Large white signs found around the perimeter of California Lutheran University’s campus have announced the school’s request for a uniform sign program.
With this program, the university would obtain a consistent look for all signage, pre-approved by the city of Thousand Oaks. This would prevent the need to get permits each time a new sign needs to be installed.
Cal Lutheran’s Facility Operations & Planning has been spearheading this program, led by Christine Cano, capital project assistant, and Valerie Crooks, senior project manager.
“The uniform sign program is an effort that began in about 2007,” Cano said. “The overall goal was to be able to go about our business putting up signs around campus without having to take a large amount of steps with the city, to simplify the process overall.”
In July 2016, the most recent version of the sign program was submitted to the city. It is a large document, organized in a binder, that lays out details of the overall look of all different types of Cal Lutheran signage.
The document must go before a planning commission, and a tentative public hearing will allocate time for members of the surrounding community to give any person input and concerns. The hope is that feedback will be given to help indicate whether or not the program will pass.
Crooks began working with the city about seven years ago to build a master uniform sign program and get it pre-approved for future signs that would be facing public roads. However, the city thought it would soon be revising its sign ordinance mandates and advised the department to hold off.
University Marketing is also involved in creating signs on campus for buildings including the new William Rolland Art Center, specifically in “making sure they all fit into Cal Lutheran’s uniform sign appearance,” Cano said.
“I was a part of one of the previous [prior to July 2016] presentations given to the city regarding the program,” said Sherri Matsumoto, associative creative director of university marketing. “I helped and still currently help construct the documents that go over all of the different potential sign types and looks.”
To come up with the most recent version of the uniform sign program, there has been an overhaul of the old signs and the 2013 Cal Lutheran brand had to be incorporated into all plans.
“There was a more sophisticated look to the signs once the overhaul happened,” Matsumoto said. “For example, stainless steel and newer, sleeker typefaces became common aspects of signage around campus. We created a library of all the new designs that we still use today.”
This process is not something that is solely unique to Cal Lutheran; it is a very routine and regulated mandate.
“Other colleges have similar sign packages to this one that lay out all of their standards. Even Amgen has to go through approval processes for their internal and external signage,” Cano said.
Crooks said the university believes it should be able to have its own internal sign program, but the city disagrees.
“All we can do now is sit and wait for the city to respond and to follow up with information on the public hearing so that we can move forward with the program or adjust it as needed,” Crooks said.