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Project Profile: Westfield State University, University Hall


[University Hall: to view, download images within your email program][Image: Westfield State University]


Whitney Veigas designed and supplied signs for this new 5 story residence hall, the first the university has built in 8 years. As with many residence halls today, the 411 beds are arranged in semi-suites , each suite having its own bathrooms and a living/dining area. Our contract was with the owner, Massachusetts State College Building Authority, which owns and operates over 100 residence halls on nine university campuses.


This 135,000 square foot building was designed by the Boston architectural firm, ADD Inc.


[University Hall suite sign: to view, download images within your email program]  

With the exception of the suite number sign, all signs for this project were part of a standard sign design program Whitney Veigas developed a number of years ago for all state university residence halls. The sign color varies from project to project, but the design remains essentially the same. The signs for this particular project were all a neutral grey, so as not to detract from the brightly colored accent walls in the corridors.


For the suite identification sign, the architect designed a custom door-height assembly consisting of a tactile suite number sign plate, a white board for messages, and graphic panels, with an aluminum extrusion frame around the assembly.


This sign program was completed on time and on budget, beginning six months prior to the August occupancy. The sign design, programming, shop drawings, fabrication and installation were completed at a cost of $.67 per square foot or 1/10 of 1% of the cost of the construction of the building.


Finding the right sign company


[Architectual signage process: to view, download images within your email program]


There are more than 30,000 sign companies in North America. About 1/3 of these say they provide architectural signage, but fewer than 1,000 focus exclusively on it. In other words, there are a large number of firms that combine architectural signs with fabric banners, graphic vehicle wraps, and retail store signs, but very few actually have the specialized skill, experience, and ability to execute a well-designed sign program.


If your project needs signs, how can you tell the companies that really know what they're doing, from those who don't? Here are some criteria:


  • Architectural Signage Focus
    Look for sign companies whose primary focus is on the creation of architectural sign programs for corporate, institutional, and multi-residential facilities. These firms should be thoroughly knowledgeable of every aspects of the process by which sign programs are designed, documented, fabricated, installed, and maintained. When examaning a firm's website or their promotional materials, you can often tell a lot about a firm from what they don't display. Look for examples and understanding of systematic and programmatic work, rather than 1-off signs or lots of promotional type signage.

  • Turn-key Solutions
    Does the sign company provide comprehensive, turn-key solutions? The right sign company should be able to direct the process from beginning to end – from the gathering of sign requirements all the way through fabrication and installation. If a turn-key solution is not required, a quality architectural sign company should be able to provide consultative sales support to you. Consultative sales support may include material and fabrication recommendations, prototype production, budget estimating and analysis, value engineering, and other similar services.

  • Process & Documentation Expertise
    Ask for examples of sign message schedules, sign location plans, mounting elevations, fabrication drawings, and other documentation. A quality architectural sign company will create and provide the above items for virtually every project they do. Ask the sign company how they go about understanding the requirements of the project, as well as how they create sign schedules. A quality architectural sign company provides more than just fabrication and installation — they should be actively engaged in all parts of the process.

  • Design Sensitivity
    Finally, a good architectural sign company respects the design process, and are supporters of the value of good design. They understand that good design is a balance of cost, functionality, and durability in addition to aesthetic quality. A true architectural sign company understands that they must be effective collaborators, working in partnership with designers, building owners, and other project stakeholders to achieve the appropriate balance for each individual project.


When looking for an architectural sign company to work with you on your next project, consider asking about some of the factors listed above when talking with them.


Whitney Veigas: The Right Firm For You


[Temple Beth Elohim image: to see this picture, download the images within your email program]  
  • Our focus is solely on architectural sign programs.

  • We are pioneers in the delivery of turn-key design-build solutions for our clients.

  • Our documentation is regarded as some of the best in our industry.

  • With our 30 years of experience and multi-disciplinary professional knowledge, we can accurately identify signage requirements, provide useful value engineering recommendations, and untangle the needs of projects both large and small.

  • Our sign design approach is simple, refined, and restrained. It is not dominated by aesthetics, but balances other factors including cost and functionality. We view signage as a "background" product that should be subordinated to other architectural priorities. Signs should compliment — and not compete with — the architecture in which the signs are installed.


Recent Project News

Completed a design-build signage program for the new Tockwotton Home senior living facility in Providence, RI (architect: DiMella Shaffer).


Designed the signage package for the new East Boston branch of the Boston Public Library which had its grand opening a few weeks ago (architect: William Rawn Associates).


Provided signage programming and procurement management services for Digital Realty facilities in Bedford and Wakefield (architect: Dore & Whittier; sign design: Gensler).


Finished a design-build sign program for renovated barracks at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (architect: Prellwitz Chilinski).



[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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