In December 2021, the University of Warwick opened the doors to its new Faculty of Arts building. Being one of the UK’s leading universities, with an excess of 22,000 students, it ranks comfortably in the top 10 of all UK university league tables. The new building is just one of many examples of the University of Warwick’s promise to constantly invest into student campus facilities.
The Faculty of Arts building brings the arts and humanities subjects, previously spread across the campus, all under one roof ‘with the aim of encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration and teaching excellence.’ Events and exhibitions for campus communities and the public will be hosted in this new space and provide a new interdisciplinary learning and research space for students.
To design, supply and install internal and external signage for the new £57.5m Faculty of Arts eight-storey building (the tallest building on campus). This included totem signs, wayfinding signs, and room identification signage.
The Faculty of Arts building offers state of the art facilities, including an antiquities room, new cinema and screening rooms, theatre studios and rehearsal rooms, collaboration spaces, a media lab and edit suite along with multi-purpose events and exhibition spaces. With so many individual spaces in this vast new building, clear, accessible signage is essential for those navigating it. In line with the principles of the campus masterplan, the client specified that the finished look would need to be high quality, durable and have a timeless design.
Furthermore, in accordance with the University of Warwick’s commitments, the specification was required to meet the project’s sustainability agenda.
It was essential to the University that their new project was “constructed out of materials that will last, it has future flexibility built-in and is designed to be both life-enhancing and responsive to change.”
With these in mind, we worked closely with the architect and contractors to ensure the materials and substrates we used were in keeping with the world-class learning environment. These included aluminium, steel, acrylic and stainless steel.
Upon approach to the new building your eyes are drawn to the large monolith sign located outside the main entrance. Highly visible from a distance with its clear-cut white lettering set against a polished black background this totem sign provides a clean, high-quality visual experience that will be replicated throughout the building.
With a collection of internal wayfaring signs strategically positioned throughout the building, combined with accompanying high-level wall graphics denoting each specific room, navigating the new building became an easy task. The crisp white lettering and black background of the external signage is mimicked to great effect internally with each sign utilising eye-catching and clear graphics alongside key directional messaging. Designed and manufactured to withstand high footfall areas, these internal signs are the ideal solution to guide new students around their amazing new space.
A highlight within the project was to fabricate and install a largescale artwork of a specially commissioned poem by Raymond Antrobus MBE, winner of many prizes including the Ted Hughes award. Dominating a high-level wall in the main atrium of the building, this amazing wall graphic is a perfect replica of the handwritten poem by the esteemed poet, complete with traditional page lines and cursive writing. A truly moving visual representation of the purpose of the new faculty building, this thought-provoking and inspirational wall graphic is a perfect representation of the artistic freedoms and values advocated by the university.
Providing a complete signage solution, the final product is a great example of successful professional collaboration. The visually striking signage blends well with the innovative building design which has creativity embedded at its core. This has created a student-focused space that is modern and flexible to the needs of the community.
“Built through a pandemic the team have showed great fortitude, resilience and commitment to navigate successfully to completion and should be very proud.” – University of Warwick.
Importance of branding to attract students to your university
Students are becoming more aware that engaging and innovative learning environments are important to achieving their potential. Ensuring your prospective students encounter an experience that fully encompasses and communicates your aims and personality as a university has become an important part of their decision-making process.
As a new visitor to your university, and often a new visitor to your city, it is important to understand how daunting and overwhelming your campus can be. Getting lost ranks as one of the top fears that new students have about moving to a new city and can be a major factor in whether a prospective student engages positively with your open days.
Ensuring adequate and highly visible signage is scattered liberally throughout your campus, and beyond, is a great way to ensure your prospective students feel safe and supported. Make the experience as smooth, engaging and on-brand as possible, and you’ll soon see the difference in applications and feedback almost instantly!
Find out more about how to use branding to attract students to your university. [https://www.graphicartsgroup.co.uk/sign-display/how-to-use-branding-to-attract-students-to-your-university]