College Planning & Management

AUG 2012

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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THE SIGNS SAY IT ALL The consistency of the signage in design, color, and construction creates a visual identity establishing and reinforcing the institution's 'brand,' making it highly recognized, especially in multi-campus environments." Branding is one aspect of signage that speaks to factors beyond campus grounds. In fact, strategically designed and positioned signage can get campuses and municipalities working together. "In a way, good signs, like good fences, make good neighbors." Mark Vanderklipp, president of sup- plier Corbin Design, says that wayfi nding systems can play a key part of concerted efforts to reduce issues between such neighbors. "Signs can do so by clearly delineating campus boundaries and entrances to reduce the fl ow of misdi- rected vehicular traffi c, keeping residen- tial neighborhoods free from overfl ow," he says. "Signage can direct visitors and identify on-campus parking opportuni- ties to reduce the instance of parking in front of private homes. Additionally, sig- nage can direct pedestrians along public circulation routes rather than through residential neighborhoods," according to Vanderklipp. The effect can be amplifi ed, he says, by coordinating signage systems with city parking and traffi c policies. And the process of putting a signage master plan together with involvement by neighbor- hood groups not only results in better signage programs, the process itself is also an opportunity to fortify town-gown relationships. Make a Plan As for campus itself, Vanderklipp recommends that educators form a diverse committee to think through the design, logic, and language of the signage; oversee and review the project; and guide ongoing maintenance. According to Vanderklipp, that team should include members from: • Facilities HOW GREEN IS MY SIGN? Eco-friendly signage is available for sustainability-minded schools. Recycled aluminum, the use of modular construction, ultra-low VOC paint, and signage made in the US from locally sourced materials are all features that lend themselves to sustainable signage options. • Marketing/college relations (including PR, foundation) • Student affairs and student government • Faculty senate • Support services (including parking) • Human resources • Athletics • Information Services • Chancellor's offi ce • University housing • Alumni association Involving such a wide range in the signage process on campuses is likely a change from years ago. Another change: trends in what campuses are seeking today for their exterior and interior signs. APCO Signs' Dillon Cobb, vice president of Sales and Marketing, reports that clients interested in exterior signs are asking for "traditional looking, yet easily updatable" 28 COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / AUGUST 2012 signage, and for systems that can incorpo- rate LED displays. Such a system has been installed at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, to take one example, where the "signs are durable and tamper-resistant, yet can be easily updated for future campus expansion and/ or change," says Cobb. Include Technology and Sustainability Additionally "we are defi nitely seeing more and more requests for dynamic LED displays in a campus sign program," he notes. "As competition among colleges and universities is becoming greater every year, schools see LED displays as a way to promote their campus and school events in a dynamic fashion." An LED display promoting campus sporting events is at work at Middle WWW.PLANNING4EDUCATION.COM

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