Thanks to a collaboration among Explore Asheville and public and nonprofit partners, a colorful safety campaign was developed in the Fall of 2020 to remind visitors and residents about the 3 W’s. The whimsical illustration created by local designer Will Hornaday of Hornaday Design has been on display in Asheville and Buncombe County on flyers, posters, sidewalk decals, window clings, barricade and pole banners, and wayfinding kiosks.

As Asheville comes out of the pandemic, the message and design have been refreshed, offering a gentle reminder to visitors and residents that businesses — many challenged with labor shortages and returning to full capacity — are doing the best they can to serve their guests and customers. The cheery “Be Kind | Be Patient | Be Our Guest” and “Bear With Us” illustration is now available in the form of 8.5″ x 11″ flyers.

Contact Explore Asheville’s Community Engagement team to request these flyers for your business!

How the Original Public Safety Campaign Came About
Illustration of Bear with "Wear - Wait - Wash"

Design by Asheville artist Will Hornaday

Explore Asheville’s desire to reinforce health and safety messaging led to development of the project. Joined by public health officials with Buncombe County and staff with the City of Asheville, a plan was created with a $15,000 grant from the Federal CARES act, available to destination marketing organizations for promotional efforts in support of pandemic response and recovery.

Asheville Area Arts Council was contracted to select artists for the project. Three local individuals submitted designs, each of whom were paid for their concepts. Asheville Art Museum assisted the project leaders in selecting the winning design.

For more details on the safety campaign, view a brief presentation from the October 28, 2020 meeting of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority. View the recording here.