Ohio City Wayfinding

Case Study

Design, Sign Systems

Ohio City is an eclectic urban neighborhood on the near west side of Downtown Cleveland, established in 1836. Proud of its rich heritage, Ohio City is home to 9,000 residents, a strong business community and the renowned West Side Market. It’s also a dynamic entertainment and brewery district, known as a place where food, culture and art collide into a unique Cleveland destination.


In preparation for Cleveland’s 2012 bicentennial and the 100-year anniversary of the West Side Market, Ohio City embarked on a number of marketing-related projects, including a wayfinding strategy for the Market District on West 25th Street to better connect visitors and residents to the neighborhood’s commercial center and attractions.

“Guide Studio did an extraordinary job of identifying the core brand elements of Ohio City and allowing those to physically manifest in a wayfinding system that functions as public art in the neighborhood.”

Thomas S. McNair,Director, Ohio City Inc.

Ohio City Map


  • Stakeholders were engaged to identify the neighborhood’s challenges around accessibility and walkability, and resulted in a placemaking strategy for the new signage that addressed existing issues and elevated the overall experience.
  • Guide Studio managed an aggressive timeline to accommodate the client’s tight timeline and budget.
  • Bold, innovative signage was created to honor Ohio City and the bicentennial, combining symbols from the brand with elements from the Ohio City flag.

“As we looked at strategic investments in terms of branding and public improvements to the neighborhood, we saw more than 100 new businesses open in a span of nine months with about $200 million in public and private investment over the last seven years. We continue to see more investment, with storefront vacancy going from 45% to 2%.”

Thomas S. McNair,Director, Ohio City Inc.


Ohio City Signage

The well-received signage enhances Ohio City’s identity, pride and character while supporting a wayfinding program focused on increasing accessibility and foot traffic.

Photo Gallery


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