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Old Town Alexandria Wayfinding Signs

Alexandria, VA Wayfinding Signs Support Retailers

Posted: 12/07/2017

The City of Alexandria, Virginia recently installed 60 new informational wayfinding signs in the Old Town area, including 30 new pedestrian-oriented retail signs. The new signs will have updatable, interchangeable sign panels for each business.

The four-sided, mini kiosk signs were placed on historic light poles and replace the city-approved A-frame signs that previously directed patrons to side street shopping and dining establishments.

In addition to directing customers to retail shops, the wayfinding sign system also include maps with information and photos on historical events, museums, shopping and dining appear to assist visitors in learning more about Alexandria and finding their destinations.  

This project supports recommendations made in Alexandria’s 2010 Wayfinding Guidelines, which guide the implementation of a comprehensive citywide signage system. The wayfinding system guidelines aim to project a consistent image for the entire city; reduce visual clutter; and promote walking, bicycling, and use of mass transit.

In 2015, ISA’s Kenny Peskin attended meetings of the city’s Wayfinding Stakeholder Advisory Group and counseled the city regarding the rules and parameters for the pedestrian-oriented retail signs.

By the end of this year, Alexandria expects to install approximately 60 vehicular directional signs to direct motorists to Metro stations, Alexandria neighborhoods, and other key points of interest. The overall wayfinding signage project, including future phases, is projected to be completed in Fall 2021.

Research on Wayfinding

The Sign Research Foundation (SRF) offers academic and peer-reviewed research to help cities and communities develop well-designed information systems that attract more customers and contributes to increased profits. 

Download three of these SRF resources and their quick-read executive summaries for free at or click on the links below: