A few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, I was asked to submit recommendations for campus-wide informational and precautionary signage at Johnson County Community College.
Working with a marketing writer and intern, we had two weeks to propose and execute indoor and outdoor signage for installation in June 2020 before a limited footprint of staff and students were allowed back on campus. All signage would be produced in-house and installed by our Document Services teammates.
Ultimately, we framed the assignment outcome this way—we wanted people to feel safe and be safe. Everyone was scared. We didn’t want our system to overwhelm people or spark more anxiety. We worked with our JCCC brand palette and used gold accents on a navy field for impact and readability. We introduced the tagline “Stay Safe / Stay Smart / Stay Healthy” on all pieces for consistency and softened health messaging with soothing light blue fields for better contrast. I produced an ordering catalog for staff and faculty, which was amended regularly as new signs were developed to meet changing needs and locations. The system proved to be an effective success and was emulated by other regional institutions. It was the largest project ever produced by the JCCC Document Services department—and in rapid response to a sharp deadline.

Art direction and design // Chris Ralston, Emily Allphin  
Writer // Kristi Stanley    Photography // Susan McSpadden
Printing and installation // JCCC Printing Services

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