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Measuring Our Impact 2017

AACSRE is comprised of academic and industry members from thirteen states:  Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.  The mission of AACSRE is to provide independent thought leadership for the development of new knowledge and educational experiences to advance the science, technology, art/advertising, and regulation of signage, specifically on-premise signage.

As a part of AACSRE’s annual scope of work, a survey is distributed to measure the impact from within academia on expanding and enhancing the knowledge base of signage and visual communications. 


Survey respondents included members of the AACSRE Board of Directors and published thought-leaders. The following contributions were identified from the survey results:

  • 90% of the respondents incorporate signage and visual communication in their discipline. Wayfinding and law were the most frequently identified topics.


  • 90% of the respondents have signage topics in their syllabi.Law, branding/design, and environmental context were the three most frequent curricula identified.


  • 75% of the respondents collaborate with faculty in other disciplines on signage topics. The top three disciplines include: architecture, planning, and working with AACSRE.


  • 55% of the respondents received some level of funding to support their research in signage. The size of grants varied greatly. 25% of the grants ranged from $20,000 to $50,000.


  • 75% of the respondents indicated their professional organizations address the signage topics. The responses identified 13 unique organizations that are starting or continuing the conversation around signage.


  • 35% of the respondents published articles on the topic of on-premise signage in the last year.


  • 70% of the respondents have given presentations on the topic of on-premise signage and wayfinding. The majority have given one to three formal presentations. AACSRE members prepared and presented technical reports, as well as engaged in creative activities such as studios.


  • 20% of respondents have been cited in both state and federal court opinions as a result of the caliber of their publications and expert testimony.

The survey summary identifies opportunities for inclusion in AACSRE’s annual scope of work. 

Opportunity One:  Mentorship in signage & wayfinding
90% of the respondents incorporate signage and visual communication in their curriculum including law, marketing/branding/design, environmental impacts, safety, wayfinding, consumer behavior, and numerous other topics. 50% of the respondents have served as mentors to students engaged in signage studies.  AACSRE is responding by expanding multidisciplinary opportunities for students and faculty while helping shape future curriculum programs through classroom and online instruction.

Opportunity Two: Resource for grant funding and identification of emerging research topics tied to funding availability
About 50% of the respondents have received grant funding for research and program development.  Half of those respondents received funding ranging from $20,000 to $50,000, or more. AACSRE will commit to identifying funding opportunities and matchmaking for scholars across disciplines and universities.

Opportunity Three:  Emerging topics Identified
Respondents identified the following areas for future thought leadership: illumination, safety, and technology.
AACSRE will continue to identify current and future needs for research by interfacing with cities, citizens, industry, researchers, and other organizations interested in signage and wayfinding

Opportunity Four: Building awareness for the mission and vision of AACSRE
Respondents noted they benefited from the information provided by AACSRE on its programs, research, and the broad range of topics covered in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding. They noted their need to stay informed on current research in order to build curriculum and enhance instruction across disciplines. 

 AACSRE will work to grow the networks served through its research.  The organization will build curricula to share its research findings with stakeholders.

Opportunity Five: Help shape the future of online instruction
25% of the respondents offer online sign related courses.  

AACSRE is able to help identify curricula for online instruction on topical areas related to signage.

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