An Urban Renewal

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George Dean Johnson Jr. School of Business and Economics

University of South Carolina Upstate • Spartanburg, SC

When the University of South Carolina Upstate business school was looking to move into their new urban digs in the heart of downtown Spartanburg, they turned to Storyline Studio to reinvent their brand identity and to plan and design a campus wayfinding system. Affectionately known to students and staff as the “The George,” the b-school at USC Upstate maintains close ties with the burgeoning international business corridor along Interstate 85. Their mission is to turn out business leaders who want to stay local and make a difference in the regional economy, so they decided to walk the walk and expand to a dedicated city campus in the urban core.

We began by creating a new brand identity that smartly incorporates the University’s founding seal, while also highlighting the college’s nickname within a larger formal identity.  Then we applied the knowledge from that discovery phase and applied it to a campus-wide wayfinding system with monument signage.

The interior room signage utilizes a “Color of Money” theme, headlined by the school’s main green banner, and punctuated by colors sampled from the threads of a dollar bill.  The engraved pattern on the aluminum band echoes the architect’s design for the borders of the terrazzo flooring in the main building lobby.

The monument signs are internally lit at night. Punch-through acrylic highlights the shorter informal name, as well as the University seal embedded within it.

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