Roughly three weeks ago, new signs were installed on the New College campus. While they may just point out the obvious to students, the new signage is actually part of a $400,000 comprehensive master plan of signs aiding directions, building identification, maps, parking and points of interest.
The office of Facilities Planning & Construction worked with a consultant firm called Innerface, whose slogan is “directing people by design.”
Jack Whelan, architect for Facilities Planning worked on a committee with Director of Public Affairs Jake Hartvigsen and Jono Miller to decide what signs were of the greatest need. So far $50,000 has been spent on what Whelan calls “phase one” of the total suggested campus markers.
Funding for the project comes from the university’s Public Education Capital Outway (PECO) fund, which is provided by the State of Florida. These monies are reserved for construction projects on the campus. While the master plan for new signs was completed in November 2010, there were not enough funds until now to implement it.
Whelan explained that the current sign additions are only about 10 to 15 percent of the total suggested signs for the campus. However, Whelan expects that the new signs are really a third to a quarter of what the end result will be, adding that the nest phases of the plan will come when the funding is available.
Whelan explained the reasoning behind the new signage. The master plan’s formation came from an ample analysis of the campus’s needs when it came to signs and “wayfinding,” which he defined as “an effort to understanding how people find their way to where they’re trying to get to.”
“Its about providing information to people who are not really familiar with the campus so they can get to some of our buildings … it’s also an effort to inform students about different facilities,” he noted.
Whelan also expressed that the new signs will help bring a unified look to the campus, and the effort will replace older signs which the architect referred to as “visual clutter.”
While Innerface, a Georgia-based company, also offers sign construction, New College’s signs were purchased from Baron Signs in Riviera Florida.