Comprehensive Campus Signage Project

Brandeis University sign

The primary goal of the Comprehensive Campus Signage Project is to make the Brandeis University campus more welcoming and accessible without detracting from its setting. The sign program should provide information clearly and only where necessary, minimize the number of signs on campus (clean up the clutter) and enhance the appearance of the campus.

To assist Brandeis in achieving these goals, following a competitive selection process, the university engaged Jon Roll & Associates to design sign standards and a comprehensive sign program for the university. Beginning in October 2004, Jon Roll & Associates held a series of meetings with the Executive and Project Advisory committees, and met with several focus groups that included undergraduate and graduate students and representatives from the Office of Students and Enrollment, the academy, the Office of Facilities Services, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Development and Alumni Relations and the Office of Capital Projects.

Based on those meetings, Jon Roll & Associates has produced signage standards for the Brandeis campus and a comprehensive sign program. The highest concern of the program is for the first-time visitor—to provide clear directional access to campus destinations for both vehicles and pedestrians. The program comprises a system of signs that includes campus and building identification, vehicular and pedestrian way-finding and informational signs.

Key to the success of the sign program is the establishment of a hierarchy of destinations with clear and concise trip patterns for visitors. This minimizes the number of signs and the length of messages required.

First, this includes the establishment of an "Upper" and "Lower" organizing principle for the academic campus, along with the identification of the athletics campus.

Second, destinations are prioritized according to frequency of first-time and off-campus visitation. These include the admissions center; conference, campus and student centers; libraries and the major art centers on the Lower Campus, concluding with the major divisions and schools, including humanities and sciences, social sciences, Heller School, Rabb School and IBS.

Individual academic buildings are not referred to on directional signs, but are identified clearly along the loop road, pedestrian paths and directly on the building in most cases.

Combined with the informational aspects of the program is the application of large format images helping to signal the diversity and scope of student life and activities on campus, reinforced with a dynamic use of form and color in the design.

These principles and design elements and their consistent application are key to the success of the sign program, helping to achieve the primary goal of making the Brandeis University campus more welcoming and accessible, while enhancing its appearance.

The first phase of new sign installations was completed in December 2005 and included 52 new signs, representing about 60 percent of the total sign program. The second phase of new sign installations will be installed during the summer of 2006.