Guidelines for interior building signage

Increasing requests for interior building signage and evolving digital display technology require the University of Waterloo to develop a set of guidelines for the installation of signage within each building’s public spaces.

Interior building signage includes wall/door/ceiling/floor/window mounted elements (wood, steel, plastic, electronic, banners, etc) located within public areas (corridors, atriums, halls, stairways, etc) which provide “information” for building occupants and visitors. Interior building signage cannot be installed at locations (such as in a window or door) where it is intended to attract the attention of persons located outside the building. Information mounted on bulletin boards is not considered internal building signage.

All academic and administrative buildings are covered by these guidelines; residences, SLC, Fed Hall, PAC, CIF, Grad House, and SCH are excluded. The excluded buildings will develop individual guidelines which will be approved through Deans’ Council.

Information provided

Interior signage provides information regarding:

  • way finding (directories, floor plans, etc)
  • donor recognition
  • announcements for events/activities planned or occurring within the building

Signage standards

Interior signage will conform to the following standards:

  • be consistent with existing standards in the building
  • departmental identification signs (including digital displays) will be limited to two per building, located close to the departmental office/reception area, will not exceed five square feet in area, may contain the standard fonts and graphics used by the department in publications
  • avoid excess proliferation; digital displays will be shared by occupants of a building to the extent possible
  • not permit the advertisement of any commercial activity
  • will permit appropriate donor recognition
  • be installed by Plant Operations in compliance with all building/fire codes and regulations
  • all room number signs and basic way finding signage within a building will have a single standard style, size, colour and material
  • non-compliant signage will be removed

Approval process

The approval process will include the following:

  • a work request will be completed and sent to Plant Operations
  • Plant Operations will review for building/fire code compliance and compliance with these guidelines
  • in the event a request cannot be processed, the requestor can ask the Dean or Senior Administrator responsible for the building and the VP, Administration & Finance, to review the signage request

Endorsed by Deans’ Council 2008/01/09