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Official University Signs

Are you interested in obtaining or replacing an official exterior sign? Emory University has a number of standards in place for exterior signs used in wayfinding, identification and regulation on campus. All exterior signs require administrative approval before ordering or installation. New projects always use the new standard. The University discontinued revising older standard signs in 2009.

Official building signs: Standard building signs may be acquired to replace existing old-style signs. Administrative approval is required and we will guide you in this process including sign layout, cost and approvals.

Regulatory signs: Emory places signs for parking and roadways in an official and consistent manner in keeping with standard practices used in the U.S.A with a philosophy of fewer signs where possible and practical. Methods and products are standardized and administrative approval is required for additional signs or changes in cooperation with Transportation and Parking Services. If you have a request, please let us know and we can guide you in the process.

Building Inscriptions: Existing and new buildings are inscribed with their official name at the time of their construction or afterwards. This occurs under the direction of the Board of Trustees who control official building names either associated with a donor gift or not. Should the situation arise for a need to add an inscription to a building, we'll advise you regarding the process which is guided by the University Architect.

Wayfinding/directional signs: For guiding vehicular traffic and/or pedestrians, standard approved designs are ready to deploy. Pilot project installations are in place on campus and other signs may be added upon customer request if consistent with the intent and spirit of the Wayfinding Master Plan (2006). Central funding is not avaiable at this time, but departments, schools, and programs may opt to fund this type of sign.

Historical Markers: The University has authorized a standard means to identify historic structures. Granite and cast aluminum markers are found all around campus with a concentration of markers in the Quadrangle area. Ask us about the process to erect a marker.

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wall direct sign

Clockwise from upper left: historical marker, building identification, vehicle directional sign and wall directional sign panel

A little history: In 1989 Emory adopted its first consistent sign program some of which remains in use today. These signs are ivory in color with a navy band across the top. A Wayfinding Committee was formed in 2005 to investigate issues and determine a strategy for improving wayfinding on campus. The campus changed physically as a result of the 1998 Master Plan where satellite parking is emphasized and central campus areas are pedestrian-focused with limited vehicle access. This beautifies the campus but also prevents visitors from driving close to their destination or making eye-contact with their destination. Pedestrians need more information once they arrive at Emory and the Wayfinding Master Plan (published 2006) laid the groundwork for improvements emphasizing visitors, who need direction to parking options upon entering campus. A new sign program design was adopted in 2009 as the result of a two-year design process (see the process here) and prototyping of various options as to color and style. The first signs were installed in 2009 and will continue over the next several years gradually replacing the old system. Signs depicted above are examples from the new sign standard.