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A comprehensive program of carefully designed signage can strengthen the image and sense of identity of the College. It can make Rhode Island College more visible to the outside world by announcing the school's presence at the major interstate routes, and leading visitors to clearly marked main entrances. Within the campus, signage can make the school more welcoming to first time visitors, while projecting a dignified image to them.

As is the case in most institutions, signage on campus has accumulated over time to the point that much of it is redundant, and often confusing. Some has deteriorated over time, to the point that it does not project a wholly positive image of the College. The plan proposes an achievable, comprehensive signage plan to strengthen the image and identity of the College.


There are significant problems with the current Rhode Island College signage. Orientation and wayfinding for the first-time visitor is a challenge. The freestanding signage is old and dated and has a significant negative impact on the attractiveness of the campus. Trailblazer signs leading visitors to the campus from I-95 and other major feeder routes are incomplete. Trailblazers marking the north and south ends of Mt. Pleasant Ave. are faded and illegible. The west entrance to the Campus off Fruit Hill Ave. is adequately signed and landscaped, but the east entrance off Mt. Pleasant Ave. is not well defined. The sign, though large, is difficult to read and the landscaping does not provide "a sense of entrance". Adequate lighting has not been provided for either the east or west entrances.

Most existing signs on campus fall into three categories: identification, direction and parking/regulatory signage. At present most buildings are appropriately identified with individual metal letters near the building entrance. Freestanding signs are also used to identify buildings, but many of these are redundant and are in a bad state of repair. (The building mounted letters appear to have held up much better over the years). The typestyles are inconsistent serif letters on the buildings and sans-serif letters on the freestanding signs.

There are several directional signs on campus but they are overloaded with information. In some cases, they have ten messages, which is too much to read from a moving vehicle (Federal highway standards limit guide signs to only three messages). Some of the information is now inaccurate and directions to a high priority destination - admissions - is only provided on the east campus.

Given the number of students who commute to campus, parking spaces are at a premium. While it is apparent that a concerted effort was made years ago to systematically identify the parking areas, these signs are now damaged, faded and inaccurate. Additional signs indicating parking regulations have been added over time which are inconsistent and add significantly to the sign clutter. Visitor parking is difficult to locate. Reserved parking spaces are identified in a variety of ways, which also contributes to the clutter.

In summary, the signs on the Rhode Island College campus have grown over the years as information needs have increased. The sign clutter has created unnecessary confusion and has detracted from the beauty of the campus. The College now has an opportunity to make a significant improvement to the campus by eliminating redundancy, cleaning up the clutter and implementing a simple, logical sign program.

Photographs (clickable thumbnails)

Signage Illustrations


The goals of the signage program are to strengthen the sense of the College's identity and to make it easier for first time visitors to find their way around the College. The campus physical environment should be more welcoming and accessible. The sign program will 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.

The serif typeface is derived from the existing building mounted signs and has a traditional, academic appearance. The color of the freestanding signs should be dark burgundy to enhance visibility and to set-off the gold and white school colors.

The highest concern is for the first time Visitor - to provide trailblazing and directional information to the Rhode Island College campus and access to high priority destinations: Admissions, Roberts Hall (Administration), Performing Arts Center, Athletic Complex, Student Union, etc.

The Sign Program has been separated into categories by function: Identification, Information, Direction and Regulation. The program is designed as a kit of parts to be initially fabricated and installed by an outside Sign Contractor, and to be maintained and updated by the Facilities sign shop. Materials, finishes and manufacturing processes for the signage have been designed to the capabilities of the sign shop so that the program will remain effective in the future.

Signage Design Concepts for the Rhode Island College campus are shown on the previous pages.

Advance Guide Sign (State Standard)


Campus Identification

Street Identification


Building Identification

Parking Area Identification

Reserved Parking



The budget pricing for the full implementation of Campus Signage is shown below. Off-Campus signage (Advance Guide Signs and Trailblazers) will require coordination with Rhode Island Department of Transportation. This work may be phased or bid as one construction package.


Item Qty Unit Cost Total
Advance Guide Sign (Interstate)     N/A
Trail blazer 10 500 5,000
Campus Identification

a. Pleasant St

1 21,500 21,500

b. Fruit Hill

1 10,000 10,000
Street Identification 8 1,000 8,000
Major Directional 10 2,000 20,000
Building ID (Wall Mounted) 8 750 6,000
Major Building ID (Freestanding) 4 1,500 4,500
Secondary Building ID (Freestanding) 3 1,500 4,500
Campus Map 6 3,000 18,000
Parking Area ID 20 1,000 20,000
Reserved Parking 75 400 30,000
  Subtotal $150,000
  Contingency 25,000
  SIGN TOTAL $175,000

Please note the above figures are for budgeting purpose only. The numbers will be finalized as the sign schedules and construction documents are prepared.

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