Designs for Wayfinding Signage Presented to Town Council

Berryville doesn’t present many challenges for locals attempting to find their way around town, but pulling passers-by off of Route 7 and directing them throughout the town has become a priority for one committee in the town government. At Tuesday’s Town Council Meeting, Allen Kitselman, Ward Two Council Member and Chairman of the Community Improvements Committee, rolled out the preliminary designs for wayfinding signage that is being proposed for the town.

The extensive package prepared by Frazier and Associates was submitted to Berryville Main Street and was sponsored by The Virginia Main Street Program. It included detailed analysis of the signage needs in the town and proposed designs.

The wayfinding sign system would consists of a series of signs that welcome and orient visitors to key destinations in the community. Typical elements can include gateway signs at the entrances to towns, trailblazers that have lists of attractions with directional arrows, parking signs, pedestrian signs, and banners.

The initial phase of the project was performed without cost to the town. Frazier and Associates began working with a group of citizens representing the public and the private sector who were assembled and asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding the goals for the signage project as well as desires about the aesthetic approach. This group consisted of approximately 16 individuals from Berryville and Clarke County. Based on those results Frazier and Associates developed four different designs for the signage system which were then presented to the group.

The designs represent a variety of approaches and most draw inspiration from elements found in the town. A fourth design which was a response to a request from the committee to include a fifties retro design, represented a unique and drastic departure from the three other designs submitted.

While the committees decision is non-binding, they did submit votes on which they liked best and the majority selected Option 1 (see below). The groups decision was presented by Mr Kitselman who began his presentation by voicing his disagreement with the group. ” I lobbied for the inclusion of the 1950’s design but you can see the one that came out on top, as far as the voting goes, was the sort of blue, very traditional design.”

He added, “Historians see the 50’s as a high-water mark for Berryville. I think this is an opportunity to not do something that Leesburg, Winchester, Warrenton and everybody else does and have something that people would drive by and go ‘Huh’.”

Since the town will ultimately be responsible for paying the bill for the sign package, and since the recommendations of the committee are non-binding Kitselman asked the council to keep an open mind about the project. “I don’t want to circumvent the voices of the community but I come down firmly on the retro 50′ looking sign package (Option 4).”

Town Planner Christy Dunkle pointed out that the designs submitted are not the only options available and that a hybrid design could be developed. However if one of the initially presented designs is not selected the  work associated with a new design will be an added cost.

The final cost of the project will be determined by the number of signs needed. Cost estimates were provided with the design package with ranges for each type of sign.  They include:

  • Primary Monument Gateway Signs – Estimated cost between $7800 – $9200 each
  • Secondary Gateway Signs – Estimated cost between $3700 – $4500 each
  • Trailblazer “A” Signs – Estimated cost between $2500 – $2800 each
  • Trailblazer “B” Signs  – Estimated cost between $2300 – $2500 each
  • Parking Signs  – Estimated cost between $900 – $1200 each

Next steps will involve developing a budget and obtaining funding for the project. If the project proceeds a wayfinding task group will need to be formed to guide the project from design through implementation. They will also need to decide  which attractions will be included in the signage package.




  1. There is nothing in the town that suggests “1950s” except for the repeated attempts to keep only small niche businesses downtown instead of developing out by Food Lion. However, I like Option 1 or 2, because they better match other architenctural features in the town, the gazebo in Rose Hill Park, and other features. Mr. Kitselman, perhaps asking visitors to drive by a sign better suited for a roadside diner or the drive-in theatre and go “Huh?” is not the reaction businesses want.

  2. Lord help us. With this kind of leadership we will be the laughing stock of the route 7 corridor and beyond. Maybe there is a reason all the other towns the councilman is disparaging look similar? Because they all look the same as Berryville and the signage is supposed to compliment the town. Let’s make this effort about appropriateness, not some individuals ego.

  3. Nothing says fast food and 2 for a dollar like option 4, so definitely not that one.

    I’m with Hmm, option 1 or 2 if it has to be done.

  4. My first choice was option 3. Someone even suggested a black iron fence like the one at Rose Hill Park would be better than the white picket.

    Ok, Laugh all you wish, but number 4 is growing on me. I do NOT like the green stand though. If you take that away (I know you ruin this concept somewhat) that font is great! It is unpretentious much like our town…Honestly, the others, even my first choice, will blend into the background as just another road sign.

    Also, has any one ever noticed all the traffic signs on the left and right sides of the road if you take the 340 south exit from Route 7? What a confusing mess. I don’t even notice them anymore, but if you take a look with fresh eyes and consider what people see of our town first, it is not pretty.

  5. Design preferences aside, the Town and members of this committee need to explore options other than paying the architectural firm for production of the signs. Those budget prices are at minimum 2x the real cost for the signmaking and installation. Pay for the art and then hire your own sign manufacturer/installer. The “deliverable” has been padded big time – that’s where Frazier’s making their money.

  6. Stonebroke says:

    What a joke? Save your money! When do most people visit other towns? Take family drives? This usually occurs on the weekends and with that being said, unless you are catching these people and directing them downtown before 12 noon, they won’t be seeing a whole lot!

  7. Talk about anachronistic and tacky…are those adjectives you want associated with good ol’ Battletown? Check your ego, and realize that #4 belongs in “Cars 3” perhaps, but not our quaint little town. I like #1.

  8. My 2 Cents says:

    Wow, this place gets funnier and funnier everyday! Lets take the tourist by Bob’s Sporting Goods Store while we are at it……

  9. Maybe the 4th option is part of a larger economic development effort. It will bring a Sonic next to the Gateway Sign in front of Food Lion and Spacely-Sprockets to the industrial park.

    The work of innovative geniuses…

  10. I like #3 the dark red is classy, easy to spot and different, it jumps out at you. I do agree with Beth, black wrought iron would look real nice.
    #1 I just don’t like it. Boring..
    #2 it’s ok, I do like those posts for the smaller signs
    #4 looks like welcome to the drive-in theater.

  11. Oh My, changed my mind a little! #1 & 2 would also look nice in the dark red, the signs have nice shapes.

  12. Entice people to downtown Berryville for WHAT? There is exactly one good restaurant, 2 OK ones and the rest are pitiful. If I drove through here w/o knowing anyting about a restaurant I say to myself, “Do i take a chance” or “do I go somewhere where I know the food is good?” Quit deluding yourselves and give away some land for a few companies to build factories for so yo can tax them.

  13. What's your sign says:

    Option 4 looks like it was designed by Bud Tugley.

  14. Stand in the Place Where You Live says:

    Come now! Is this really necessary in such a small town or can we at least try to save the town money for a rainy day? Modern day travelers have GPS and those devices will easily point them where they want to go. The price of this signage seems way too high. Let’s use the money for real economic development. Signs that say “you’re factory or business goes HERE!”

  15. Roscoe Evans says:

    I’m sort of on your side on this one, Dave M. But hey! Three Ok restaurants in a town this size is pretty good.

    I agree entirely that a parcel of land should be put together to promote the economy. But I’d suggest a college campus type development, and invite Shenandoah U or LFCC, (or both), to set up continuing education and vocational education and technical/medical programs there. Add a doctors’ suite, clinic, and a pharmacy if you want (I really like the Berryville Pharmacy, but if Clarke can support a nationally-known pill-purveyor, fine by me.), And maybe add a day-care provider. Finally, add a commercial gymnasium with an indoor pool. All tenants would be mutually supportive and compatible, and would add to the local quality of life.

    Back to the restaurants and signage:

    How about a sign that reads: “Berryville: All of our Restaurants Serve Humans.”

    An alternate:

    “Berryville: The Town that Time Forgot.”

  16. If you have to, please make a choice between #1 and #2. #4 is bad!!!!!

  17. Midwesterner says:

    Looks like I should get into the town “signage” business. As much as I think it would be good for Berryville to draw attention to itself to scrape up a few more tax dollars — I’d have a hard time thinking that 20 – 40 thousand dollars would be spent on signs when we’re cutting key educational and life-time sports from the curricula at the county schools!

    When we moved to Clarke in 1998, I thought the sign that was needed up on the Loudoun-Clarke line on Rt 7 was “Clarke: Bring your retirement checks — but don’t bring your kids!”

  18. Midwesterner says:

    and while I’m thinking of it — where is the sign that says “Welcome to Berryville — Home of the Screamin’ Eagles”? Why don’t we pay someone to paint that on the water towers? Where are our priorities? since our kids are the future…..(not the old curmudgeons who constantly badbmouth “progress” or “modernization”)

    I’m done now.

  19. Roscoe, it’s fine with me for local dining you know, I don’t want a McDonald’s in Berryville, maybe a Dunkin Donuts but we are talking about digns for people to come to Berryville to go where? There is no parking for main street, Oh yeah you can park behind on Crow Street and walk through a dark barely lit alley way? Not many folks are going to go for that. If they want to make down town work they need to close main street from Sponsellers to Marios, make it a cobblestone street and get a book store and a coffee shop. They don’t even have that in Winchester. Put in a bar and a Japanese restaurant. You want people to show up, they need a reason, not a sign.

    • Roscoe Evans says:

      Dave M, you are a genius! (No, I am not being sarcastic. I hope you’re not, either.)

      There can’t ever be too many Dunkin Donuts, or small town coffee shops, of any sort. I am big on making people walk, but I’ve heard that “not enough parking” chant before. so you may be right. Cobblestones cost a fortune (I know, my step-father used to deal in them), but if you could get a street closed, raising money would be no problem at all.

      Of course, book stores, like coffee shops, are dying businesses, but so what! Make Berryville the town where they still work. A good Japanese restaurant (or something similarly unusual), could make Berryville a destination place.

      Berryville and Clarke need a jolt, a spark.

      The signs are a baby step in the right direction. Just don’t go cheap on them. Pay the guys who designed them.

  20. Isabelle Jaynes says:

    I like the red one the best.I find #4 hideous .

  21. Sandy Masquith says:

    It occurs to me that we have some outstanding talent in this community. People that can carve stone and wood and could create a Welcome to Berryville monument that would be impressively unique and eye-catching (along with stylish). Let’s look at OUR assets! INVOLVE the people in the community to IMPROVE the community!

    • I like your idea Sandy! The county has a wealth in talent that is our best kept secret. Let people know with our signs. These could easily be reflected in the design and the finished product completed by local artisans.

  22. The cost of the signs are very overpriced. Did we not get at least 3 bids? Is a local (Clarke County) company doing the signs?
    I agree, option 4 is awful and I also agree with some of the other comments. Why come to Berryville or Clarke county? There is nothing here of interest. We have even stripped the Balloon Festival of most of its Baloons because of some residents whining. We just keep shooting ourselves in the foot. The old timers are blocking any new development that will bring in real money and each year we just keep falling further and further behind neighboring counties. Im not saying we need big box stores but something more in the lines of Middleburg. Every time I drive there that small town the streets seem to be full of people and they have kept their small town atmosphere.
    Before I moved here more than a decade ago I never came to Berryville, there was nothing here of any interest and there still isn’t. I moved here for the peace and quiet and the open spaces. I still commute to NoVA for work because there isn’t any real opportunity for employment in my home County. These Signs aren’t going to draw people in, while options 1 – 3 look nice I don’t think it’s worth the investment. The white picket fence option strikes me as something with higher maintenance issues it is not made out of a composite material that doesn’t need painting and is rot-proof.
    In the past 10 years my opinion of Clark county has really gone downhill along with others in neighboring communities. Many of my friends won’t come to Berryville or Clarke county because of our reputation. I love the piece of land I own here but sometimes I wish I could pick it up and move to another location outside of Clarke. My goal for 2012 is to leave the county and move south a ways.

  23. New to Berryville says:

    I agree with some of the comments above. Why buy new signs? I found Berryville just fine and decided to move here because I like it the way it is; No, actually I love it the way it is. Put that money into something more useful like the school systems. Speaking of the school systems, I was very disappointed to find out there was no field hockey down here. Lets start a team!

    If signs must go up for whatever reason, i actually like the design of number 4 but it DOES NOT fit Berryville. Sorry. The others are very plain. Too plain to pay that much for them.

    The only thing I think Berryville needs is:
    1) A large contemporary church
    2) Chick-fil-a (sorry but it is just too good)
    3) Harris Teeter – yes yes yes! Food Lion is ok but I never like their meat. Harris Teeter with their Buy 2 get 3 Free deals are just too good to be true. Meats are always awesome and so is the produce. Its always nice when they double coupons up to $1.98 too.
    4) Once upon a child
    5) And field hockey for young children and high school.

  24. J. McDonald says:

    Dislike choice number 4, it doesn’t fit Berryville at all. I think it was include and put at the top of this article to induce controversy, something this county seems to be all about… Welcome to Front Royal “Canoe Capitol of Virginia” — Welcome to Berryville “Drama Capitol of Virginia”, Birth place of controversy, bickering and wasteful spending.

  25. I bought my home (my 1st) in town almost 2 years ago and I love this town. I 100% agree that we need businesses (retail ) to move here. This will bring tax money and people. It will also give residents a chance to keep our money here rather than going to Winchester, Charles Town or Loudoun (YUCK!). Why for the love of goodness have stores not been placed in that field next to Foodlion? A few new stores could easily be put there. We need people and their money to come to this town. Signs aint going to make it happen.

    I count 4 good places to eat in town.
    James: when I saw #4 The Jetsons came to mind as well.

    • Do we even know who owns that land now? Just curious…Maybe CDN can do a little investigative work on that for us all.

  26. clarke conservative says:

    We should put up a sign – Welcome to Berryville, and the ‘Barns of Rose Hill’.

    If want to compete against the likes of Middleburg, we have to focus on what they, and surrounding communities, don’t have. Middleburg has a ‘Community Center’, but it is nothing compared to the Performing Arts of the ‘Barns of Rose Hill’.

  27. Chad Enfroid says:

    I agree with Beth D. – the font on Option 4 is relaxed and inviting.

    Too bad the rest of the sign looks like Gumby…

  28. I believe that Catoctin Land Company owns that land next to Food Lion. And BTW. Things will never change here. there are too many forces running counter the desires here to get things done or to happen. I know people who would stand on a saop box screaming to high heaven that we would be “turning Berryville in Loudoun”, if we weer to add a drug store that is open until 10, a watering hole to meet socially, and a decent grocery store. Thats it. shut and lock the door, throw away the key. Please don’t misconstrue these ideas as recomending building a One Clarke Plaza.

    • You are right, Dave. Most of us would say that. We never had that before and we were just fine. Now you have all these new people that have moved here to get ‘away’ from ‘all that’…and now that they have moved here they all want the convenience that they left. If people want everything that Loudon has, well in most opinions around here should have stayed there. Now those of us that have lived here are dealing with more taxes, crowded schools, and people trying to change our small town into what they moved from…If u want more ‘easy access’ can either move to winchester or over the mountain. Cheaper taxes and houses I guess still doesn’t make some people happy.

      • Because I Care says:

        A decent chain drug store and an alternate grocery store, maybe even a couple choice fast food places like Wendys and Chik-Fil-A are NOT going to turn this little county into Loudoun. A sensible balance can be achieved, starting with the right mindset and vision.

  29. Yep, you were just fine. Well let me tell yo ua small story as to how “keeping to the old ways” was great for Berryville. When new homes are built, the local community usually charges a percentage of the sales price of the home to the builder before the house is even built so as to colect a fund to build and maintain the new roads, school expansion, sewer services. etc. Well here in Berryville a flat fee was charged and no one bothered to increase the rate. Well when builders found out about that they flocked here because the fee was generally 25K a house for instance in Loudoun. But here in Bville it was closer to $1500. Thats found money for a loaded builder and money out of YOUR pocket, all because no one in Berryville wanted to keep up with that fancy stuff going on over the mountain. You old timers don’t like the new folks, but for the fact that our presence turned the value of your what 45K house to 350K in 2005, probably 240K now, still nice. Too bad you didnt bug 6 years ago when the going was good.

    Your Welcome.

  30. Clarke Life says:

    My question to all the Anti-Growth people? Can you honestly tell the good people here, how a new Pharmacy would turn the whole county of Clarke and the Town of Berryville, into Loudoun County? How can say, one named brand Rest. or Retail Store turn Clarke and Berryville into Loudoun County? I have lived here in Berryville for 35 yrs and have been driving the whole time to Winchester for all my needs to be met… Look at the money that has gone up the road in that time. Someone said it the other day, its all about having convience where you live… If my daughter needs a new pair of shoes, where does one buy them in Berryville? I went searching for something to clean my flat-screen tv with the other day, no place in Berryville carried anything for that…. You catch my drift? Its not that we don’t love our town, its just that we would love it a little more if it would stop living in the 60’s and get with the times a little. Go ahead and vote me down all you want. Truth is, for every old-timer thats against growth, there are plenty more that would love to see something done about it. It will eventually happen, I just hope I am alive to see it when it does……

    • I think you have Alton Echols to thank for the resistance to change in Clarke. For those of you that weren’t here, one day the area now know as Battlefield Estates was Clevengers Farm, and seemingly the next day it was gone and bulldozers were out there digging foundations. I don’t know who remembers, but if Echols had had his way there would have been houses from the edge of town almost to the Fair Grounds. Now, the supervisors, to their credit, foresaw the masses coming across the mountains in the 70’s and adjusted the zoning to keep the place from being swamped like Loudon. Bless them for doing that. But what Echols pulled, and I can’t remember all the details, was almost like Pearl Harbor to a lot of folks around here. Here a whole farm was being consumed for houses and suddenly there were the questions of “How much in new services is this going to cost the county/city?” How many new cops, firemen, teachers? ANd the fact the Echols had manipulated a loophole in the zoning made people wonder if other developers were going to come across the mountain and pull the same thing.

      And I’m not saying that a CVS or something wouldn’t benifit the county. But I think the fear is that if you let one in, they’ll all come, and that some way they’ll find a crack in the zoning so you have a CVS and Walgreens going up side by side like weeds, the same as in Frederick and other surrounding counties. And let’s face it, if you want to look at that stuff, Frederick is right up the road.

      I’ve written here before to be careful what you wish for. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good

  31. Stonebroke says:

    Like I’ve stated before….People always claim how much they don’t want anything in CC…But when something opens up here….they are the first one in line to try it out.

  32. New to Berryville says:

    I came from a decent sized city before i moved here. Im talking 6 high schools, 10 middle schools, and about 20 or elem. schools. 5 walmarts within 10 miles or less of each other, 3 targets, 711 and walgreens on every corner. I dont want that here.

    However, It would be nice to have a CVS so I am not driving to winchester everytime someone is sick. I drive 30 mins away to go to Harris Teeter instead of this Food Lion here and it would be nice not to have to do that anymore. Not that Food Lion is horrible, Im just not a fan of buying meats there. Did you know in some states they have closed all their food lions because they sold rancid meat? Just saying.

    Im also not saying we need a walmart here. That would be overload for the people who dont want a change.

    Things do change in life. Everyone needs an upgrade to at least the 2000s. 🙂

    • Food Lion Berryville is a good store. A lot of the same people have worked there for years. You driving all the way east of Leesburg to go to Harris Teeter is your choice. The meat issue at FL happened in the early 90’s. Let’s move on. I’ve been shopping at this one for 17 years and never had an issue. Also, try eating less meat. There are other options, Martins in Winchester 15 min away, Martins in Charlestown, 20 min. and Giant in Purcellville, 20 min. We definitely need another pharmacy.

  33. New to Berryville says:

    Lets not forget by opening a few more things here it would keep some more of us who live in berryville employed. I’ve been looking for a job and still cant find anything without driving to winchester or leesburg.