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Happy New Year!
Our first newsletter of the year highlights the building identification letters which we recently completed for the acclaimed new student residence hall at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. We also take a look at a mundane, but extremely important, task that frequently arises during the signage design and programming process — room renumbering.
- Jean Veigas


MassArt Residence Hall Canopy Letters

[MassArt canopy letters: to view, download images within your email program]


As part of the scope of a comprehensive signage program for the new Massachusetts College of Art and Design residence hall on Huntington Avenue, Whitney Veigas designed, fabricated, and installed individual letters mounted vertically at the edge of the canopy over the main entrance. Thirty-four characters extend over 93 feet of the canopy and were installed in November.


These fabricated aluminum letters are 24” high and 4” deep. The back surface of each letter is finished to match the front face, since the backs are visible from the second floor windows. Each individual letter is mounted with two 3/4” diameter x 8” high stainless steel rods.


Reinforcing baffles inside each letter provide stability and help to distribute wind load from the face of the letters to the stainless steel mounting rods. The mounting stems are bolted to a continuous structural aluminum mounting channel that will also serve to carry and conceal a linear LED light fixture. The letters are painted with a durable, catalyzed acrylic polyurethane coating in a champagne color to complement the warm earth tones of the metal façade panels.


Spotlight on Room Renumbering

[Room number signs: to view, download images within your email program]


During the design and implementation of a sign program, the building owner or other stakeholders may want to change the room numbering that was assigned by the architect. The architect's room numbering can be a simple sequence of numbers around the space, or may involve some more sophisticated logic — for instance, all support rooms (restrooms, closets, and the like) receiving special numbering.


A number of influences can spur the decision to renumber rooms, including visitor wayfinding, marketing, life safety, and building maintenance. Here are a few examples of room numbering changes and challenges that we have encountered:

  • Large high schools that want to include initial letters in the room numbers to indicate wings.

  • Often in apartment and condominiums, the marketing group wants sequential numbering of the apartments so that there are no numbering gaps.

  • In one senior living facility, the nurses wanted all odd numbers on one side of corridor, and even on the other. In another senior living facility, building owners asked for a prefix in front of the apartment numbers so that they were easily distinguished from other rooms.

  • Inserting a new building onto an existing campus setting, and needing to accommodate campus wide numbering standards.

  • Renovations, expansions, additions, attached buildings, and infills can create inconsistencies and duplications with existing numbers.

  • Numbering systems that make logical sense when you can see the building plan, but are difficult to understand and navigate for the first-time visitor or emergency responder.

  • Rooms that have two numbers: a primary number for occupants and visitors, and a secondary number for maintenance and administrative purposes.

You may want to assume that, on certain types of projects, room renumbering is likely, and factor in the time and cost of the change. Unfortunately, since signage is often addressed late in a construction project, you can also assume that these changes will occur late in the project's lifecycle.


Also, it is important that all parties are involved in the room renumbering process. We have encountered examples where room numbers are changed without the architect's involvement, which can result in incorrect fire annunciator panels and out-of-date as-built drawings.


Project News

We recently completed a design-build signage program for the new Service Credit Union corporate headquarters in Portsmouth, NH (architect: GUND Partnership).


We have also been selected to design and supply interior and exterior signage for the multi-phase renovation and expansion of the North Hill senior living community in Needham, MA (architect: JSA Architects).


[Architectural Sign Program course images: to view, download images within your email program]


We are now scheduling presentations of our AIA/CES registered course Architectural Sign Programs.


The course examines the unique requirements and challenges of specifying and documenting architectural signage, and offers strategies for designing and implementing successful sign programs for all types of projects.

:: Course Information ::


Architectural Sign Programs




One hour


1.0 HSW (Health, Safety, and Welfare category) Learning Unit




Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the importance of signage and the relationship between architecture and signs

2. Describe the problems and limitations associated with the current approach to specifying signage

3. Understand the primary tasks involved in designing and specifying an architectural sign program

4. Develop strategies to successfully specify and document architectural sign programs



Please contact us to schedule a presentation.


[arrow image]   For assistance with signs
on your next project,
please contact Jean Veigas
in our office.






Design and Documentation Services :: Sign Supply :: Turnkey Design-Build Solutions

  For more than 25 years, Whitney Veigas has been designing and supplying architectural signage.
We are located in the Boston area and work closely with architects and building owners to create interior and exterior sign programs for academic, institutional, and corporate facilities. Our careful attention to process and aesthetics ensure well designed and well implemented sign programs.


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