return to Schools and Colleges

  • Print

Finding Their Way

Nov 22, 2010

Left to right:  Ivan Rocha, David Mayman, Lauren Friedrich, Glynnis Koike, Brett DeBoer, faculty advisor
Left to right:  Ivan Rocha, David Mayman, Lauren Friedrich, Glynnis Koike, Brett DeBoer, faculty advisor

How do you find your way around campus? It can be frustrating for freshmen and others not familiar with the campus, such as vendors and visitors. But in a medical emergency, it might be downright dangerous.

A situation in which a medical team had difficulty locating a student who was in distress prompted the Pacific Lantern Wayfinding project, led by four Graphic Arts students under the guidance of Visual Arts Chair and Professor, Brett DeBoer.

The project stemmed from an assignment in a graphic design class during the 2009-2010 academic year. Ivan Rocha, David Mayman, Glynnis Koike and Lauren Friedrich—all seniors who graduated in spring 2010—worked together to spearhead a new wayfinding system for the University of the Pacific's Stockton campus.


Wayfinding refers to the use of visual aids to help people find their way in an unfamiliar environment. Recognizing that Pacific did not have a unified system of signage, the students employed theories of visual communication, hierarchy, color, and iconography to create a comprehensive wayfinding system with a sense of unity and consistency.

Their proposal covers everything from signage and campus maps to iPhone applications and website information.

Pacific Lantern: A Beacon of Light

Pacific Lantern LogoThe team named the system Pacific Lantern to symbolize a "beacon of light" and create the notion of Pacific being your guide and your light on campus. The logo represents the form of a lantern-inspired by those at the Pacific Avenue entrance gate and in front of the Wendell Phillips Center building-and also indicates a pathway.

Not Just a School Project: A Project for the School

In May 2010, the student team presented their wayfinding proposal to President Pamela Eibeck and other university executives. The administration has agreed to adopt the system, and plans for implementation are underway.

"If Pacific had hired a design firm to research, plan and create such a system, it would have cost thousands of dollars," said Professor DeBoer.  "Through this initiative these students received invaluable experience that helped them launch their careers, but they also bestowed a gift of tremendous value to their university."

The Pacific Lantern initiative has made a difference for the students. David Mayman, who took a leadership role in the project, was hired at the San Francisco office of Gensler, a prominent international architecture and design firm, on the strength of the proposal. The other three are all working as graphic designers: Lauren Friedrich and Glynnis Koike in the San Francisco Bay Area and Ivan Rocha in Denver, Colorado.


Some of the components of the system are described here. Learn more at

Signage and Icons

The Pacific Lantern system includes a number of different types of signs that physically organize the campus. The team designed a full set of icons to identify everything from building types to environmental features.

Directional Proposal Lamp Post Proposal

Maps, Landmarks and Information Centers

The team revamped the current Pacific campus map with a new version that is intuitive and attractive. They designed different versions for various functions and media (e.g. printed and digital maps).

Pacific's existing landmarks, such as the Clock Tower and Wood Bridge, are incorporated into the system.

The team planned for information centers, such as kiosks, and set forth standards to make them as effective as possible.

New Map Proposal
Download Full Size (1.66 MB)

New Media/Technology

New Media/TechnologyThe Pacific Lantern system embraces contemporary technology such as web applications and iPhone apps.


The team kept the future of the planet and the Pacific campus in mind in designing the Pacific Lantern system. They were committed to following sustainable practices by specifying environmentally sustainable materials and planning for longevity.

Tags for this article: