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Belfast City Cemetery


Belfast City Council



Urban / Small


Belfast City Cemetery is the final resting place of many of the city’s most influential citizens and a popular visitor destination. The residents’ stories chart the development of Belfast’s tobacco, engineering and shipbuilding industries, while the epitaphs also tell the visitor much about the harsh social conditions in Victorian cities.


Despite its formal, bell-shaped, layout, the City Cemetery presented a particularly challenging navigational problem: how to mark individual graves in a graveyard of 250,000 burials, many of which are nondescript or overgrown.


We were asked by Belfast City Council to develop a wayfinding solution to enable the many tourists who visit the cemetery navigate the graves and provide them with on-the-ground biographical information on those buried there


We created a schematic map on which was marked the location of each grave with a photograph and a portrait of its occupant. The photographs were taken with a ‘long-lens’ to clearly show the profile of the headstone and aid recognition.


Each of the signs was positioned at key points along the route of the guided tours conducted by local councillor, Tom Hartley. Each sign contained a heads up map and detailed information on the graves within the immediate vicinity.  We also designed a printed map for self-guided tours. Despite the apparent simplicity of the map, this is one of the most complex wayfinding projects we have worked on.


Agency services

- Concept development

- Cartography

- Wayfinding strategy

- Interpretative strategy

- Sign design and material specification

- Research and copywriting

- Picture research

- Design and illustration

- Logo and identity

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