The Right Choice for Your Success

Approval Date: 1/22/08
Approved By: President


Exterior Communications: Signs, Banners, Plaques, Temporary Signs, And Other Exterior Displays


Western Illinois University manages the use of signs, banners, plaques, temporary signs, and other exterior displays in an effort to provide effective communications, promotions, and acknowledgements, while preserving the visual beauty and function of all outdoor spaces and advancing the University’s campus identity objectives to continually enhance the institution’s image.


Responsibility for the management of the exterior communication policy is shared among the offices of the Physical Plant (Facilities Planning and Construction and Landscape Maintenance), University Marketing, Public Safety, Athletics, Conference Services, and Student Activities.

Facilities Planning and Construction is responsible for administering the exterior communication policy, including determining the best directional and way finding plans; approving the design, location, and acquisition; and a shared participation in the messages for all permanent exterior communications.

University Marketing is responsible for the approval of all messages conveyed on permanent exterior communications, the management of institutional promotional campaigns, including banners, and a shared participation in the design and location of permanent exterior communications.

Landscape Maintenance is responsible for the installation, maintenance, repair, replacement, and cleaning of exterior communications, the shared management of acknowledgement communications, and a shared participation in the locations of exterior communications.

Public Safety is responsible for the management of all temporary roadway directional and parking signage and all permanent parking signs.

The Director of Student Activities is responsible for the management of temporary communications requested by registered student organizations within the guidelines of this policy.

Conference Services will provide interior sign structures for events that are scheduled through Conference Services.

Athletics is responsible for the management of signage related to Athletic events.

  1. Campus Exterior Signs
    The University will manage campus exterior signs to provide direction and way finding to campus facilities and services. Facilities Planning and Construction and Public Safety will manage this program. University Marketing and Facilities Planning and Construction will approve all messages.
    A standard design concept shall be established for all permanent directional and way finding signs. The design concept will allow for variation in size and construction to accommodate a variety of directional and way finding needs.
    As a general rule, signs for buildings will include only the name of the building. Exceptions may be allowed for buildings that house significant special facilities or multiple functions that require exterior identification.
    Public Safety in cooperation with Facilities Planning and Construction will manage the permanent parking sign program on campus.
  2. Exterior Banners
    The University will manage the placement of informational and promotional banners on campus. Proposals for exterior banner campaigns for special events and non-university events must be submitted to the office of University Marketing for approval of messages and determination of size, number, locations, and durations of banner placements. University Marketing will maintain a schedule for institutional banner campaigns that will take precedence over all special event banner campaigns. Special event banner campaigns generally will not be installed earlier than four weeks prior to an event and must be removed within two working days after an event. The University reserves the right to deny banner placements for events that are not considered appropriately aligned with the University’s mission and policies. No banners or other messages shall be affixed to University buildings, exterior facilities, or other permanent structures without Presidential approval.
  3. Exterior Plaques and Monuments
    Exterior plaques and monuments are used on a limited basis to acknowledge the significance of special areas or features of the campus and special contributions to the campus. Standards for exterior plaques have been established to ensure uniform communications and to accommodate associated maintenance issues. Proposals for exterior plaques must be submitted to University Marketing and Facilities Planning and Construction for message and design approval. Proposed designs, acquisition, location, and installation must be coordinated with Facilities Planning and Construction and Landscape Maintenance.
  4. Exterior Temporary Signs
    Special events, both University-sponsored (i.e. Athletic events, residence hall move-in, conferences, meetings, celebrations) and non-University-sponsored (i.e. Special Olympics, conferences, high school tournaments) often require the use of temporary signs that provide communications that are not a part of the permanent campus exterior sign program. Such signs include directions to parking and drop-off areas, bus parking, recommended routes to specific locations, directions to specific facilities, and event promotions.
    All special event signage must conform to standards established by Facilities Planning and Construction for type of sign structure, locations, method of messaging, and message content. All University-related temporary signage should include appropriate institutional identity, the identification of the event or purpose, and should be designed in alignment with the University’s visual identity standards and campus exterior sign design standards.
    Temporary signs shall not be placed in such a way as to hinder or influence the normal path of travel or safe sight-lines.
    Temporary signs, including Greek organization signs, should only be used during the times of the related activities on campus and should be removed immediately after such activities are completed. Temporary signs used for promotional or informational purposes may be displayed for periods up to seven days. Extending the time for the display of promotional or informational temporary signs must be coordinated between Public Safety and Student Activities. Landscape Maintenance will remove and dispose of the signs after the seven day time period.
    Registered student organizations (RSO) must use the sign structures available from the Director of Student Activities. Advance reservations should be made and clearance obtained for the method of messaging and message content.
    Conference Services will provide interior sign structures for events that are scheduled through Conference Services.
    Temporary roadway directions and parking signs must be reserved through Public Safety who will determine best locations of such temporary signs.
  5. Other Exterior Displays (including postings and chalkings)
    The University permits chalking of sidewalks and walkways as a form of promoting events sponsored by students, faculty, staff, departments, and student organizations. Chalking to advertise events of campus wide interest is permitted under the following conditions.
    1. The material used to mark a sidewalk (horizontal surface) must be water soluble chalk (sidewalk chalk). The use of markers, paints, oil-based products, sprayable chalk or other products in aerosol containers, adhesives, tape, duct tape, and/or other defacing materials is prohibited.
    2. Chalking is limited to registered student organizations and University divisions, departments, and offices that are conducting University business. The only exception to this policy is the advertising of events (generally charitable in nature) that are sponsored by not-for-profit organizations/agencies within the community of Macomb.
    3. Campaigning or personal dialogs/opinions are not permitted.
    4. Promotions of alcohol events including “all U parties” are not permitted.
    5. Profanity, obscenity, and the promotion of illegal acts are not permitted.
    6. The sponsor of an event, date, time, and location of the event must be included in all chalking.
    7. Each organization/office is responsible for removing the chalk as soon as possible after the event takes place (if the weather does not remove the chalk) as a courtesy to other groups.
    8. Groups will be charged for clean up if chalking occurs in prohibited areas, advertises something other than a campus wide event, or is not removed within a reasonable timeframe after the event occurs.

Chalking placed without permission or otherwise in conflict with University policy will be immediately removed. All groups or individuals responsible for the chalking may be subject to disciplinary charges and judicial process review under the Code of Student Conduct as well as fines, the costs of removal, clean up, and repair.