Great Falls Hospital

Great Falls, Montana
Design and Sign Planning by APCO
Products: Alutek, Dimensional Graphics, Elevate, and custom plaques.

 Background Information
Great Falls Hospital (aka Great Falls Clinic Hospital) was founded in 1917 and is the fourth oldest medical clinic west of the Mississippi! The Hospital strives to meet the needs of the 250,000 residents living in the seventeen north central Montana counties.

A representative from Great Falls Hospital engaged with APCO after visiting a similar hospital in Idaho Falls, ID. At the Idaho Falls facility, APCO designed, planned, fabricated, and installed a comprehensive interior and exterior signage program for the campus.

The project at Great Falls Hospital entailed a new three-story ICU/med surge wing on the northeast corner of the existing hospital and a two-OR second floor expansion on the west end. Due to the new construction, the hospital required repositioning the ER walk-in entrance from the west end to the north side of the building. The ambulance drop off / pick up area was also relocated to the opposite side of the hospital.

During the initial design phase of the project, the hospital embarked upon a rebrand of their current logo to better communicate and represent themselves in the area. Great Falls Hospital intended to create a more welcoming environment by providing an improved signage system to allow patients and visitors to find their destinations more easily.

 The Challenges
Site wayfinding was probably the most pressing item to address at the start of the project as the Hospital’s architecture team was working to submit a site package to the city, so APCO needed to specify any power requirements for each illuminated sign location very early in the project.

The Hospital needed assistance with wayfinding for the new ER entrance as it was in the process of being relocated when APCO was brought into the project. The entrance drive into the hospital has a two-way flow of traffic, parking to the left near the new expansion and a one-way drop off area to the right.

 The Solution
APCO’s Design & Planning team worked closely with the signage committee at the hospital over the course of several months to fine tune the details of a comprehensive plan to focus on both branding and wayfinding.

To boost their new brand recognition, APCO provided a large set of illuminated channel letters that were mounted on the new three-story expansion building where the logo is highly visible to the nearby roadway.

To save in cost and to keep the interior sign aesthetic the same throughout the campus, APCO took on the existing interior signage design and expanded the sign family to provide more wayfinding, and in some cases, modularity.

 The Products
APCO’s AluTek Multi-Panel Series for the exterior signs, offering updateable panels for future changes and a clean look to go along with their new brand.

Sign Types with the exterior program included:
• Gateway / Main Directional IDs
• Building Branding ID
• Vehicular Wayfinding
• Illuminated Emergency ID
• Illuminated Ambulance ID
• Wall Mounted Building Mounted Dimensional Letters

The interior plaques included a decorative wood printed band and simulated metal accent bar which tied into the look of the existing hospital and offered a consistent feel throughout all of the spaces.

Sign Types with the interior program included:
• Room ID
• Patient Room ID
• Office ID
• Back of House ID
• Directories & Directionals
• Restroom & Stair ID
• Egress Signage
• Overhead Exam Room ID
• Overhead Directional ID
• Freestanding Directional ID
• Dimensional Logo
• Applied Vinyl Graphics

Exterior Dimensional Letters and Logo
Interior Hospital Directional Sign
Interior Dimensional Letters and Logo
Illuminated Exterior Dimensional Letters and Logo
Exterior Directional Emergency Sign
Illuminated Exterior Directional Emergency Sign
Interior Room Sign with ADA Tactille Braile
Interior Room Sign with ADA Tactille Braile
Overhead Room Signs
Exterior Ambulance Sign
Interior Office Sign with Changeable Insert
Exterior Emergency and Parking Directional
Interior Dimensional Letters and Logo