To celebrate its 20th Anniversary, Downtown Cambridge – the new name for the city’s Main Street organization – has unveiled “Soul of the Shore,” a comprehensive branding and marketing campaign. Designed to drive shoppers and diners – and attract new businesses to the city’s core – the new identity was introduced at an unveiling ceremony attended by board members, merchants and elected officials.

Evoking a fun, funky and festive vibe, “Soul of the Shore” reflects the city’s vibrant past, and bright future,” said Valerie Brown, Vice-President of the Board.

“With a distinct retro feel, modern color palette, and bold declaration, Soul of the Shore invokes a time when Cambridge was known as ‘Groove City’ and affirms our place as the heart – and soul – of Chesapeake Country today.”

The branding was developed over the past year with significant community input. More than 250 people completed an online survey or participated in a focus group or interview to provide feedback and share their perspectives on what makes Cambridge special.

“This initiative communicates Cambridge’s ‘soulful’ spirit. It reinforces the pride and affinity the water holds for residents and underscores the appeal of our shore town to visitors,” said Katie Clendaniel, Downtown Cambridge Director. “During our research, we learned that Cambridge has a distinct reputation for delivering an authentic Eastern Shore experience in a friendly, down-to-earth environment, that shares a deep connection with our waterways.”

During the launch, the organization also unveiled a new website, distributed the 2018 event calendar, showcased a digital advertising campaign, and handed out stickers featuring the “Soul of the Shore” brand.

Patrick Fanning, owner and operator of five Cambridge businesses, and a newly appointed member of the board, applauded the all-volunteer promotions committee for developing a creative identity that will help inspire and attract patrons to ‘sip, savor and stroll’ downtown.

“Visitors to our restaurants often comment on Cambridge’s scenic waterfront, and food, craft beer and arts scene. Soul of the Shore authentically reflects our community’s best assets.”

Work on the campaign was funded in part by a grant from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

Facilitated by Choptank Communications, a brand marketing firm based in Cambridge, the design and typography evoke the neon signs that once punctuated department stores, jazz clubs and theaters. The gradient colors of blue, gold, orange and red reflect the colors prevalent in the waterfront community’s spectacular sunrises and sunsets.

Clendaniel announced two business leaders who joined the all-volunteer board in 2018: Michael Wheatley, SafeLock Properties, and Dormaim Green, Exit on the Bay Realty.

The organization also recognized four new volunteer board members who joined in 2017: Dovile Cropper, Butterfly Boutique; Cecil Johnson, Cambridge Spice Company; Stephyn Butcher, local resident; and Patrick Fanning, Cambridge Eateries.

Learn more about Downtown Cambridge’s mission, businesses and many events at

About Downtown Cambridge

Downtown Cambridge works to advance our historic, waterfront destination by enriching the lives of residents and visitors through art, entertainment, cultural and business opportunities. Downtown Cambridge is a nonprofit volunteer organization that brings businesses, jobs, customers, and entertainment to the core of our community while staying true to our town’s rich history.

Photo courtesy of Jill Jasuta Photography