University Campus-Wide Exterior and Interior Signage Policy

The design, determination, and inclusion of text and symbols, as a part of the University's identification, wayfinding and information signage program and inventory, and the placement of signage is the responsibility of the Office of the University Architect. The aim is to have as few signs as possible, each with clear and consistent graphics, typography, and message. The placement of signs is likewise intended to be consistent across the campus and ordered to maximize effectiveness. Signs are placed perpendicular or parallel to building pathways and entrances, oriented for visibility. Each type of signage follows specific design guidelines.

The complete Exterior and Interior Signage Policy should be downloaded and referenced.
For your convenience, some of the most frequently used components are outlined below.

Exterior Signage

All proposed exterior signage must be submitted to and approved by the Office of the University Architect. Prominent installations may require the additional approval of the Design Review Committee, the Cultural Resources Subcommittee, and the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections. Requests for signage may be directed to the Office of the University Architect.

There are four types of permanent exterior signage at the University of Pennsylvania:

  1. Identification: Helps visitors and the Penn community find buildings and locations on campus, provides addresses for emergency response personnel and notes the architect and the construction date of significant works of architecture.
  2. Wayfinding: Includes maps and guides to key public destinations, and identifies accessible entries into buildings that do not have accessible front doors.
  3. Information: Includes signage related to specific areas of campus such as wireless-enabled zones and areas where automobiles, parking, bicycles, smoking or other activities may be restricted or prohibited.
  4. Donor recognition: Policies governing exterior donor recognition of buildings and/or open space

Policy & Prototypical Drawings

Temporary Event Signage

There are seven Kiosk locations throughout the campus that serve for the posting of temporary, unregulated public notice. Signs and/or posters attached to buildings, other structures, or landscape elements such as fences, trees, etc., are not permitted. Temporary, regulated, and pre-approved event signage may be placed on lawns. Sign content and schedule for all lawn-based temporary signage must be submitted, approved, and permitted by the Office of the University Architect, prior to installation and removed by the user at the end of each event. Non-compliant signage shall be removed immediately by Facilities and Real Estate Services.

Requests for temporary lawn signage may be directed to the Office of the University Architect.


Policies governing the review and approval of proposed banners on buildings, poles, and open spaces.

University Election Posters

There are approved locations for University election posters. Please follow the rules and procedures outlined by the Nominations and Election Committee.

Vendor Signage

Vendor signage is subject to the regulations that govern any and all vendor presence on campus. See Policy no: 711 on Penn's Human Resources website for additional information.

Interior Signage

Interior signage shall be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, which encompasses the 2004 ADAAG including signage and any and all subsequent updates and revisions as enacted. Schools and Centers may use University approved vendors for the design and production of their specific ADA-compliant interior wayfinding and signage needs. The United States Access Board has additional information about ADA Accessibility Standards.

New signage and/or major revisions proposed for existing interior signage programs must be reviewed by the Office of the University Architect at the design stage.

All Gender Restroom Signage

Guidelines for designing All Gender Restroom signs at the University.