How College Wayfinding Programs Enhance the Visitor Experience

Higher education institutions have recently seen a shift towards hybrid learning with a combination of online, in-person and evening classes. This shift has required college campuses to utilize wayfinding programs that aid in enhancing the visitor experience. When implementing a college wayfinding program it’s important to keep the following points in mind to ensure the best possible experience.


RIT Magic Illuminated SignIn the past, classical architecture and landscaped spaces were considered the medium for establishing a campus identity. More recently, STEM, sports and social spaces, are what is defining campuses as modern and innovative places. This brand is translated through signage and must be consistent with the mission and values of the college.

IDS helped architecture firm SWBR bring to life the RIT Magic Spell Studios building. They used a changing, lighted sign that defined it as a center of technological progress.

Prioritizing Information

Digital SignageWith access to online information, students no longer have a strong need for physical displays. Digital displays integrated into wayfinding systems are now being used to communicate important and changing information that impacts campus life.  This can range from athletic events to sudden closures and alerts. New cloud-based technology and flexible screens can make changing information a natural complement to permanent wayfinding systems.

IDS has worked with inexpensive digital display systems that are easily integrated to support larger wayfinding programs.

Link to Transportation

SU Signage & College Wayfinding ProgramCampuses were once defined through the eyes of pedestrians. Recently they have become more flexible to the needs of students who drive, bike and bus. The college wayfinding program is now transforming to include all modes of transportation. It’s important that color, material and typography across all of these different experiences maintain the campus brand.

IDS worked with EDR to create the wayfinding system for Syracuse University. The scale of the signs is meant to support multiple forms of transit.  

No matter the campus, college wayfinding programs are learning to adjust to best suit the needs of their visitors.  Solar Wayfinding Signs a Must as Night Visitors Increase is another great insight into college wayfinding programs.

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