SUNY Cortland is a medium-sized public university, included in the State University of New York system, spanning 200 acres and serving approximately 7,000 students. After reviewing their current system, an internal committee found that signage was inconsistent, lacked clear policies, and was off-brand for the institution as a whole. The committee sought to create a Master Plan to help SUNY Cortland create a positive first and lasting impression on prospective students, their families, donors, and community members through wayfinding and signage. They brought on Corbin Design to help develop the program.
One major update to the wayfinding logic was to divide and label the campus into two distinct districts, North and South. These district names will appear on all signage to help identify which district a user is in and direct them to the other district. In addition, few SUNY Cortland buildings are named after donors. Most are dedicatory names that often appear more than once across campus. To simplify the building names, many exterior designations and references in wayfinding will be updated to reflect the unique function or title of the location.
The design of the system features the dragon mascot and school branding prominently. The red border features the university color and is reminiscent of the "C" in the SUNY Cortland logo. The backside of the signs features dragon footprints, and the dragon scale pattern is subtly included in various sign types throughout the system.