Campus Signage Policy

Op11.03 Campus Signage Policy


This policy provides general guidelines for signage on the MSU campus. The purpose is to:

  1. provide clear, concise information for all users, to improve wayfinding,
  2. promote public health, safety and welfare,
  3. promote a unified and attractive sign appearance for all facilities,
  4. minimize maintenance and repairs of the buildings, and
  5. eliminate inconsistent, ineffective, and unnecessary signs.

This policy supersedes all other sign policies; refer to the Op1.01 Commercial Advertising, Sales, Solicitation and Facilities Usage Policy for other specialized signs not covered in this policy. All signage issues not specifically addressed by this, or other university policies are to be referred to the Planning, Design and Construction Office. For the installation of any new signage on campus please submit a project request form to the Office of Planning, Design and Construction.


A. All signage shall be constructed to meet current ADA requirements.

B. Sign content

Department-specific signs will be approved by the department head prior to submission to Planning, Design and Construction for review and approval. All content is subject to university policy.

C. Sign design

The university wishes to maintain a uniform appearance of signage where possible. All permanent signage shall be designed in accordance with this policy to maintain uniformity throughout the campus.

For any design issues not specifically covered by this policy, consult with the Planning, Design and Construction Office.

D. Sign installation

All new permanent signage is to be installed under the direction of Planning, Design and Construction. Replacements of existing signs are to be installed by Facilities Management and can be requested via a work order.

E. Temporary signs/displays

Temporary signs shall not be used in place of standard signage. No surface-damaging adhesives (e.g., scotch tape, duct tape) or surface-penetrating fasteners are to be used to display temporary displays of any kind. Upon the posting of temporary signs, ensure permanent signs and ventilation grilles are not obstructed. Any exterior temporary signage requiring staking, attaching to structures or adhering to fences and/or trees is to be approved by Facilities Management prior to installation.

F. Wall graphics

No graphics or lettering shall be applied to a building surface except as part of the original or remodeled building design administered through Planning, Design and Construction. To ensure proper scale, location, and general compatibility with the building décor, any interior wall graphic must be approved prior to its application on a building surface. This will be executed by using a Project Request Form (found under Planning, Design and Construction website) via the respective department head, dean/director, and vice president.

G. Building surface artwork

Due to concerns regarding general building maintenance, acceptability of the artwork proposed, and the need to have some control over modifications to state property, proposed artwork must be approved in advance using a memorandum to be submitted via the respective department head, dean/director, and vice president to the Public Art Committee. The memorandum will include the location and a description of the proposed surface, the general concept of the work, the proposed schedule, a general description of how the work will be executed, how it will be maintained, how long it will remain in place, and who will be responsible for its removal.

H. Exterior building identification

  1. A building name shall be surface-mounted, in a contrasting color, free standing letters, height: 8" or height appropriate to the scale of the building. Letters are mounted with a ½" standoff from the building surface. Consult Planning, Design and Construction for proper placement.
  2. Building street number shall face the main street or pedestrian way frontage; it will be surface mounted, 4"-6" high or appropriate to the scale of the building, matching the characteristics of the building name sign. Consult Planning, Design and Construction for proper placement.
  3. Accessible entrance(s) to the building are indicated by a 4"x4", blue & white accessible route sticker on the latch side of the upper corner of the door glass.
  4. Building Information for those buildings with unique information may be posted with an exterior display cabinet. Approval for use of such a display must be granted by Planning, Design and Construction.
  5. Other signs are permitted on the exterior of the building, only with prior written approval from the Administration and Finance Office.

I. Bulletin boards & display cases

  1. The use of bulletin boards is governed by the Op1.01 Commercial Advertising, Sales, Solicitation and Facilities Usage Policy.
  2. Prior to ordering bulletin boards or display cases approval of the size, type and mounting location is required from Planning, Design and Construction.
  3. Bulletin boards or display cases once mounted in a building are considered part of the building and may not be removed except by the Facilities Maintenance, with the approval of Planning, Design and Construction.

J. Easels & sandwich boards

Easels, sandwich boards, or any other free-standing signs are not to replace permanent signage. They may however be used under the following stipulations:

  1. In public circulation areas and in unit office areas so long as approved by the authorized unit.
  2. They may not obstruct required public circulation, or any permanent signs, mechanical, lighting or life-safety features.
  3. Content must comply with all applicable university policies.
  4. Signs are to be removed within 8 hours following the end of the event being advertised.

K. Hazard & warning signs

Hazard and warning sign locations are as prescribed by government regulations including D.O.T. and O.S.H.A. Consult with the MSU Department of Environmental Management to determine requirements for these signs as they pertain to materials in your area.

L. Donation plaques

MSU recognizes the generosity of its financial donors with donation plaques. All donation plaque design and placement will be coordinated through Planning, Design and Construction to ensure a unified appearance that is appropriate to the space displayed.

Line of authority

Responsible administrator and office:  Planning, Design and Construction

Contact person in that office:  University Architect and Director of Planning, Design and Construction

Responsible VP:  Vice President for Administration and Finance

Effective date

Presidential approval:  April 10, 2023