The tailor visited Gannon University before Thanksgiving break, dressing the campus’s buildings with a more unified look.
This year, members of the administration’s signage project committee fostered an agreement with Bueller & Associates, a local architectural firm, to design the new signs. The firm brought several designs to the committee table, and both sides worked on the revisions that led to the final design.
The idea for a new campus sign system has been present in university discussions going back several years, according to Andy Lapiska, art director of Gannon’s marketing department and a member of the project’s committee. Lapiska said the project had been a priority of current Gannon President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., while Taylor held the position of provost and vice president of Academic Affairs.
“We really saw the need to unify our campus buildings, because they vary so much in architecture,” Lapiska said. “Most of the buildings here were acquired and then repurposed for the purposes of the university. So they vary widely in their coloration and the architecture.”
Freshman pre-physical therapy major Justin Ryan said he didn’t see any problem with the old signs, but he likes the look of the new ones.
“They benefit the people who aren’t a part of the Gannon community every day,” Ryan said.
Before the facelift, each building did have some form of recognition, but Lapiska said the signs’ variance in size and style deterred observers from recognizing the buildings as Gannon structures.
For example, the Zurn Science Center’s sign stuck out due to its vertical print; no other campus building shared the design.
This is not the first time the university has attempted to dress all of its buildings with the same badge. For the last few years, most of the buildings featured the Gannon seal, but Lapiska said the mark is an identification of an older Gannon, and now, to the Erie community, the insignia is not as recognizable as it used to be.
“It’s kind of gotten lost over the years,” Lapiska said.
The new design incorporates Gannon’s maroon and gold colors, along with the university’s standard font it uses on publications. Lapiska said the signs’ irregularity also add to their uniqueness.
“We wanted something that wasn’t just a square on the building, something that would stand out a little bit more,” Lapiska said. “We wanted a design that’s a little more modern rather than speak to any specific architecture that we had on campus.”
Lindsay Corbett, a first-year graduate student in the clinical mental health program, said the new signs effectively differentiate Gannon from its urban surroundings.
“The signs unify the campus within Erie’s cityscape,” Corbett said.
The signage project updated two of the three types of campus signs: the larger, costlier building signs on the academic buildings and also the smaller post signs, such as those in front of the residence halls.
The other type of sign – the portal – has yet to be updated. These are the signs on the corner of Sixth and Peach streets adjacent to Old Main and at the intersection of 10th and Sassafras streets on the lawn of the Morosky Academic Center.
But Lapiska said the next phase of the project will be to update these signs, sometime within the next year.
Lapiska said he and the committee are quite satisfied with the project’s end result. The signs are “no doubt” more visible than their predecessors.
“We really wanted to make it easier for visitors to campus and for new students,” Lapiska said, “to help them find their way a lot better and not have to second-guess whether they’re in the right building.
“I really think that we have accomplished those goals—not only of unifying the campus but making it easier to navigate the campus.”
Ryan said the signs enhance the campus aura of the university.
“They add a feeling of comfort,” Ryan said.