live savannah

Winner of a Savannah AAF Silver ADDY Award



Create an experience that allows users to 'peel back' the layers of history in Savannah that fits to their interests

In a collaboration with Hewlett-Packard and SCAD advertising, historical preservation, graphic and industrial design students were asked to make the city of Savannah “live” using HP’s new app, LinkReader in 10 weeks. LinkReader is a free, mobile app that connects digital experiences with printed material. The printed collateral has an invisible watermark, and when users hover over with their smart phones, the app then links them to a rich digital experience. The printed media can be directly linked to websites, social media, videos, and much more.

To make the city of Savannah "live" using HP's new app, LinkReader, by creating an experience that shows all that the city has to offer in history, dinning, retail, and attractions, in time for the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Past Forward conference. Additionally there needed to be some sort of experience in the Savannah/Hilton Head Airport to introduce tourists to the app and downtown experience.


To promote and foster awareness for LinkReader and Live Savannah, we launched an integrated campaign. We had to be very delicate when stitching ourselves into Savannah’s urban fabric. Therefore, we chose to focus on strategic entry points for tourists; Hotels, Visitor Centers, the Airport, and specific locations around Downtown.

Our team spent many hours observing the habits of traveler's once they exited an airplane. Through these observations we determined the best areas to place information, advertising and experiences about the LinkReader app.

Airport User Journey

Downtown User Journey

By walking around downtown, taking tours, and interviewing tourists we were able to create a route that hit the best locations around town for our own tour. In addition to this we were able to pin point over 80 businesses along the route that could benefit from LinkReader.



We had limited time of 2 days of ideating possible solutions for the experience. We presented multiple ideas to HP and Airport that lead to our evolution of Live Savannah. 



In two days, we installed 40 live posters, two 40-foot wall installations, mount two projectors, and install 8-light up wall brackets.


Live App Experience

In the airport when users scanned the maps and posters they were directed to a video (see below) that gives a brief overview of how to use LinkReader and the downtown experience.

Airport Posters - scanned to highlight introductory video


Bagagge Claim Installation

Video created by Tanner Scarr and Timothy Skinner


When scanning any watermarked material throughout downtown Savannah, could access information about the historic building. Each building features a video with images of the past and present, displaying changes and restorations completed over its lifespan. The Building Interior link views the inside of the people. The design behind the Explore coin allows users to learn about the square closest to their current location, along with given information about which restaurants, shopping, and speciality are in their proximity. Selecting a location gives you their description, along with a Google Maps integration which allows the user to obtain directions to the specific location. 

Promoting Awareness

The final week of the project we gave several guided tours to members from the Historical Preservation Society. The purpose of these tours was to show the members what can be done with LinkReader and the possibilities it could bring to their own communities.



We tested the Live Savannah experience over a 3-day period and observed people's interactions with what we had created. These results were obtained through Link Creation Studio and Google Analytics. We have accounted for our own interactions with Live Savannah and adjusted the numbers accordingly.

Through this rich digital experience we have created, users not only recognize LinkReader and its scannable signals but expect it. Through this phase of a year long LinkReader project, we have familiarized local businesses with the technology so that in the future they may take this into their own hands. In doing so, they can print their own material and stay relevant in the community by updating their watermarked content. The project helped HP take strides toward giving LinkReader ubiquity and sustainability leading to a future in which LinkReader technology is embedded in our routine, recognized universally, and utilized holistically.