Standard: UFC 3-120-01


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Benefits of Guidelines. Air Force bases are used by large numbers of people, including active duty personnel, families and friends, civilian employees, retired personnel and others on official and personal business. Bases function as communities as well as military installations. A well conceived sign system effectively guides base users and makes Air Force installations more attractive, inviting and easy to use.

Need for Guidelines. This document presents a total orientation system that integrates interior and exterior signs with base maps and the information provided by gate guards in order to clarify base circulation. It also establishes guidelines for non-Air Force entities whose registered trademark signage has a recognized place in the community. Additionally, it provides guidance for standardizing sign material, color, style and placement throughout an installation. An effective sign program will reduce the number of signs on each installation to the absolute minimum required for directions, identification and customer service. This eliminates visual clutter and results in an efficient, cost effective and attractive system that enhances the quality of life and creates a unified professional appearance for all Air Force installations. The applicability of this document is limited to the United States Air Force.

Document Description. The document begins with an explanation of the Base Master Sign Plan. The following chapters cover typography, graphics, sign placement, the Americans with Disabilities Act, identification signs, direction signs, regulatory signs, motivation signs, information signs, wall mounted signs, signs for historic buildings and interior signs. The last chapter gives specifications and details for sign construction.

General Guidelines for Signs. Signs are most effective when they function as part of a total orientation system that includes base maps, street signs, building signs and guidance from gate personnel. An effective orientation system is logical, easy to follow and leads the visitor from the point of entry to the desired destination with no confusion. In order to design an effective orientation system, the following points should be considered.

Identify each decision point with a sign that clearly indicates the options.

Keep names of destinations consistent throughout the system, including the names on maps and the names used by security police when they are directing visitors to points on base. A direction sign pointing the way to the Personnel Center should lead to a building that is called the Personnel Center and not something else.

Do not omit a destination from a series of direction signs until that destination is reached. A sign series leading a visitor to a particular building should culminate in the building identification or street address sign.

Minimize the number of signs on base. A primary objective of this system is to reduce the number of signs and to eliminate the visual clutter that results from over signage. Locate signs only where they are absolutely needed to provide orientation. As a general rule, provide one sign for each building. The number of direction signs can be minimized if the streets are properly identified in accordance with the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and if good base maps are made available to visitors at entry points. The MUTCD is available from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Washington D.C. 20590.

Signs are an important part of the impression made by a base. Use signs of high quality design and construction in order to present a professional image for the Air Force. Chapter 12 gives sample specification and details for sign construction.

Building-mounted regulatory signs used to denote hazardous materials, paint lockers, etc. should be kept to the minimum number and size required to meet safety regulations.

Organization: Unified Facilities Criteria
Document Number: ufc 3-120-01
Publish Date: 2003-02-06
Page Count: 263
Available Languages: EN
DOD Adopted: NO
ANSI Approved: NO
Most Recent Revision: YES
Current Version: YES
Status: Active

Document History

Document # Change Type Update Date Revision Status
UFC 3-120-01 Change Type: C2 Update Date: 2014-03-01 Revision: 14 Status: ACTV