Ternary code inspires graphics for the new UOS ‘Health + Wellbeing’ building

Brief: University of Suffolk asked us to create internal and external signage for the regenerated East Building at the universities main campus in Ipswich. The building has been rechristened as the ‘Health + Wellbeing’ building, designed to give hands on-training to medical professionals and was designed by KLH – an architecture practice that specialises in healthcare settings.

Process: We initially completed a full site survey and analysed with the university estates team how students and visitors use and move around the building. We wanted to create purposeful signage which would be useful to the people most likely to need it most –
First-time users, without creating visual clutter and existing within the university’s brand structure

The University Estates team also asked us to look at how we could help the new building fit in with the design vernacular of the rest of the university’s building. In keeping with the Atrium and the Waterfront building, we suggested a squared pattern made from three shades of the university’s greys.

Solution: The pattern was created by converting ‘the university of Suffolk health and wellbeing’ into ternary. (Binary code uses 0 and 1, ternary uses 0, 1 and 2, giving us three digits to use to correspond to the three greys). The grid is designed to align with the vertical lines on the external zinc cladding of the building.

Part of the navigation problem the University had, was around nomenclature. Across the campus large totems are used for sign-posting and location marking. The totems to the north of Fore Street were all labeled ‘NORTH CAMPUS’, whilst the totems around the Waterfront are labelled with the name of the University Building they are adjacent too. This seems a more practical approach and we suggested all the North Campus totems be renamed to the buildings or areas they are closest to eg. Library Building, The Atrium and Long Street.

Signage Manufacturing: Hudson Group + special thanks to Steve Flory
Architects: KLH Architects Limited

The Process: Full survey, concept, design, installation