Old Town Books is a must-visit destination in the heart of—you guessed it—Old Town, in Alexandria, Virginia. Stone walls and massive French doors make the store feel like it’s been a neighborhood institution for years, so you’d hardly know that it opened in 2019. It’s the brainchild of Ally Kirkpatrick, a native Alexandrian who, after a long stint in New York, returned home with her family and the dream of opening her own independent bookstore.
LetterShop Books is proud to have been there from the start. After extensive brainstorming, we named the store (Sometimes the best names are the most obvious ones!) and conducted URL research. From there, we went on to design a brand that appeals to both locals and out-of-town visitors; a brand that has planted firm roots in this historical city, yet never takes itself too seriously. We have applied the same flexible, fun, and friendly approach to every aspect of the store’s visual materials, from their online website to their letterpress bookmarks.
Ally relishes whimsy, so LetterShop Books has commissioned talented artists Mike Reddy (another native Virginian) and Australia-based Caryn Cast, for specialty pieces like book club swag and quirky needlepoint illustration. Mike and Caryn are similarly inspired by the independent spirit of Old Town Books and it shows in their work.
As Old Town Books has grown, Ally has started popular bookclubs, hosted dozens of readings and other events, and established and organized Alexandria’s new Emerging Writers Festival. One of Ally’s goals in opening a neighborhood bookstore is to further enliven to the town where she grew up. Through the myriad events she hosts at Old Town Books, she inspires people to keep learning, talking, and reading. LetterShop Books is proud of our work growing the Old Town Books brand in ways small and large. We’ll help Ally with whatever comes next. Heaven knows, she’s not finished!
Are you in the business of books? Visit our sister site, LetterShop Books.