Unique Vehicular Wayfinding System Is Implemented for Boone, NC


Artful New Signs Mimic Local Beauty and Improve Tourism Navigation for Major WNC Destination

BOONE, N.C., Sept. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Boone, NC has long been a sought-after destination. Now, this adventure mecca of the Appalachians has navigational signs dotted across its landscape, directing travelers to the beauty that captivates visitors and makes locals proud.


A new wayfinding system has been installed in Watauga County, NC. Using custom illustrations, the front upper 3rd of each sign shows off the unique landscapes of the area while the back celebrates the many outdoor activities available to all.

Destination by Design (DbD)—a multidisciplinary economic development firm with its roots in the N.C. High Country—was contracted by the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority to spearhead a wayfinding project. Together, they developed a 40-sign system that depicts the major attractions and recreational activities of the area. DbD guided the process from initial concept to final construction. The signs were installed in late August.

Adorned with double-sided hand-drawn graphics, multiple front-side variations feature local outdoor destinations—Grandfather Mountain, Elk Knob, the New River, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Downtown Boon, while five different back-side variations depict the popular local activities of hiking, fishing, biking, paddling, and snow skiing.

“Our team worked hard to capture the community’s love for the outdoors,” said Alex Gotherman, the firm’s Director of Design. “And we aimed to inspire with the message on the back of the signs: ‘Find Your Adventure.’ When my gear is loaded and I’m headed to a trailhead, I drive past the signs and they feel like a celebration of what makes this place special.”

The new wayfinding system does more than help visitors navigate. It provides a cohesive sense of space for both tourists and locals. The signs are a reminder that Boone is a special place to visit, live, and explore.

The signs feel like they should have always been here,” said Amber Bateman, a Boone native. As Director of the Watauga County Arts Council, Bateman is steeped in the arts, especially as they pertain to the region. “These beautiful, cohesive pieces make Boone feel like the epic destination that it is. They are sculptural, entirely unique, and look right at home here in the mountains.

Destination by Design is a multi-disciplinary economic development firm comprised of local government planners, engineers, urban designers, and communication specialists. The team collaborates to plan, develop, brand, and promote destination-quality recreation and tourism assets. To learn more, visit https://dbdplanning.com and follow on Instagram @destination_by_design.

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SOURCE Destination by Design

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