The graphic communication system serves as a comprehensive teaching tool that integrates healthy eating, environmental stewardship, and physical activity concepts into building and landscape components in order to prompt healthy decisions and foster teachable moments.

The interior and exterior environmental graphic design signage package for Buckingham County Primary and Elementary Schools connects students with a school environment designed to inspire healthy decisions and a love of learning. The graphic communication system serves as a comprehensive teaching tool that integrates healthy eating, environmental stewardship, and physical activity concepts into building and landscape components in order to prompt healthy decisions and foster teachable moments.

The project’s architects oversaw the development of the architectural and environmental graphics package to ensure a seamless integration of graphics into the built environment. This method of integrating design intent, graphic theming, and research-based guidelines encouraging healthy eating and physical activity resulted in a total learning environment responsive to the community’s health and learning aims, cultural heritage, and natural context.

The graphic communication system translates the campus’ architecture, history, and site design details into an integrated palette of colors, materials, facts, and iconography. Wayfinding details threaded throughout the campus contribute to a cohesive experience of exploration and placemaking. Filled with innumerable hands-on educational opportunities, the campus graphics prompt guided discovery of natural systems, local animal and plant species, and opportunities for activity and healthy eating.

The wayfinding system brings the natural environment to life for students. Moving west to east, from the Primary to Elementary School, the campus’ wayfinding follows the progression of Virginia’s geography (mountains to ocean) and assigns a habitat, or biome, to each grade. Classroom signage features a grade-level color, biome icon, and related native species found in that habitat of Virginia. While the Primary School is associated with warm colors and terrestrial biomes, the Elementary School features cool colors and aquatic biomes. This color and icon theming supports grade-based identity and fosters a sense of place and security for students within a larger community context.

The interior and exterior environmental graphic design signage package for Buckingham County Primary and Elementary Schools connects students with a school environment designed to inspire healthy decisions and a love of learning. The graphic communication system serves as a comprehensive teaching tool that integrates healthy eating, environmental stewardship, and physical activity concepts into building and landscape components in order to prompt healthy decisions and foster teachable moments.

The project’s architects oversaw the development of the architectural and environmental graphics package to ensure a seamless integration of graphics into the built environment. This method of integrating design intent, graphic theming, and research-based guidelines encouraging healthy eating and physical activity resulted in a total learning environment responsive to the community’s health and learning aims, cultural heritage, and natural context.

The graphic communication system translates the campus’ architecture, history, and site design details into an integrated palette of colors, materials, facts, and iconography. Wayfinding details threaded throughout the campus contribute to a cohesive experience of exploration and placemaking. Filled with innumerable hands-on educational opportunities, the campus graphics prompt guided discovery of natural systems, local animal and plant species, and opportunities for activity and healthy eating.

The wayfinding system brings the natural environment to life for students. Moving west to east, from the Primary to Elementary School, the campus’ wayfinding follows the progression of Virginia’s geography (mountains to ocean) and assigns a habitat, or biome, to each grade. Classroom signage features a grade-level color, biome icon, and related native species found in that habitat of Virginia. While the Primary School is associated with warm colors and terrestrial biomes, the Elementary School features cool colors and aquatic biomes. This color and icon theming supports grade-based identity and fosters a sense of place and security for students within a larger community context.

 The graphic communication system serves as a comprehensive teaching tool that integrates healthy eating, environmental stewardship, and physical activity concepts into building and landscape components in order to prompt healthy decisions and foster teachable moments.
 The graphic communication system serves as a comprehensive teaching tool that integrates healthy eating, environmental stewardship, and physical activity concepts into building and landscape components in order to prompt healthy decisions and foster teachable moments.

Educational moments are made visible on nearly every surface and at every scale. Graphics and signage pertaining to the schools’ sustainable and health-promoting features help educate students and teachers about their LEED Gold school. The graphics render complex topics such as sustainable daylighting strategies relatable by using campus context clues to orient students and encourage environmental stewardship. The graphics feature an engaging mix of illustrations, words, and photography to help students at different levels understand the information being presented.

Signage displaying engaging facts and images about hydration, healthy eating, and exercise promotes healthy behaviors. Specifically, signage located near water fountains and bathrooms encourages hydration and water conservation; signage in the Dining Commons illustrates a balanced plate and encourages farm-to-table learning; and signage at the bottom of each staircase promotes stair use and exercise. Classrooms house prompts to save electricity, recycle, conserve water, and practice healthy movement.

Designed to extend organically from the school’s interior environment, the exterior signage highlights the campus’ active, food-based, and ecologically-rich landscape features– including play terraces, walking paths, edible and pollinator gardens, composting areas, and a frog bog, among others. A comprehensive interior-exterior exhibition, the signage and wayfinding make healthy and educational moments visible on nearly every surface of the school – prompting different types of learning experiences throughout the school day.

Educational moments are made visible on nearly every surface and at every scale. Graphics and signage pertaining to the schools’ sustainable and health-promoting features help educate students and teachers about their LEED Gold school. The graphics render complex topics such as sustainable daylighting strategies relatable by using campus context clues to orient students and encourage environmental stewardship. The graphics feature an engaging mix of illustrations, words, and photography to help students at different levels understand the information being presented.

Signage displaying engaging facts and images about hydration, healthy eating, and exercise promotes healthy behaviors. Specifically, signage located near water fountains and bathrooms encourages hydration and water conservation; signage in the Dining Commons illustrates a balanced plate and encourages farm-to-table learning; and signage at the bottom of each staircase promotes stair use and exercise. Classrooms house prompts to save electricity, recycle, conserve water, and practice healthy movement.

Designed to extend organically from the school’s interior environment, the exterior signage highlights the campus’ active, food-based, and ecologically-rich landscape features– including play terraces, walking paths, edible and pollinator gardens, composting areas, and a frog bog, among others. A comprehensive interior-exterior exhibition, the signage and wayfinding make healthy and educational moments visible on nearly every surface of the school – prompting different types of learning experiences throughout the school day.

This method of integrating design intent, graphic theming, and research-based guidelines encouraging healthy eating and physical activity resulted in a total learning environment responsive to the community’s health and learning aims, cultural heritage, and natural context.

“‘Nudging’ kids to make good choices by featuring appetizing graphics of healthy fruits and vegetables and making these choices more convenient and easily accessible will establish patterns of healthy behavior at an early age."

– Pennie Allen Former Buckingham County Primary School Principal
This method of integrating design intent, graphic theming, and research-based guidelines encouraging healthy eating and physical activity resulted in a total learning environment responsive to the community’s health and learning aims, cultural heritage, and natural context.
This method of integrating design intent, graphic theming, and research-based guidelines encouraging healthy eating and physical activity resulted in a total learning environment responsive to the community’s health and learning aims, cultural heritage, and natural context.
This method of integrating design intent, graphic theming, and research-based guidelines encouraging healthy eating and physical activity resulted in a total learning environment responsive to the community’s health and learning aims, cultural heritage, and natural context.
This method of integrating design intent, graphic theming, and research-based guidelines encouraging healthy eating and physical activity resulted in a total learning environment responsive to the community’s health and learning aims, cultural heritage, and natural context.
This method of integrating design intent, graphic theming, and research-based guidelines encouraging healthy eating and physical activity resulted in a total learning environment responsive to the community’s health and learning aims, cultural heritage, and natural context.
This method of integrating design intent, graphic theming, and research-based guidelines encouraging healthy eating and physical activity resulted in a total learning environment responsive to the community’s health and learning aims, cultural heritage, and natural context.

Client: Buckingham County Public Schools

Location: Dillwyn, VA

Discipline: School Theming, Educational Signage, Wayfinding, ADA/Code

Completion: 2012

Size: 134,015 SF Renovation & Addition