Vehicle directional signage. (photo: Michael Courtney Design)
Vehicle directional signage.
08.08.2017, 00:49

Case Study: University of Utah Wayfinding and Signage

Architecture & Interiors, FM Magazine

An easy to use orientation strategy, clear vehicular graphics and pedestrian-focused wayfinding and directories forms the foundation of the authentic-to-place wayfinding and signage Master Plan for the sprawling University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City.


Working in collaboration with University planners, Seattle-based design firm, Michael Courtney Design, developed a comprehensive master plan focused on user-friendly elements to replace the worn out signage program on the University's growing urban campus.


The new design established a consistent visual look and feel, material palette and layout to the complete sign family. MCD created a simplified, easy to understand design language for both Vehicular and Pedestrian signs fabricated of easy to maintain local materials. All signs need to withstand the challenging weather conditions of Salt Lake City, where a typical year includes snowy 0 degree winters and dry, low moisture 100 degree summers.


Enhancing the Pedestrian Experience

The University has developed a pedestrian friendly campus and the priority of the wayfinding Master Plan was to further enhance the pedestrian experience. With that in mind, MCD developed a special program for the Pedestrian Directories that sets the signage for the University of Utah apart from any similar project: relevant stories about the neighborhood and University history were embedded into the Pedestrian Directories with photos of nearby buildings. The photos were the result of a University team member's suggestion. As many University of Utah campus buildings look similar, adding photos to the signs provides significant assistance to visitor recognition ("Oh, that's the Student Union."). These directories are important in both wayfinding as well as the overall user experience and also assist with user orientation.


Implementation: A Ten-Year Process

The Master Plan called for a phased implementation. After the University approved the Master Plan, they secured funds to install Phase One, Vehicular wayfinding. The cost of remaining phases was wrapped into ongoing campus improvements. In time, the sign family grew across campus, and the last set of Pedestrian signs were installed roughly ten years after the process began.




Project Name: University of Utah Signage and Wayfinding Master Plan
Client: University of Utah
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Open Date: Spring 2006
Project Area: 1,534 acres
Experiential, Graphic and Environmental Design Teams:
Michael Courtney Design:
Michael Courtney (Principal, Design Lead); Fran Terry (Senior Project Manager, Senior Designer);
Landon Fisher (Designer); Debra Burgess (Designer)
University of Utah Planning:
John McNary (Director, Campus Planning); Christin Robbins (Project Manager)
Fabrication: YESCO
Collaborators: Berkey Engineering
Photos: Michael Courtney Design

article Rating


165 Fleet Street. (photo: Signbox Ltd)
Signbox Ltd  - 04.08.2017, 13:38

Bespoke Solution for Prestigious London Offices

Recommended by Resonate Architects and appointed by contractors ISG, Signbox has played a crucial role in the renovation of multi-tenanted office building, I65 Fleet Street.

 (photo: ONELAN)
ONELAN Limited  - 16.06.2017, 13:06

North American Strategic Alliance

Digital visual communications company ONELAN and global pro AV distributor Stampede Global, have announced a strategic alliance to support customers with enterprise-level content, network and...

 (photo: Swarco Traffic)
SWARCO Traffic  - 25.05.2017, 16:40

Easing the Customer Journey

SWARCO Traffic has installed an innovative new parking guidance system at one of Northern Ireland’s premier shopping centres, Abbey Centre, Belfast.

 (photo: Confida FM)
Confida FM  - 02.06.2017, 17:12

New Beginnings for Ayrshire FM Business

The launch of Confida FM promises a bright new future for a wife and husband management team - and the facilities management industry in Scotland...and beyond.

 (photo: WPS Parking Systems BV)
WPS Parking Systems BV  - 15.03.2017, 14:04

Next-generation Parking Technology for Celtic Manor

WPS, one of the UK’s leading parking equipment manufacturers, has won a second contract to provide its ParkAdvance™ technology at the prestigious Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.

 (photo: Infomill Ltd)
Infomill Ltd  - 09.01.2017, 12:22

New Version of PartsArena Pro App

Heating engineers across the UK will enjoy a new, updated version of PartsArena Pro from January 2017 as creator, Infomill rolls out its latest improvements to the leading source of heating parts...

Crocus on site. (photo: Bodet Ltd.)
Bodet Ltd  - 22.09.2016, 20:30

Nursery and Garden Produce Staff Go Biometric

Leading nursery and online garden produce retailer Crocus have just installed the very latest Bodet interactive time and attendance system, to provide accurate and reliable staff attendance data...