For the first time in 30 years, the University of California, Irvine made a massive expansion to their on-campus residential buildings. The Mesa Court Towers are three brand new 6-story halls designed to house over 900 students, and include a new dining hall, a student services center, mail center, and a computer lounge. Mithun and UCI invited RSM Design to create interior and exterior signage and environmental graphics for the new student housing buildings, as well as monument signage, pedestrian wayfinding directories, a series of blade signs for amenities, and public art pieces at the entrance of each hall. RSM Design also provided naming and branding efforts for The Anteatery, the food hall in one of the towers.
In the University market, the current competition focuses just as much on amenity offering and student life as it does on academics, and the challenge for RSM Design was to provide creative design solutions that meet the rising expectations of today’s students. RSM Design developed a family of signage using three main design elements: a deep, espresso brown cabinet structure, metal slats that echo the architecture from Mithun, and a concrete base. Carrying these motifs throughout, RSM Design was able to create an innovative design solution that met the client’s modest budget. Additionally, the team produced a series of mural graphics in a placemaking design package at the entrance of each hall and the Anteatery, which added to the character and value of the spaces.