College of the Mainland acquired a new satellite facility in need of exterior branding. This included the creation of a ground sign, building identification (front highway side and back parking lot side), and the creation of a more welcoming presence to the back entrance where students would enter. In addition, these modifications were needed in a relatively short time span for an approaching grand opening event with attendance including top city officials, a U.S. Senator and a U.S. House Representative.
I identified the design effort as more than just creating a ground sign. As the college’s first freestanding external facility, the sign tread into new brand territory to define standards that did not yet exist. The sign would need to establish current and future parameters while evoking a sense of integrity, timelessness and the bold essence of the COM brand. The sign’s strategic planning and scale took into account numerous other factors including proportions and relation to the building. A comparitive analysis was done on other local community signage, which were studied and measured for their approaches and effectiveness. Driving visibility studies were performed to assess legibility scales for passing traffic at 40mph day or night taking font attributes into consideration. On the highway side of the property, I identified an ideal ground sign location and imagined its presence, sensing its proportions, allowing for right-of-ways, sidewalk pedestrian traffic and took measurements of empty space. I moved into Photoshop conceptualizing my proposed design into a realistic form over photographs taking design cues from the building’s modern facade. Additionally, I integrated a blue futuristic glow into the design as a means to further enrich architectural styling communicating a progressive, forward-thinking brand representation. Lit channel lettering placed on the building consisted of the college logo involving scale, placement, negative space and brand decisions.
On the back parking lot side of the facility, design and installation included the conceptual approach of adding a steel blue facade to the building’s entrance to enhance the bland architecture. Logo channel lettering was added involving scale and placement decisions. To complete a welcoming experience, I integrated new landscaping and large red planters placed on each side of the entrance doors.
Working very closely with vendors, signage installation was completed in time for the facility grand opening with special guests in attendance. The signage successfully continues to identify the League City, Texas college facility. The ground sign has received numerous positive comments on its appearance including being one of the most modern-looking signs in the city. On the parking lot side, the revised facade and entrance area creates a welcoming and cohesive aesthetic.
Research, brand strategy, sign conceptualization, specification development, environmental considerations, branding, graphic design, project management, landscape design, vendor management
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