Modern signpost arrives in York city centre – what do you think?

The prototype wayfinding sign with the Mansion House in the background. Photograph: Richard McDougall
28 Aug 2018 @ 6.49 pm
| Environment, News

It couldn’t look more different to the existing signposts.

But this modern version could replace the old green fingerboard posts if a trial is a success.

The prototype signage has just been installed in St Helen’s Square. A joint initiative led by York Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with City of York Council and York Civic Trust, it is designed to make it easier for visitors and residents to find their way around the city centre.


Described as a wayfinding totem, the rectangular sign will remain in place until the autumn. Researchers will question those using the new signage to see how effective they find it.

The new bronze-coloured signage has been designed to be sympathetic to the York stone. It features eye-level maps with useful details including how long it will take to walk to key city destinations.

Looked at other cities

It has been designed to be sympathetic to the surroundings
The pilot scheme has been jointly funded by York BID and City of York Council, each contributing £18,000 to the project.

Executive director of York BID Andrew Lowson said:

  • In a city that attracts seven million tourists each year, it is crucial that we provide high quality, useful signage that can be easily updated to showcase the myriad cultural and retail opportunities within the city centre.

    We’ve looked at existing provision within York as well as schemes successfully implemented in comparable cities like Bath and Oxford to devise a scheme that blends in with the historic environment yet provides helpful information for the 21st century.

The sign will stay in place through the autumn
A view from the Lendal side

York Civic Trust chief executive David Fraser said they would be carefully evaluating the appearance and usefulness of the new sign.

“The iconic green fingerboard signs were a huge step forward in their time and are still functional, but we recognise that the art and technology of wayfinding has improved, and there are contemporary ways of presenting a greater variety of information,” he said.


For City of York Council, Cllr Nigel Ayre said improving the signage would help millions of people find their way around.

  • It’s really important that new signage also adds to York’s character and distinctiveness and that they’re clear for those visiting here for the very first time, so that they can easily find our iconic attractions, venues and landmarks.

    So we encourage everyone to visit the new wayfinding totem in St Helen’s Square later this month and feedback their thoughts to York BID.