Just as it is an instrumental part of design for the K-12 sector, color plays a significant role in the branding of college campuses. Building Teams also employ strategic uses of color for wayfinding and in the delineating of collaborative group spaces for students and faculty. For many, there is a demand to invoke the bold, identifiable colors of institutions within new higher education facilities—all the more to create that sense of belonging to a highly regarded school.
“One of the hallmarks of brand identity is the use of color(s) as a direct link to any brand’s personality. Be it a logo color that is used overtly to announce a brand, to the less conscious use of a brand color in a built environment to make a subconscious connection back to the brand,” said Barbara Best-Santos, senior associate at Gensler.
One example of many is DLR Group’s work on the Benedictine University campus in Mesa, Ariz., which opened in 2013. The firm was tasked with the adaptive reuse of a vacant office building in Mesa into a state-of-the-art learning environment that would reflect both the spirit of the school and the character of the downtown area. The 70,000-sf campus features a dramatic entrance with the Benedictine’s iconic red emblems prominently featured. The hue is also accented throughout the space in the lighting, walls, and flooring, offering occupants an identifiable marker with which to associate the new campus.