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Guidelines for placemaking

In addition to the campus wayfinding and signage guidelines, we are also developing guidelines for how we will approach individual spaces as space branding impacts overall placemaking.  These will join other standards that are under development and will support the entire campus.

"Placemaking shows that the creation of places transcends the material dimension and involves aspects such as sociability, uses, activities, access, connections, comfort, and image, to create bonds between people and a sense of place."


While it is necessary to ensure the multi-year plan is followed and the campus meets the standards developed, there are other activities such as future construction and donor recognition that will be considered and the plan will be adjusted as required.

The Communications and Marketing team will carefully consider all of these aspects and the placemaking plan will be developed and designed in collaboration with many teams across campus including the Advancement department and the Office of Campus Infrastructure and Sustainability.

If you have identified a space that could be more impactful and would like to submit a request, please submit a Communications and Marketing Project Initiation Form and we will be happy to discuss it with you. Please consider, and include, the intended audience, messaging, intended behaviour/outcome and the budget allocation for the project before submitting the form. Your request will be reviewed and we will provide options to create the impact your group is seeking while ensuring it works with our longer-term placemaking plan.

If branding or signage is installed without approval from the Communications and Marketing department, the materials could be removed at the department or faculty’s expense. 

Below are some of the standards we have developed for our campus as they impact overall placemaking.

  • Paint standards

    We now have a new selection of pre-approved paint colours that complement our brand and our buildings across campus. Paint can be used to enhance branding, and it’s often a subtle backdrop for other architectural features and must be considered seriously. The Office of Campus Infrastructure and Sustainability works with the Communications and Marketing department to ensure the palette is effectively utilized within each space that is renovated or refreshed.

  • Frosting on glass guidelines

    Frosted film is to be used as a branding element and building code requirement, not for privacy on campus. 

    The arrow feature on glass was introduced as a frosted-film repeat pattern in Shawenjigewining Hall. We will continue to use this pattern throughout campus, where appropriate, as we brand new spaces. Frosted film will serve as a subtle branding element, while also fulfilling the building code requirement for full floor-to-ceiling glass panels. 

    In the past, we’ve received requests for frosted film installation on door windows and side lights to increase office and room privacy. The Office of Campus Safety (OCS) and the Office of Risk Management have determined that full-window- frosting is not a best practice due to safety concerns for employees and students inside the offices and rooms. Privacy should not be the sole consideration when determining whether to cover a window.

    Windows are installed within doors leading into office spaces, or beside doors, to provide much-needed natural light as well as sightlines into the space. Our intention is not to block this light and visual access on campus.

    A re-assessment of the use of materials that block windows for privacy purposes will be undertaken during the wayfinding project and recommendations will be made to update existing spaces to ensure they are safe while still offering privacy.