Semiotics of summer ‘16

Sutton Hall signage, July 2016. Photo by David Loomis.

Sutton Hall signage, July 2016. Photo by David Loomis.

By Ethan C. Brogan

INDIANA –- By summer’s end, Indiana University of Pennsylvania will have erected 2,000 new signs, including street, parking and disability guideposts, the administration reports.

L&H Sign Co. in Reading laid the groundwork for the Signage Project by digging an estimated 3,000 holes around the campus.

Sutton Hall signage, June 2016. Photo by David Loomis.

Sutton Hall signage, June 2016. Photo by David Loomis.

IUP adopted the project in 2012, according to June and July emails from Michelle S. Fryling, executive director of communications and media relations. Campus administrators approved the $1.4 million “complete navigation system” in 2015.

The new signs in school colors of crimson and gray are made of aluminum and vinyl and supported by steel poles encased in concrete piers. They display building names with street addresses. The older signs were smaller and made from steel with a powder coat, an alternative to paint.

The signs address a “need for improved wayfinding,” according to IUP’s 2014 Master Plan Revision. The project is scheduled to be completed in mid-August.

Mike Kuhn (left), Ted Quintinsky and Mike Goetz pour cement piers for new parking signs in front of Folger Dining Hall, July 12, 2016. Photo by Ethan Brogan.

Mike Kuhn (left), Ted Quintinsky and Mike Goetz pour cement piers for new parking signs in front of Folger Dining Hall, July 12, 2016. Photo by Ethan Brogan.

William C. Sutton, Indiana borough manager, expressed similar interest in new signage for the municipality.

“There are a lot of signs that are simply missing,” Sutton said in a July 14 interview at the Indiana Municipal Building.

The borough has started a signage project, Sutton said. But it is in its infancy.

Tyrone Roberts Jr., 28, a junior economics major at IUP, led a campus tour during a recent orientation for incoming freshman.

Tyrone Roberts Jr., Indiana University of Pennsylvania junior economics major and summer tour guide, July 7, 2016. Photo by Ethan Brogan.

Tyrone Roberts Jr., Indiana University of Pennsylvania junior economics major and summer tour guide, July 7, 2016. Photo by Ethan Brogan.

“Less than 10 noticed the signs,” Roberts said in a July 6 interview in an off-campus coffeehouse.

Roberts said he answered more questions about the signs during their construction than following their installation. Before signs are unveiled, they are covered in black plastic wrap.

“More students asked about the black bags,” Roberts said.

Clarification

This story was revised July 28 in response to university clarification of its reasons for adopting the campus-wide signage project.

On July 26, university spokeswoman Michelle S. Fryling wrote:

“While the signage ‘provides guidance for meeting the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and fire code requirements,’ the project was NOT adopted to comply with federal ADA.”

Ethan C. Brogan, a senior majoring in journalism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, is from Pittsburgh.

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