, as well as take care of all infrastructure requirements from installation through to removal.

Bunting on Victoria St Edinburgh


Bunting, with its charming and nostalgic appearance, is key to making any public space look visually appealing. The colours and patterns can create a festive and inviting atmosphere, especially during special occasions or celebrations.

Bunting can be a great addition to your placemaking toolkit:

Street-Level Decoration: Hanging bunting along streets, shopfronts, or outdoor seating areas invites visitors to spend time in communal areas by creating a welcoming atmosphere.
Events and Festivals: Bunting is a must-have for street parties, parades, and festivals. It instantly adds a celebratory feel to any event.
Customisation: It’s very easy to customise bunting to create a bespoke design that reflects your town’s unique character. This provides an opportunity to involve local artists and craftspeople in the placemaking process.

A Collaborative Effort

To make placemaking truly successful, it’s important to collaborate with businesses, artists, the community and expert placemaking providers like Field and Lawn. Placemaking projects aim to benefit the wider community, so it is key to get local people involved.

Artistic Flag Installation by Field and Lawn

Here's how to get started:

Engage the Community: Seek input from residents and local businesses to understand what they need from their local high street as well as key high street challenges. This involvement gives the community a sense of ownership over the project which can help create excitement about your installation.
Local Artists and Designers: Collaborate with local artists and designers to create unique and meaningful banners, flags, and bunting that demonstrate local talent and showcase the heritage of your town.
Maintenance: Regularly maintain and replace banners, flags, and bunting to ensure they always look their best.
Promotion: Use social media, local newspapers, and events to promote your placemaking efforts. Encourage residents and visitors to share their experiences. Social media is a great tool for increasing footfall.
If you need additional support with your latest placemaking project, reach out to one of your local Field & Lawn branches for advice from a placemaking expert.

Field and Lawn can support you with all aspects of the placemaking mix

About fIELD AND LAWN: Placemaing and City dRESSING

Field and Lawn are one of the leading placemaking and city dressing providers in the UK.  With four regional branches across, we provide a nationwide service.  Our experienced team can assist in a wide range of placemaking projects.  Beyond placemaking, we also provide festive lighting services, event marquees and temporary buildings.   We provide placemaking and city dressing for:

  • Events and activations
  • Performance art
  • Celebrations and gatherings
  • Urban greening 
  • Large outdoor lettering 
  • Signage and wayfinding
  • Experiential displays
  • Pop-up markets
  • Art installations and exhibitions
  • Lighting and illuminations
  • Architectural lighting
  • Flags, banners and bunting
  • Seasonal outdoor events
  • Outdoor beaches

Placemaking: Transforming cities together

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.