Indiana University Seal

University SignageCPF-03


All location, direction, and way-finding signage at Indiana University campuses and centers. This policy does not apply to signage provided or required by state or local law, such as standard street names and traffic signs.

Back to top

Policy Statement

All location, direction, and way-finding signs on Indiana University campuses must adhere to the following conventions and procedures:

General Provisions: 

  1. Signs on Indiana University campuses should be of a uniform style, or at least be uniformly of the campus style. 
  2. All buildings on all campuses should, wherever possible or practicable, have signs. Signs might also be used for certain areas of a campus to aid way-finding or to highlight them. This might include natural features of the campus.
  3. There should be consistency of size relative to a context, such as all exterior building signs should be of the same size. Signs for certain areas of a campus may be larger but should be consistently so (e.g. the Technology Park at IUB). There may also be occasion to use smaller signs.
  4. There should be consistency of type face, point size, use of logos, etc. used in signs. The IU branding policies should be used as a guide.
  5. Final approval for all signage rests with the Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities, which includes broad discretion to approve variations to the conventions described in this policy.
  6. All campuses will install, as needed, prominent gateway signage in accordance with plans developed in cooperation with the Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities.

Building Signage

1. The principal element in a building sign should be the name of the building. The Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities may approve exceptions to this convention where the building is identified with or has the same name as the unit (e.g. School of Public and Environmental Affairs Building); a house that is part of an administrative unit (e.g. Wells House); or where it is desired to highlight a building that houses a named school, (e.g. the Maurer School or the McKinney School).

2. The secondary element(s) in a building sign should be the name(s) of the main unit(s) in the building. (A unit is a school, department, center, institute, program or an administrative unit, such as an office, program, or service.)

a. The number of units displayed on a sign should be kept to minimum and should only feature the main occupant(s) of a building. (The building directory in the main lobby(ies) of a building should of course have a full listing of all the units in a building.)

b. All discrete secondary elements on a sign should be designed uniquely separated to aid in readability. The secondary elements should also be in a smaller point size than the point size used in the principal element of the sign. Use of different typefaces and/or colors for the principal elements and secondary elements in a sign should be considered as long as this is done consistently.

c. Where these units are departments from the IUB College of Arts and Sciences such as “Department of X”, the corresponding element in the sign should omit the word “Department” and just be “X “. For such signs, the full name of The College, or just its abbreviation as “The College” should be placed in a smaller font on the sign. The same convention should be considered for other similarly sized, multi-department units, such as the IU School of Medicine.

d. Where these units are schools, the full name of the school should be used.

e. Where these are administrative units, simplicity and brevity should be the main convention used with their names.

f. Center or program names should in general only be used where the center or is the sole or main occupant of a building where the center is a particularly prominent one (e.g. the Kinsey Institute.)

3. All building signs should also contain the street address to assist with way-finding. This then links the signage to campus maps.  

4. Buildings may have multiple building signs to aid in way-finding, (e.g. for some buildings on the Old Crescent at IUB.)

Back to top

Reason for Policy

This policy is established to provide conventions for consistent and appropriate signage at all Indiana University campuses, recognizing the importance of the both the aesthetic and informative purpose of University signs.

Back to top


1. Proposals for new or revised signage should be directed to the responsible office on the campus and then to the Office of the Vice President and Capital Planning and Facilities through the contact listed above.

Signage Plans

2. Campuses, in cooperation with the Office of the Vice President and Capital Planning and Facilities, should develop a few prominent map sites located at strategic points on each campus to assist in way-finding, especially pedestrian way-finding.

3. Campuses, in cooperation with the Office of the Vice President and Capital Planning and Facilities, should develop directional signage to assist in way-finding. Such signs might be similar in shape and size to street signs.

Back to top


This policy was established in 2015.

Previous Versions:

Tracked Changes:

Back to top