New Adelphi wayfinding and signage

University of Salford

The New Adelphi building is the centre piece for the University of Salford’s development masterplan. The building consolidates a number of previously disparate design and making faculties into one purpose built space.

Our brief from the University was to create a building specific signage scheme that reflected the work and study which happens within it. The nature of the faculties using the building led our response to treat the building in a similar way to an art gallery – the work being displayed by the students was to take centre stage whilst the signage worked quietly in the background.

A simple typographic based design was used across the signage scheme. A monochrome palette was used to complement the predominately white and dark grey interiors of the building. The palette made the signage feel part of the building, as opposed to an additional layer, therefore allowing the displayed work to be the main focus.

Signs were consciously designed as minimal as possible: white or black text icons and arrows, set against a white or black background.

Critical to scheme’s success was to aid the users understanding of the building layout. The building has eight levels in total, however a number of the levels are partial levels, and not all are accessible from each of the buildings five stair cores. Providing clear information on entry to each stair core, or lift, of the destinations which could be reached was key. Floor levels were numbered with large scale graphics these were accompanied by a general directory to aid orientation and decision making.

The scheme uses a mix of sign types: large scale freestanding monoliths for the entry level circulation space, with smaller monoliths and suspended signs for the upper floors. A mix of vinyl and acrylic signs were used for the small scale wayfinding and room signage.