Scott Saunders

Wayfinding & Sign Consultant

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Greater Pittsburgh Area)

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Scott Saunders's Overview

  • Wayfinding & Sign Consultant | President at Wayfinding Associates, LLC

261 connections


Scott Saunders' Summary


Helping clients understand why people get lost in their hospital, university, community or other complex environment, and developing strategies to make self-navigation more intuitive is my expertise. These strategies can involve the coordination of key elements including signage, architectural details, lighting, mobile apps, brochures, website content, interactive kiosks and staff training.


• Wayfinding and sign assessment reports
• Signage and wayfinding design, planning and specification
• Sign standards programs
• Donor recognition programs
• Sign code compliance (ADA, life-safety, regulatory, health and building codes)
• Mobile phone and website-based wayfinding
• Interactive and digital wayfinding media
• Project management
• Bid letting and management
• Construction administration

Scott Saunders' Experience

Wayfinding & Sign Consultant | President

Wayfinding Associates, LLC

Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Design industry

September 2011Present (3 years 1 month) Pittsburgh, PA

- ERAPPA Academic Conference, Pittsburgh
- Healthcare Design Symposium, Chicago
- UNICOR Federal Trade Show, Dallas
- American Society for Healthcare Engineering, St. Petersburg
- NEOCON World’s Trade Fair, Chicago

- Healthcare
- Academic
- Office (Corp. and Federal)
- Library
- Courthouse/legal
- Parking Structure
- Philanthropic Institutions
- Community
- Transportation

Scott Saunders' Patents

  • Magnet-Controlled Changeable Message System

    • United States Patent Application 61/923,467
    • Filed January 3, 2014
    Inventors: Scott Saunders

    The VitalSign™ product line sold exclusively by 290 Sign Systems is a tamper-resistant changeable message sign product. The inspiration of this invention comes from observing that hospitals need to display a variety of messages and warnings at patient rooms, but only authorized personnel should be able to control what information is displayed. Unlike other products, there are no exposed tabs that can be moved and broken by children or require extra wall space to be displayed. Instead all messages are encapsulated in the sign. Check it out at

Scott Saunders' Projects

  • Library of Congress

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    The Library of Congress (LOC) on Capitol Hill in Washington DC is the largest library in the world, comprised of three adjacent buildings, massing 3.5 million square feet. In 2013 alone, the LOC hosted 1.6 million visitors. But one of the most common visitor complaints was getting lost. In order to get a full understanding of the problem, the LOC funded a wayfinding and signage assessment study prepared by Scott Saunders. The study shed light on a variety of contributing problems involving signs, architecture, nomenclature, web content, map content and verbal direction provided by staff. The LOC subsequently funded the design and specification of an interior and exterior sign master plan framework, which was spearheaded by Mr. Saunders as lead designer and project manager. Months after completion of that design contract, Scott Saunders launched Wayfinding Associates, which is proud to have been retained by the Library of Congress to manage the phased implementation of the massive program.

  • Lehigh Carbon Community College

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    The college is situated on 153 acres near Allentown, Pennsylvania and comprised of nine major academic buildings totaling 444,000 square feet. Wayfinding Associates was chosen by the college to create an exterior and interior signage master plan to synchronize with a recently completed 10 year campus expansion. In addition to the main campus, the project included the college’s five remote campuses in the region. Wayfinding Associates designed and specified a scalable sign program to produce visual consistency at each of the LCCC locations as well as providing bid management and construction administration to make sure the project was executed properly.

  • Washington Health System

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    While this 600,000 square foot medical center’s impressive history dates back to 1897, it prides itself on providing state-of-the-art care to its patients today. However, visitors and patients struggled to find their way around the facility and staff spent considerable time escorting them around, which was showing-up in lost staff productivity. Wayfinding Associates initially was hired to evaluate why people were getting lost in spite of all of the signs. The resulting assessment report uncovered a series of contributors to the wayfinding dysfunction including excessive information on signs (AKA sign pollution), confusing architectural elements like the main entrance being located on floor 2, the main entry doors not being visible from the patient drop-off area, five public entries without any distinguishing identification and so on. With a better understanding of the underlying issues, WHS asked Wayfinding Associates to develop a sign master plan that would address these issues and make self-navigation more intuitive.

  • Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    Experience with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh started in 2004, 5 years before the new replacement Lawrenceville medical center was built. In its final state, the original 1 million square foot Oakland campus was composed of three interconnected buildings, the first constructed in 1926, the second in the 1950’s and the third in 1986. CHP’s anticipation of the new hospital opening in 5 years lead to neglect of the wayfinding signage at the existing facility and complaints of getting lost went from bad to worse. Facility Management needed a low cost, five year solution that would improve self-navigation at the existing facility and Scott Saunders designed a colorful solution. Recognizing that the layout of the facility would be easier to understand if it were organized into smaller, distinct zones, each of the three buildings were assigned a color. The resulting sign program design used giant yellow, purple and silver crayon signs to clearly distinguish each. The facility manager said it was like a light switch; people could suddenly find their way. The materials used were primarily low-cost recyclable PVC plastic and came in under budget.

    The new Lawrenceville facility’s wayfinding and signage was part of the architect’s package, but after 2 years of struggling with patients and visitors getting lost, Wayfinding Associates was hired by CHP to perform an assessment of the wayfinding sign program. The purpose was to identify the underlying causes and recommend corrective actions. CHP used the findings of the report to have their signage updated and make self-navigation more intuitive.

    Currently Wayfinding Associates is part of the architectural design team as lead designer and project manager of the exterior and interior sign master plan for the new Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC South medical facility located in South Fayette, Pennsylvania.

  • Magee Women's Hospital

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    The relocation of the Emergency Department to a new space built on the opposite side of the campus required expert wayfinding & sign coordination to plan and manage the reconfiguration of all related exterior and interior signs, as well as the new ED itself. Wayfinding Associates worked closely with the architect, stakeholders, city officials and vendors to ensure a seamless transition of this critical service.

    Subsequently, Wayfinding Associates was awarded the design and management of the 7 phase interior signage overhaul of the Magee Women’s Hospital Birth Center, which is currently in phase 2.

  • Mario Lemieux Center for Blood Cancers

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    Wayfinding Associates was selected to design and specify a wayfinding and signage program that harmonizes with the sophisticated and tranquil ‘day spa-themed’ cancer treatment center which was funded largely by the Mario Lemieux Foundation. The resulting sign program harmonized with an existing sign system in the Hillman Cancer Center and introduced electronic directories for easy updates by staff.

  • West Palm Beach VA Medical Center

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    In the early 90’s this facility was built to embody a higher standard of care for our veterans. This was early in Scott Saunders’ career and he was instrumental in the development of the wayfinding signage system that was implemented during construction. In 2013 Wayfinding Associates was hired to survey the exterior and interior sign programs and recommend and specify updates and expansions to both systems.

    Even though the signage at this facility is now 20 years old, it was conceived with changeability and scalability that have allowed the signs to adapt with the facility’s ever-evolving needs. And now with the emergence of new advancements in sign technology, the signs have been retrofitted to allow the facility to update their signs in-house with software and hardware they already possess.

  • UPMC Health System

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    Project experience with UPMC has included wayfinding and sign consulting for projects including UPMC Northwest Medical Center interior sign program, UPMC Passavant exterior and interior master plan and expansions including new patient tower, new cancer center and new emergency department, Erie Physician Network Brand Changeover, Clinical Laboratory Building, and Magee Women’s Hospital of UPMC Birthing Suite renovations project.

  • University of Wisconsin Health

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    The University Health System’s Digestive Health Center was built to be the region's finest multi-disciplinary outpatient clinic serving patients with diseases of the digestive tract, liver and pancreas. Wayfinding Associates provided the wayfinding and signage expertise to design, plan and specify the interior sign program for the entire facility.

  • Mt. Lebanon Pennsylvania

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    An upscale suburban community south of Pittsburgh wanted to emphasize its amenities, define key gateways, and improve pedestrian and vehicular wayfinding. Mr. Saunders worked with the community and the state’s Department of Transportation to develop a community-wide sign strategy and to design a coordinated family of permanent and seasonal signs that are being deployed in phases.

  • Jesse Brown VA Medical Center

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    VA Jesse Brown Medical Center in the heart of Chicago’s Illinois Medical District is one of the Veterans Administration’s busiest medical center facilities in the country. When the addition of a massive patient tower altered the flow of the facility and added a new main entrance and parking garage, an intuitive architectural and interactive sign package was developed that would work in this high-traffic facility. Interior signs were designed to expand the existing sign system and acknowledge the new facility layout. The room numbering system was expanded into the new patient tower and a wayfinding brochure was created to offer additional guidance. The VA stakeholders also decided to have Mr. Saunders spearhead the deployment of the new medical district exterior signage standards on the VA’s campus as part their sign program overhaul.

  • VA Medical Centers St. Louis - John Cochran | Jefferson Barracks

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    While the John Cochran facility was a large urban medical center and Jefferson Barrack a sprawling historic medical campus, Scott Saunders as lead designer and project manager designed a signage program that was able to harmonize at both campuses.

  • Elmendorf Medical Center | Anchorage AK

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    Elmendorf Air Force Base Hospital located in Anchorage had been built and active for a year when the facility manager realized the signage designed by the architect was not able to adapt to the medical center’s constant change. Scott developed a unique wayfinding package that used existing large wildlife statues in each of the facility’s lobbies as landmarks and created a signage system design that empowered the facility to make their own sign updates in-house easily and inexpensively.

  • Madigan Army Medical Center (2011 Design Award Winner)

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    This huge medical center in Tacoma, Washington had an out-of-date signage system that was not ADA compliant and did little to help people self-navigate. Due to the facility’s size, it was critical to help people choose the right place to park and enter, otherwise they may have to travel great distances inside the medical center to their destination. Scott Saunders was lead designer on this project and developed a sign program that organized the exterior and interior of the facility onto distinct named areas that provided people with the information they needed to more intuitively self-navigate. Mr. Saunders’ design was the winner of the 2011 290 Sign Systems Design Contest in the Enhanced Category.

  • VA Medical Center Kansas City

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    This facility was confusing for visitors even before they entered the hospital. At the patient and visitor drop-off, people could not find the hospital’s main entrance doors as they were positioned around a corner, out of sight. Mr. Saunders proposed architectural adjustments to the entry that made the location of the doors self-evident. This simple observation and adjustment won the confidence of the customer and Scott subsequently designed a coordinated exterior and interior sign master plan that has been implemented.

  • VA Medical Centers | Alabama – Montgomery | Tuskegee

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    Both campuses were difficult to navigate because the wayfinding signage was quite old, displaying obsolete information, often hidden behind overgrown shrubs, and generally presenting little useful guidance to visitors. Scott Saunders surveyed both campuses and presented the findings to the stakeholders along with a comprehensive plan, budget and timeframe for correcting the problems. Scott subsequently designed and specified a coordinated sign program for both campuses.

  • VA Medical Centers Tennessee – Nashville | Murfreesboro

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    Lead designer and project manager for the simultaneous planning and design of exterior and interior signage master plan for both campuses.

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation | Headquarters

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    The J. Edgar Hoover Building is the iconic home of the FBI. It is also quite large and due to the homogenous interior design throughout, becoming disoriented was common. Mr. Saunders evaluated the building’s layout and usage to create an interior wayfinding sign program that coordinated a system of ‘you are here’ maps, room numbering and elevator banks to help people stay oriented.

  • National Foreign Affairs Training Center | Arlington VA

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    Multiple Language Audience – This institution hosts individuals from all over the world, many of whom do not speak or read English. It was decided early that a multi-language sign program would not work because there would need to be too many languages included. Yet the objective was still to provide information that even non-English speaking/reading individuals would find helpful. The solution was to use an English based sign program that used maps and universal symbols as one of the primary navigational tools. Scott Saunders served as lead designer and project manager.

  • United States Air Force

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    The US Air Force has bases in numerous locations around the globe in foreign countries called ‘enroutes’ (airports). US military personnel and family members travel on military transport planes to and from these enroutes, but there was no consistency in terms of signage for travelers in each of these airports, which made it difficult for travelers to navigate each enroute.
    In 1997 Scott traveled to enroutes in England, Hawaii, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Turkey to survey each. Scott then designed a Sign Standards program that was deployed at over 20 enroutes worldwide.

  • New York University

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    The NYU Palladium is a mixed use facility that includes student housing, dining, and a sports recreation center. When the facility was built, the interior sign program was designed and specified by Scott Saunders as lead designer. Scott collaborated with project architect KRJDA, to ensure the sign program would harmonize the architect’s vision and the University’s practical concerns.

  • Princeton Unversity

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    Mr. Saunders was lead designer and project manager on two projects for Princeton University. The first project was the Health Services Center, which was the University’s on-campus medical facility. The subsequent project was the overhaul of the Dylan Gymnasium Sports Complex’s interior signage. Both projects included wayfinding, room identification and life-safety signage as well as ‘you are here’ map design.

  • University of Georgia

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    As part of ongoing accessibility improvements across the campus, the University of Georgia undertook an overhaul of the University Health Center interior sign program. Mr. Saunders spearheaded the project as lead designer and project manager.

  • Point Park University

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    As Point Park University embarked on the process of transitioning from College to University, they knew they needed to establish a cohesive signage standards package that would reflect the desired brand of the institution and keep pace with anticipated campus growth.
    Mr. Saunders designed a scalable interior and exterior sign standards package to meet the university’s growing needs. As Point Park University continues to grow, the new signage standards are providing a unifying communications element.

  • Community College of Allegheny County

    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    The Community College of Allegheny County built the West Hills Center is a 150,000-square-foot facility in North Fayette Township. It includes modern classrooms and student life services. It also features high-bay areas for automotive, HVAC, welding and other trade-related programs. Scott Saunders worked with college stakeholders and the project architect to design and specify the interior and exterior sign program.

  • St Anthony Hospital

    • August 2014 to Present
    Team Members: Scott Saunders

    The beautiful new St. Anthony Hospital has been operational for 3 years, but despite its lovely design and new sign system, visitors constantly struggle to find common destinations. After attempts to fix the problem failed to produce results, the hospital retained Wayfinding Associates to get a fresh perspective. The in-depth facility survey uncovered several opportunities to improve self-navigation, and a formal report detailing the reasons people are getting lost and corresponding strategic solutions is now being prepared.

Scott Saunders' Skills & Expertise

  1. Contract Management
  2. Wayfinding
  3. Layout
  4. Project Planning
  5. Interior Design
  6. Strategy
  7. Design Research
  8. Submittals
  9. Corel Draw
  10. Project Coordination
  11. CAD
  12. Budgets
  13. Space planning
  14. Construction Management
  15. Management
  16. LEED
  17. Program Management
  18. Interior Architecture
  19. Project Management
  20. Design Strategy

Scott Saunders' Education

Kent State University

Bachelor of Science (BS), Industrial Design / Environmental Graphic Design

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