510.1 Campus Sign Policy
Created 1998-02-05, Confirmed 2003-07-01
THE NEED FOR A CONSISTENT POLICY
Visual, symbolic, organizational and verbal consistency helps achieve optimal communication. Less can be more when it comes to campus sign design and function. Fewer words and simple consistent sign design help users “read” signs faster, more intuitively, without requiring undue attention. A consistent organizational and symbolic system produces familiarity, greater legibility, and a friendly campus atmosphere.
The campus is the home of many students and the daily work place for many others. It is desirable to keep the campus as attractive and clutter free as possible. We value pleasant park-like surroundings. To this end we seek to retain a harmonious look of dignified simplicity, and avoid a commercial, busy, chaotic, and cluttered look. A sign policy is needed to steward campus aesthetics and provide essential information.
This policy is to be published for all staff and faculty. A concise list form of this policy is to be permanently posted in the Union. Exceptions to this policy must be recommended by the Campus Space Planning Committee and approved by the Administrative Cabinet.
This policy is not intended to immediately replace existing signs. It is intended to provide a guide for all new signs whenever added or when old signs need replacing or revision. Additionally, when funds are available, nonconforming existing signs are to brought into the policy. The college Graphic Design Artist is responsible for approving the appearance of all signs.
A.D.A. SIGNAGE RECOMMENDATIONS
The Americans with Disabilities Act (A.D.A.) provides signage directives. New and replacement permanent signage in the categories covered by A.D.A. shall meet these requirements.
TYPES OF SIGNS
At least three major types of signs are needed and permitted:
- regulatory signs help keep order and prevent chaos;
- permanent and/or temporary location and directory signs help people find things
- temporary promotional signs, banners, flags, and posters for events.
These include parking regulations, stop signs, handicapped zones and so on. See Appendix A for details.
These signs should be friendly signs which quietly identify and give location information. Regulation and information are the primary justifications for permanent signs on campus. Permanent signs are to help people find things they are already looking for. Other means than permanent signage (such as temporary posters, banners, flags, brochures, media publicity, and so on) should be used to announce, advertise and promote activities, functions, uses, and events. This standard is intended to help maintain the low key harmonious, friendly, and park-like atmosphere consistent with a campus green.
The design of outdoor free standing signs should continue the pattern of using black steel square tubing frames with colored sign boards with white lettering. The lettering is to be mixed upper case and lower case sans serif, Helvetica Bold (see Design Standards for the Visual Identity of Goshen College). The sign boards are suspended with space between the sign board and the frame (floated).
ENTRANCE ROAD SIGNS:
Signs should be placed along College Avenue and State Road 15 at all campus entrances to inform visitors of parking and building locations to be accessed from each street entrance. The color and identity symbol will identify these as Goshen College signs. See Appendix A for additional design and color guidelines.
Easily accessed lighted complete campus map directory “information” signs need to be provided for each major public parking lot. See Appendix A for additional design and color guidelines.
Permanent building-name signs should only give the building’s name (see next item for exceptions). This is to maintain a simple harmonious atmosphere consistent with the campus green aesthetic. See Appendix A for additional design and color guidelines.
SIGNS FOR OFF-CAMPUS PUBLIC:
Some buildings contain departments and/or services which are frequented by off campus users. Facilities such as the bookstore, personnel office, and the admissions offices are examples of functions serving many first-time visitors from off campus. Some outdoor facilities such as the Vita course and Witmer Woods are also used by many campus visitors who come only for that use. Such facilities may be provided with their “use name” signs similar to building-name signs. Because it is easy to interpret a promotional sign as an information sign, new signs, except those listed above, in this category need to receive prior approval from the Space Planning Committee requested through the business manager. See Appendix A for design and color guidelines.
INFORMATION SIGNS AT ENTRANCE DOORS:
Smaller signs may be placed on the buildings on or near entrance doors. These are to clarify the location of wheel chair entrances, automatic doors, and so on. In a few cases these may be needed to avoid confusion by identifying departments accessed by the entrance. Promotional signs are not to be posted at entrances, except for temporary use announcing an event. See Appendix A for placement restrictions, design and color guidelines.
Detailed directories for offices and users should be placed inside building entrances most likely to be approached from parking lots and at main entrances. These directories should include three categories; 1) “DEPARTMENTS” with Official names of the departmental offices in the building with their room numbers and locations; 2) “ROOMS AND OFFICES” with a list of the room numbers and their locations in the building; 3) “PEOPLE” names of those with offices in the building, their office room number, and locations. Directories in buildings with more than one floor should provide the floor designation with the room number. Directories in large or complex layouts should include schematic floor plans with a “you are here” designation. These buildings should also have simple directional signs to help find rooms. Room number signs and other interior signs should be of a consistent color and design within each building. See Appendix A, Indoor Signs, for additional design and color guidelines.
MEMORIAL PLAQUES AND SIGNS:
These signs are for information and to encourage donors to consider making similar contributions. Major donors are recognized with bronze plaques in exterior or interior surfaces of buildings and concrete patio areas.
The design of these should continue past practice.If the landscaping, plaza, or tree is near or part of a concrete slab, the plaque may be incorporated flush with the slab surface. For trees planted at a distance from any concrete, separate 12 by 12 inch pads flush with the ground can be used.
Interior memorial plaques for parts of buildings should be framed to relate to the interior design of their locations. Examples of the appropriate design would be in recent additions such as in the Gingerich Recreation/Fitness building. These are 8.5 x 11 inch earth tone stock with gold lettering framed behind glass. Frames should include spacers so glass and stock do not touch to prevent deterioration from condensation. The glass needs to be sealed to the frame and the backs need to be sealed to prevent premature aging. Non glare glass is not to be used as new plaques are added.
Promotional signs are to be temporary. Typically these are signs, banners and posters for events. These signs are to be placed in appropriate places such as designated bulletin boards and other places where they do not damage permanent wall surfaces or seriously distract from the general beauty and good taste of the campus. No promotional signs or posters may be placed on glass doors or windows.
Persons who post temporary signs need to remove them as soon as they become obsolete. Concerned persons who observe violations are invited to report violations to the appropriate office for correction. Staff may remove any postings which are obviously out of date. Banners, flags, or/and or art work of value should be returned to the posting person or organization.
DESIGN, COLOR, SHAPE, STYLE, AND SIZE GUIDELINES FOR GOSHEN COLLEGE CAMPUS SIGNAGE
Outside building name signs and public facility signs use black metal frames. If all signs can replaced at once, we recommend changing the signboard color to gray (Pantone Matching System Cool Gray 9 – CMYK 65% Black) from dark brick color to be more consistent with school colors. If all signs are not replaced together per the previous sentence, then all new signs should continue to be the non-glare dark rust colored (dark brick color) sign boards which are currently being used. When possible these are to be limited to one word. Lettering is to be non-italic and sans-serif Helvetica Bold white.
Some colors are legally defined such as red and white for stop signs. Signs stating campus policies such as parking will be colored according to our own guidelines.
- Lettering and symbols: Purple Mixed Case, Helvetica
- Background: White (reflective coating where needed for night visibility)
- Post (and framing if floated): Black
(to be read from passing cars)
- Lettering: White or Reflective White, Mixed Case, Helvetica
- Background: Purple (Pantone Matching System 2597)
- See example in Design Standards for the Visual Identity of Goshen College.
SHAPE, SIZE AND HEIGHT FOR OUTDOOR SIGNS
To create a friendly welcoming ambience, campus signs should be as small, as low, and as simple (dignified) as possible without compromising legibility. We want to minimize “commercial/promotional” and “authoritarian” feeling of mall signs and of government regulatory signs. Simple rectangular shapes are to be used except for legally required shapes for yield, stop, an so on. Surrounding buildings and trees are more attractive than most signs. Lower signs are easier to landscape.
FREQUENCY OF OUTDOOR SIGNS
Use only as many permanent signs as needed to give information and regulation. Do not place redundantly visible signs for authoritarian or promotional effects. For temporary use only, redundant signage may be used for not more than 4 weeks when there is a significant change in usage of an area such as a parking lot or for a special event.
LETTERING STYLE FOR OUTDOOR SIGN
Use simple non-italic sans-serif medium or bold weight Helvetica style. Use mixed case with first letters of most words upper case for easier reading. Example: More Parking at Rear of Building.
IDENTITY SYMBOL FOR SIGNS
The Goshen College identity symbol (see 1996 Design Standards for the Visual Identity of Goshen College) should be included on information and regulatory signs other than building signs. The symbol should be included on the main parking lot identification signs, but not on the smaller individual parking place signs.
Colors for indoor signs will be selected to harmonize with the color scheme of each building. Every attempt should be made to establish and maintain a consistent style within each building. In keeping with the Goshen College Design Statement, and the building architect’s style, wood grain plastic or other simulated pattern materials may not be introduced in buildings except where they already exist.