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Exterior Wayfinding System, Standards and Approval Process for


To describe the standards for exterior wayfinding signs, the process for requesting and receiving approval, and the appropriate funding sources for various categories of wayfinding signs.

Applies to: 

All units that wish to install new or revised exterior wayfinding signs on the Lawrence campus or other sites reporting to the Lawrence campus

Policy Statement: 

All new exterior wayfinding signs and all revisions of existing exterior wayfinding signs must have University approval prior to installation. Signs are expected to conform to the exterior wayfinding system and signage standards described below.

  1. Request and Approval Process for Exterior Wayfinding Signs
    1. All requests for the installation of new exterior wayfinding signs or revision of existing signs must be submitted to:

      The Office of Design and Construction Management (DCM)
      The University of Kansas
      Carruth O’Leary Hall, Room 114
      1246 W. Campus Road
      Lawrence, KS 66045-7505

    2. DCM will prepare a layout of the proposed sign(s), cost estimate and PPMR form for approval and identification of the funding source by the requesting party.
    3. Once approved, DCM will oversee the installation of the sign(s) through the normal PPMR process.
    4. DCM has the authority to approve sign requests which follow the standards outlined within this manual. For requests for exceptions to these standards, the request must be submitted to DCM and reviewed for approval by the KU Sign Committee. Committee members are appointed by the Provost and include representatives of DCM, the Provost’s Office, Public Affairs, and the academic community. DCM will provide staff support.
  2. Wayfinding System and Signage Standards
    1. Consistency: The exterior wayfinding system has been designed to provide consistent signage throughout the University of Kansas environment and can be applied to all campuses, if desired. For this reason, exceptions to the standards are strongly discouraged.
    2. Standards: Standards for appropriate sign types and locations, dimensions, materials, graphic presentation and hierarchy of information have been identified and should be followed in all applications. Requests for exceptions to these standards must be reviewed for approval by the KU Sign Committee, as outlined above.
    3. Historic Context: The KU Campus Heritage Plan addresses the placement of wayfinding signs within the historic core of the campus in order to minimize the impacts to the historic resources of the campus. This document should be consulted for signs requested in these areas.
  3. Funding for Wayfinding System Signs

    The priorities for funding identified below address a philosophy for identifying the appropriate sources for funding and does not imply that funding will be available or provided at the time of any given sign request.

    1. General Wayfinding Signs: Funding for general wayfinding signs directing visitors to KU and general area locations on campus should be funded by the University as funding becomes available (example: large directional sign at 15th and Iowa).
    2. Primary Visitor Destinations: Funding for vehicular and pedestrian signs directing visitors to specific campus attractions should be funded by the campus attraction(s) (example: Allen Fieldhouse directional signage to be funded by Athletics).
    3. Building Identification: Funding for building or facility identification signs should be funded by the building or program(s) within the building or facility (example: building identification sign at Carruth O’Leary to be funded by departments sharing the building).
Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

This policy does not cover signage or lettering of a building name that is installed or engraved on a building façade. Such signage is overseen by Design and Construction Management in association with construction and renovation projects.


Peg Livingood, Project Manager
The Office of Design and Construction Management (DCM)
The University of Kansas
Carruth O’Leary Hall
1246 W. Campus Road
Lawrence, KS 66045-7505

Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Friday, May 22, 2009
Effective on: 
Friday, May 22, 2009
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
exterior signs, wayfinding, building signs, signage
Change History: 

12/09/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).

05/22/2009: Developed in conjunction with the University of Kansas Wayfinding Standards; approved by the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor.

Operational Categories: 

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