Producing Bespoke Signage for Schools and Universities

Author: FASTSIGNS® Manchester

One of the groups of clients we are most proud to work with here at FASTSIGNS Manchester are those from the local education sector. We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with both schools and universities to build an environment that brings out the best in their students and staff.

It’s fair to say not everyone enjoys their time at school – or even college. It can be a confusing, overwhelming experience that can easily seem oppressive to young minds.

One of the ways schools can make themselves appear more open and friendly to their pupils is by using excellent signage solutions.

Signage is everywhere in schools and is needed to keep a highly complex organisation of hundreds, even thousands, of people with different roles and responsibilities running smoothly.

But get that signage wrong and it will have real consequences. We don't mean factually incorrect: that can be easily rectified. We mean get the whole messaging and tone of the signage wrong and it will impact negatively on many pupils’ whole educational experience.

So what are some of the characteristics of good educational signage and how has FASTSIGNS Manchester implemented these with some of its education clients?


This seems the most obvious use for signs: showing people how to get from A to B or where to grab their lunch.

For such a large and complex institution as a school or university, which often comprise several different buildings on one site, producing a single, coherent signage solution promoting the optimal flow of people around the campus is vital.

Signs must also be readable to people of vastly different physical sizes, particularly in primary schools, as well as to wheelchair users and those with visual impairments.

But there is much more to this than putting up signs to point people in the right direction!

We were recently approached by Egerton High School who were opening a new facility catering for alternative educational needs in Manchester.
The aim of this new facility is to help students who have previously encountered difficulties to restart their educational journey. To achieve this they needed to create a safe classroom space that would meet the pupils’ emotional, educational and behavioural needs.

Choosing the right signage was key to creating this environment. What was crucial was not to overwhelm the pupils. So we came up with internal signage that is designed to orient the pupils around their new home without it feeling authoritarian or oppressive to them.

Trust and Inspiration:

As our work with Egerton High School highlights, signs can have a fundamental influence on how young minds in particular, react to their environment.

It is essential that pupils feel relaxed and comfortable enough with their school surroundings to fully engage with their studies. They need to feel ‘at home’: they need to want to be there.

This starts with the pupils’ first experience of their school. To make sure this is as positive as possible we worked with Egerton to find the right signage solution to stand above the main entrance door to their new facility.

What we wanted to create was a modern but welcoming feel that doesn’t talk down to the children. We tried to make sure they feel valued and included,
that the new school was for them. The flat panel sign we erected above the main doorway aims to create just this impression.


So signage that can build a real sense of community is vitally important. But educational institutions aren’t just communities on their own. They occupy a vital place right at the heart of the wider community.

FASTSIGNS Manchester has recently worked with a number of local universities and colleges on their interfaces with the city as a whole.

After working with Manchester Metropolitan University to unify their signage across their different campuses, we then produced bespoke signage for their new Brooks Building. This has transformed the appearance of MMU’s iconic campus through a perfect blending of functionality and aesthetics.

We have also produced bespoke signage for Manchester School of Art’s Benzie Building. Our aim was once again to enhance the architectural grandeur of the building and its interface with the city.

As higher education plays an increasingly important part in the local and national economies it is vital that good signage helps to make universities and colleges feel like key players in the cities they serve, adding to the cityscape and welcoming the community inside.

Clients from the education sector often have very particular needs if they are to serve their students, staff and the wider community optimally.

It is always a great pleasure to work with schools and universities to find innovative and appealing ways to meet these needs and inspire young minds on their educational journey!