For the first time, Wichita State University is installing a comprehensive wayfinding signage system on its main campus. The system includes multiple building sign types, vehicular and pedestrian directional signs and locator maps.
The project was spurred by recent and planned campus expansion and the need to create more visible signage and wayfinding tools for visitors and students on WSU’s growing campus. A survey of faculty, staff and students revealed dissatisfaction with wayfinding signage consistency and visibility. The survey was undertaken after the WSU Student Government Association drew attention to the problem by funding pole-mounted directional signs at a few locations on campus.
Barth Hague, chief marketing officer for the university, said the new signage system addresses these issues while enhancing WSU’s brand in the process.
“We’re very excited about our new signage program at WSU,” Hague said. “Practically, it helps to unify our campus and makes it easier to navigate. The new signs also represent a major step in implementing our visual identity system, designed to build a more recognizable, understandable brand for the university.”
Developed by Wichita-based Gardner Design — the same firm that created WSU’s logo and visual standards system — the three-dimensional, curvilinear signs feature die-cut wheat kernel patterns and text in the university’s yellow and black colors for optimum visibility. Design features match those in use at WSU’s recently completed Shocker Hall and Rhatigan Student Center projects.
“This was a very research- and detail-intensive project, but also a lot of fun,” said Bill Gardner president of Gardner Design. “After we gathered the data and feedback from stakeholders, we developed three different design concepts, and, with university personnel, concluded that one in particular checked all the boxes for function and really captured the essence of Wichita State University in form. WSU is always a wonderful partner and we’re just thrilled with the outcomes of this particular collaboration.”
Signage types include:
- Main building signage – Narrow, 18-foot-tall signs featuring building names installed in front of major buildings. LED lights will illuminate the signs at night.
- Entryway signage — Wall-mounted signs at major entrances that display building names and any key services and facilities located within.
- Vehicular directional signs — Large roadside signs at campus entrances with arrows indicating major building locations.
- Pedestrian directional signs — Sidewalk signs with arrows indicating nearby building locations.
- Campus map signs — Full campus map signs with a key for building names and QR code access to the university’s wichita.edu/locate site that provides building information and walking and driving directions for smartphones and other GPS-enabled devices.
Some elements of the signage system were installed during the spring 2015 semester, while installation of the main building signs began in June. Installation is expected to be complete in September.
Source: Wichita State University