Ent Center for the Arts
Colorado Springs, CO
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Semple Brown Design
Ad Light Group
2019 HOW International Design Awards, Merit Award – Signage & Environmental Graphics
2019 Graphis Design Annual, Silver Award
2018 Transform Awards – North America, Gold Award – Signage & Wayfinding Best in Show
2018 UCDA Design Competition, Award of Excellence
2018 GDUSA American Graphic Design Awards, Award of Recognition
The Ent Center for the Arts at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs campus is a state-of-the-art performing, visual arts, and educational building at the foot of Pulpit Rock, overlooking downtown Colorado Springs and Pike’s Peak. The architecture of the building, designed by Semple Brown Design mimics the geometry and massing of the adjacent and iconic Pulpit Rock and features sweeping curves of metal and glass that maximize the views of the nearby Front Range. ArtHouse was approached by the university and Sample Brown to design a comprehensive suite of interior and exterior signage, wayfinding and donor recognition for the elegant, clean and simple space that also connected to the theatrical and artistic uses of the building.
Through design development and refinement, the ArtHouse team created crisp, white neon venue entry signage to draw attention to large amenities in the facility that also doubles as donor recognition to identify donor-named spaces. The simple typeface, white neon and juxtaposition with adjacent brushed metal accents tie the space to its uses, while maintaining a sophisticated, refined aesthetic. The neon-inspired show business theme carried into a large donor recognition wall, where donors’ signatures are rendered in blue neon. Additionally, ArtHouse Designed a participatory donor recognition installation with glossy acrylic tiles in a palette of reds and purples, colors used as accents in the theater seats, carpeting and other finishes.
In paying homage to Mark Rothko’s paintings, the participation installation provides another nod to the artistic uses of the building. The interior and exterior signage make use of building finishes such as brushed aluminum, flat-lock metal paneling and glass to unify the visitor experience and provide an elegant touch from the exterior to the interior spaces. Wayfinding signage is simple, elegant and clear, directing visitors, students, staff and performers throughout the space in a smooth way. The Ent Center for the Arts will surely become an iconic landmark in the Colorado Springs art and performing arts scenes and the elegant, thoughtful design will allow for longevity and functionality for many years to come.