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Newbury College & University Centre

Signage plays a huge part in creating a distinctive feel in an education setting. And when you have different entities on the same campus, you need a little visual help to give them their own personality.

Newbury College asked for our help in branding their exciting new University Centre, and their eco-focused Renewables Centre. Each had a very different feel, and needed a distinct approach.

Take an inside look at the difference Butler signage can make...

The Brief

Working with the architect Macallan Penfold we developed a scheme that suited the architecture of the building, and agreed on the spec and placement of all the different pieces. Each building had to have that distinct personality, and it should be easy for someone to tell where they were on campus.
Something bold and exciting was needed to match the personality and style of the new UCN building. And it had to be clean and modern to suit the new UCN brand.
Newbury College UCN Built Up Letters (External) (13)
Newbury College University Centre Flat Cut Letters (6)
Newbury College UCN Built Up Letters (External) (12)

Exterior Signage, University College Newbury

Built to zero-carbon standards, awarded £1.75million by the Local Growth Fund, and providing state-of-the-art, digitally integrated learning to the people of Newbury, the UCN building had a lot of hype to live up to. Its large sign needed to stand out.

We specified stainless steel built-up letters for the primary logo, and flat cuts mounted on locators for the strapline. But there was a problem: we would not be able to achieve the integral gradient with traditional powder coating or wet spraying. So, we put on our thinking caps.

Our answer? We printed the gradient onto hard-wearing vinyl and wrapped this around the 3D letters. With a 7-10 year life span, this vinyl is a great match to paint.

Once the letters had been created, fixing them to the building was our next challenge. The thin rendered cladding made it tricky to securely attach the large sign. The solution? Anchor bolts clamped behind the cladding, ensuring safety and a clean look.

Whatever your particular needs and technical considerations, at Butler we pride ourselves on creating innovative solutions.

In order to create a uniform feel throughout the whole building, we printed window vinyl in the brand colour gradient and applied it to the entire fascia of the UCN wing. This made the wing stand out from the rest of the college site, helping people orientate themselves.

Screen Shot 2020-10-01 at 16.20.02

Exterior Signage, Newbury College

The new UCN entrance meant that new wayfinding was needed at the original college entrance. Again, this had to be distinct from the UCN personality, and fit with the Newbury College feel.

Using flat-cut letters on locators we powder coated the main entrance sign to fit with the college brand colours. Then, for the Reception sign, polished stainless steel was used, flat-cut on locators.

Newbury College Renewbales Centre External Signage (9)
Newbury College Renewbales Centre External Signage (4)
Newbury College Renewbales Centre External Signage (10)

Exterior Signage, Renewables Centre

The aesthetic of the Renewables Centre needed to mirror the eco-friendly drive behind its creation. In order to ensure the centre could live up to its credentials, we researched materials and decided on aluminium. It’s the most widely recycled material in the world, with over 75% of aluminium ever produced still in circulation today!

If you’re interested in more eco-friendly signage options, then head to our blog: “What are my eco-friendly signage options?” for inspiration.

As this was a separate building from the rest of the college campus, we created a flat cut logo to brand the front of the building, and make it visible from a distance. Then our bespoke angled wayfinding panel was put in place on the corner of the building to guide people around to the entrance. A projecting sign and window vinyl on the entrance door reinforces the branding and helps with wayfinding.

Newbury College Internal Built up UCN Letters (3)
Newbury College UCN Window Vinyl (4)
Newbury College Renewable Centre Aluminium Trays With Plaques (1)
Newbury College Wall Vinyl (7)

Interior Signage

Moving inside the building, signage performed similar purposes.

With the separate UCN and Newbury College wings, it was important to make it easy to identify where you were in the building. With so many people moving around, education settings often struggle to direct footfall. Wayfinding signage is a vital tool to help solve this problem.


UCN Student Lounge:

Aim: A “you have arrived!” feel as you walked through the double doors into the UCN wing.

Method: Built-up letters, branded wallpaper, and donor plaques


Renewables Centre:

Aim: Display information with a more modern and sustainable alternative to the traditional donor plaque.

Method: Aluminium sign trays with a shaped aluminium panel to the face.


Newbury College Reception:

Aim: To reinforce the presence of the grand UCN wing, and foster internal pride at this new University Centre.

Method: A large vinyl logo pointing people towards the new wing.


UCN classrooms:

Aim: Reinforce the UCN brand in each room.

Method: Printed vinyl logos were in pride of place above the main teaching screen in each classroom.

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UCN Internals

The Result

With our work across all parts of Newbury College, Butler transformed the campus, solved the wayfinding issues common in education settings, and added personality to the new UCN building and Renewables Centre.

By using innovative solutions, high-quality materials, and modern design we gave this state-of-the-art centre personality to be proud of!

Interested in your own Butler experience? Get in touch to discuss how we can help with your project.

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