When #UMWSocial saw the Fredericksburg Geofilter on Snapchat, we were thrilled to have our university’s hometown ‘on the map.’ Our historic downtown was joining Washington, D.C., Richmond and cities across the nation with our own stamp for those snapping about their time here.
Little did we know that the Geofilter came from within our own university! Alex Clegg, a junior and communications and digital studies major, teamed up with Bree Jordan, graphic designer with UMW’s Center for International Education, to create Fredericksburg’s first Geofilter.
Let’s pause for our readers not on Snapchat – what is a Geofilter? When you send a video or image in Snapchat, you have the option to include a filter that changes the look of your Snap. For example, you might add colored filters, the current time local weather or speed overlays. Another type of filter is a Geofilter, a location-based design that allows you to show where you are at the time of the Snap. It can include cities, neighborhoods and special locations.
Why do people use Geofilters? Short and sweet, it’s a fun, easy way to share your hometown and travels with your friends.
“When I check snaps from my friends, they all have Geofilters,” said Alex, who managed the Snapchat account for UMW’s orientation this past summer. “I started to notice that even places like Gettysburg, Pennsylvania had Geofilters. I figured if Gettysburg could have one, Fredericksburg could have one too.”
Inspired to create a Geofilter that could mark Fredericksburg, Alex approached Bree for help with the design. The team researched filters from other cities and jumped into the project.
“I wanted something that captured the unique landmarks and spirit of Fredericksburg,” said Bree. “For me, that meant blending the historical with the modern.”
And she did just that – the filter uses a pink, blue and purple color scheme to show the iconic downtown skyline with spires of old churches and buildings. You’ll also see Goolrick’s Pharmacy and Carl’s Ice Cream hidden in the design, some of Fredericksburg’s most popular spots. And since “Fredericksburg” is a long name, the affectionate abbreviation “Fxburg,” especially popular among younger audiences, was added over the design.
The duo submitted their design to Snapchat and just two weeks later they had a notification from the social app saying it had been approved. Within hours, the filter was live and Snapchatters all across the city were finding it within their filter options.
Both Alex and Bree were thrilled to see the geo-filter in action.
“My first emotion was astonishment,” said Alex. “I was surprised at how easy and fast the whole process was – kudos to those over at Snapchat.”
Have you used the Fredericksburg geo-filter yet? Screenshot your next snap using the filter and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share it here!