Discover the Source

Discover the SourceWith its lively, swirling electric blue water in motion and its modern stylized holly springing forth from the source, the Holly Springs Discover the Source image says in one glance, “Holly” and “Springs.” But this appealing image also says: new growth, progress, going forward together, growing in the right direction, sustainable, cool, refreshing, beautiful, in action, fresh, life, clean, energy, new, exciting. The water represents the kinetic energy from which all we have in our community is created. It is the Source. The holly tells our human story. Look at the bright green new-growth leaf alone. Does it not appear “excited and happy” and “so glad to be here?” The old growth leaf seems to be the stronger, greener branch on which the new growth relies, and it welcomes the new growth leaf as a part of itself. It is the mature growth that bears the fruit of the plant, but the mature growth seems to know that the new growth will make it better and stronger. The new growth is growing in a different direction. But it completes the circle, and the two sprigs remain connected as a branch. This brand image depicts our “far history” tradition and our “near history” new growth coming together as a single community. It’s our story.

A "Far History" and a "Near History"

“Discover the Source,” is a catch phrase, when paired with a graphic of holly and springs, serves as the new brand identify for the Town of Holly Springs. The next natural thought that comes to mind is, “Discover the source... of what?”

During a recent project to design an updated brand identification for the Town of Holly Springs, we discovered a lot of things about ourselves, and now we want residents to do the same. We took an introspective look at the community and tried to define what it is that makes Holly Springs so wonderful. But one of the first things we discovered is that there is no one single thing. It’s a hundred different things to a hundred different people!

Like the colonial settlers who first discovered the source of a fresh water spring beneath the shade of two enormous wild holly trees, residents of Holly Springs today are discovering all the things that make Holly Springs home to them and their families. For each person, though, that source of belonging comes from something different, whether it is great parks, great schools or great neighborhoods.

We chose a design created in-house by a staff member and the “Discover the Source” tagline. During the branding study process, we began to realize the incredible difference between the Holly Springs prior to 1995 and the Holly Springs of today. As we sorted through input from the community - from people who have lived here all their lives to people who just got here - we uncovered something we call our “Far and Near Histories.”

Our far history goes back to the first settlers who stopped near here where they discovered a clean, clear source of water - a natural spring, shaded by two enormous wild holly trees. From that first settlement, the Town of Holly Springs sprang forth in 1877 and enjoyed periods of prosperity amidst the depressions of the national economy and world wars. During the past century, Holly Springs was mostly quiet, never quite fully enjoying the modern prosperity that graced most other areas in Wake County.

Until, that is, the early 1990s, when our “Near History” began. If you moved to Holly Springs any time after 1990, you are a proud part of her “Near History,” her “new growth leaf” on the Town’s new logo design. The larger, darker green leaf pays homage to the community’s far history and her mature growth of residents who have lived here all their lives.

With only 1,500 people in 1995, the entire population of Holly Springs could have fit into the new Ting Park stadium on Main Street! If you are one of the 28,500 people who moved in since 1995, then not only have you seen a lot of amazing growth and development here, but you are that growth!

The Story of Our Brand

Imagine colonial settlers, tired and thirsty from making their way through the thick forest lands of North Carolina. They sought what we all seek - a place to live where they could survive and their children could thrive.

And, here, near where the high school is today, a group of them discovered a cool, clear, refreshing source of water… a source of life. They discovered this wonderful resource just a few feet away from a road in a time when roads were not that common. And this road! This road would take them all the way to Avent’s Ferry where they could cross or go along the Cape Fear River! This road would give them access to everything else they would need.

Holly Springs is grounded in a heritage of colonial land grants, agriculture and early enterprise like tailors, turpentine stills, grist mills and a railroad. At the same time, Holly Springs is very progressive, pursuing 21st century development like bio-technology, forward-thinking health care expansion and a creative sports and leisure economy.

Young creative minds are attracted here, but they share little in common with those who have lived here all their lives. There is no common history, no common shared experiences, no common culture or heritage.

Turns out Holly Springs’ “new growth” young people who have arrived here since 1995 love the town as much as the old timers who have lived here all their lives. Traditional attributes like volunteerism, being debt free, strong planning, connecting with the earth, and tackling challenges head on have huge appeal for those who want to live in a place where they can both succeed and be an integral part of a community.

A key when developing Holly Springs’ community brand was to recognize the deep roots that keep the community strong while at the same time celebrating the fact that those roots don't keep the town earthbound, they keep it growing.

Another concept was to recognize what it is that connects together those who associate themselves with the town’s “far history” and those of her “near history.” It’s the one thing we all have in common: our name.

Holly Springs’ brand is to celebrate a name that brings to mind clear, refreshing water and dark green leaves that provided comfort, beauty and shade. Just as the early settlers found the holly-covered springs to be a source of life-giving water, today’s residents find Holly Springs to be a source of many good things that improve the quality and completeness of their lives: our premier park system, our abundant housing choices, our thriving business community, and our shared “near history.”

Discover the source of all the things that make Holly Springs what it has wanted to be for two centuries: your hometown.