Many city officials are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on graphic design firms to do research and construct brands that will draw in tourists, new residents and the inevitable new businesses that will follow. The proper depiction of identity for a city is essential to make it lucrative as a tourist destination and thus is important enough for the development of the location to make or break the quality of life in the city. For example, very few would argue that only the functional identity cannot make an impression of a small city strong enough to draw in tourists. An attractive image of identity must encompass factors generating historical and emotional value along with functional ones so that an image at least at par with the true identity of the city is created. Asheville, North Carolina, and Fort Myers, Florida would be two great examples of locations that developed an attractive image through effective designing and branding of their respective symbols. Savannah, however, has not been able to ensure proper communication with its present identity. Graphic design has established such a significant place in tourism marketing that it can successfully draw greater attention to a brand whether the crowd it draws is beneficial or not. Through assessing the failures and successes of resort regions like Asheville and small Southern regions like Fort Myers, this paper shall attempt to generate a clear blueprint regarding what may best work to market Savannah as a brand through utilizing the scopes provided by graphic designing.
According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), the 1990s saw international tourist arrivals growing at an average rate of 4.3 percent a year. In 2000 this rate was 7.4 percent. Further, in 2000 travel and tourism, directly and indirectly, accounted for 11.7 percent of global GDP (Gross Domestic Product) as well as 200 million jobs approximately. By 2020, the number of international travelers is predicted to surge to 1.6 billion, and further, the revenue from tourism is forecasted to .rise above US$2 trillion. .