An elegant, robust signage solution for University College London’s historic Grade I listed building

Renowned for its academic excellence, UCL (University College London) chose Signbox to revitalise the signs for its prestigious Wilkins Building in the heart of fashionable Bloomsbury.

Once aware of UCL’s requirement to phase out its old sign system ‘Slatz’ in preference for a more modern and sleek system, Signbox used its Exor accredited status to tender for the project. Knowing that best value would be key and that time was of the essence Signbox focused its bid on being cost-effective, compliant and competent whilst displaying a high level of customer service.

“The main areas of expertise I wanted to highlight were our excellent project management skills and ability to deliver quality products on time and within budget,” says Neil Devery, Business Development Manager of Signbox.

To remain competitive, every area of the specification was meticulously considered including the removal of UCL’s old signs and making good. Best value for money and best quality were the two deciding factors that won Signbox the project.

Elegant, robust and flexible, the Modular Sign System provided UCL with an appropriate solution that was sympathetic to the existing Grade I listed architecture of the Wilkins Building, where the signs were being replaced.

Placemarque, who were responsible for creating a detailed wayfinding strategy, designing the artwork and obtaining all the necessary consents for the historic interior, explains why it was necessary to develop a new sign system for UCL;

“Existing Internal wayfinding signage had developed piecemeal over time. Subsequently there is a mixture of signage types, inconsistency of information and poor delivery of information in some of the buildings,” says Sue Manley. “The project intention was to develop a new system with classic styling and graphics to deliver information in a clear and consistent way. The MSS system was chosen for its simplicity and its ability to work well in both historic and new environments.”

A total of 110 screen printed directories with multiple panels were required by UCL, including location maps and key plans which had to be digitally printed. Following the brief given by Placemarque, Signbox applied a specialist paint finish to the MSS system. Using techniques developed specifically for this project, the lightweight extruded interchangeable aluminium profiles were given a natural stone finish.

“We choose a Nextel paint finish to provide a good matt but sophisticated finish, as a background to simple legend graphics and colouring,” say Sue Manley. “We were very pleased with the attentive and quality service provided by Signbox to manufacture and install the signs.”

Signbox successfully created and installed all 110 signs to a set programme. The final design complemented the historic architecture of the Wilkins Building beautifully and provided UCL with a range of signs suitable for both modern and traditional buildings on campus.

“The installed signage has generated much favourable comment from university staff, students and visitors, not only for its superb design and quality, but also for its effectiveness as a wayfinding tool;” reports Rosemary Clements, UCL Design Services.