Signage Policy

University Campus-Wide Exterior and Interior Signage Policy

The design, determination and inclusion of text and symbols, as a part of the University's identification, wayfinding and information signage program and inventory, and the placement of signage is the responsibility of the Office of the University Architect. The aim is to have as few signs as possible, each with clear and consistent graphics, typography, and message. The placement of signs is likewise intended to be consistent across the campus, and ordered to maximize effectiveness. Signs are placed perpendicular or parallel to building pathways and entrances, oriented for visibility. Each type of signage follows specific design guidelines. 

Exterior Signage

All proposed exterior signage must be submitted to and approved by the Office of the University Architect. Prominent installations may require the additional approval of the Design Review Committee, the Cultural Resources Subcommittee and the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections. Requests for signage may be directed to the Office of the University Architect.

There are three types of exterior signage at the University of Pennsylvania, used for the following purposes:

  1. Identification: Helps visitors and the Penn community find buildings and locations on campus, provides addresses for emergency response personnel, and notes the architect and the construction date of significant works of architecture.
  2. Wayfinding: Includes maps and guides for first-time visitors to key public destinations, and identifies accessible entries to buildings that do not have accessible front doors.
  3. Information: Includes signage related to specific areas of campus such as wireless enabled zones, the display of outdoor banners or temporary event notice and visitor alerts to areas where automobiles, parking, bicycles, smoking or other activities may be restricted or prohibited.

Download policy & prototypical drawings

Exterior signage policy
Prototypical Identification & Wayfinding Signage

Interior Signage

Interior signage shall be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, which encompasses the 2004 ADAAG including signage and any and all subsequent updates and revisions as enacted. Schools and Centers may use University approved vendors for the design and production of their specific ADA compliant interior wayfinding and signage needs. See: United States Access Board > ADA Standards Homepage.

New signage and/or major revisions proposed for existing interior signage programs must be reviewed by the Office of the University Architect at the design stage.

University Election Posters

There are approved locations for University election posters. Please follow the rules and procedures outlined in the UA election poster policy.

Temporary Event Signage

There are 7 Kiosks located throughout the campus that serve for the posting of temporary, unregulated public notice. Signs and/or posters attached to buildings, other structures or landscape elements such as fences, trees, etc., are not permitted. Temporary, regulated and pre-approved event signage may be placed in lawns. Sign content and schedule for all lawn based temporary signage must be submitted, approved and permitted by the Office of the University Architect, prior to installation and removed by the user at the end of each event. Non-compliant signage shall be removed immediately by Facilities and Real Estate Services.

Temporary Lawn Signage policy and procedure may be downloaded here.

Requests for temporary lawn signage should be directed to the Office of the University Architect.

Vendor Signage

Vendor signage is subject to the regulations that govern any and all vendor presence on campus. See: University policy no: 711.