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Acrylic Wayfinding Signs Help Students Navigate at the University of Portland

Have you ever walked down a hallway? It would be pretty weird if you haven’t. Hallways are a necessary pathway of modern existence. Most of the time, when we enter a new facility, hallways can be confusing because we don’t know where to go. To make matters worse, some bozo thought it would be a good idea to make flush-mounted signs the most popular hallway signage option. This forces you to stop and read every sign as you continue your search down the corridor.

The University of Portland wanted to improve their students’ hallway experiences, so they contacted Specialty Graphic Solutions for blade directional signs for universities in Portland, OR.

“I’ve Heard of Portland, but the University of Portland?”

Portland is home to a number of institutions devoted to higher education. Among these is the aptly-named University of Portland (UP), a private Roman Catholic university founded in 1901 and affiliated with the Congregation of Holy Cross. The College of Arts & Sciences (CAS), who we were working with, has been around since the school’s founding. It’s home to the largest number of students enrolled at UP with more than 1600 students engaged in 27 degree programs within 20 departments and programs of study.

When such a respected institution came to us for acrylic wayfinding signs for universities in Portland, OR, we let them know that we’d give it the ol’ college try. Mainly located in Buckley Center on North Willamette Boulevard in Portland, CAS wanted to spruce up some of their common areas with helpful signage. We had just the solution.

What We Came up with for UP

We started the project off right by talking with the advising staff for CAS about their signage needs. They wanted markers installed above the Dean’s Suite and the Advising Suite to help students find the resources they needed. We suggested blade signs since they run perpendicular to the wall and are easy to see from far away, unlike flush-mounted signs. UP liked the cut of our jib, and once they approved the design we created for them, we got down to work.

Our Mighty Sign Makers incorporated the iconic lampposts located throughout this North Portland campus into the design of the signage. The markers consisted of three layers of acrylic. First, the main center panel featured full-color digital print on both sides. Then, two smaller 3/16” panels were custom routed so the “CAS” is cut out of the acrylic for a recessed look. We also added a diagonal cut on the bottom to tie in with the shape of the boulevard banners on campus.

We then mounted the signs to the wall with matte silver barrels that give the sign a clean, modern look. In the end, UP loved their new markers. They didn’t offer us an honorary degree or anything, but they were satisfied nonetheless, and that’s good enough for us.

If you’re interested in improving the wayfinding experience of visitors to your facility, consider contacting the mighty sign makers at SGS today for a free consultation on blade signs.

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