University signage standards are established by the Facilities Department as a component of the Campus Wayfinding Master Plan.
The university's signage standards provide consistent wayfinding and visual uniformity throughout campus. Wayfinding is the practice of identifying how people find their way through an environment and is achieved by planning and providing for clear paths of travel and clearly defined destinations through visual cues and the application of signage. A consistent look or design aesthetic, as well as typical applications, assists the campus community and its visitors with finding their destinations more effectively. The following chief purposes for signage include:
- Direction: guides users to destinations in towns and around campuses, in airports, hospitals, and office buildings and are commonly referred to as wayfinding systems
- Identification: confirms destination, creates landmarks, helps establish recognition (e.g., Virginia Tech logo, street numbering, entrance signs, public art)
- Information: communicates knowledge of designations, facts, and circumstances (e.g., kiosks, symbols, and directories)
- Interpretation: provides verbal and visual explanations of a particular topic or set of artifacts (exhibits)
- Orientation: gives users a frame of reference within a particular environment (e.g. maps)
- Ornamentation: enhances or beautifies the environment (e.g. banners, gateways, architectural coloration or elements, etc.)
- Regulation: displays rules of conduct (e.g. "no parking" or "stop" signs)
The Facilities Department is responsible for the development and management of the Campus Wayfinding Master Plan and university environmental graphic design standards for signage. The Facilities Department provides wayfinding expertise for campus master planning initiatives in addition to providing design, specification, and project management for new capital projects, specialty signage, and public spaces.