HomeProject Spotlight – Columbia College

Columbia College

Chicago, IL

At Columbia College Chicago, students conceptualized and planned for the Student Center during the 2015 college wide “Dream Out Loud” input sessions. That input helped drive the design with the needs of students in mind. The five-story, 114,000 square-foot space became the first ever student center on campus. It is home to creatives, and from where the college believes the next great ideas will originate.

Columbia College worked with a team of people to develop a design fitting for such a creative venue. The design team included: Gensler, Rockey Structures, McGuire Engineers, Terry Guen Design Associates, V3 Companies and Gwen Grossman Lighting Design. Poblocki Sign Company was asked to take this faux neon LED channel letter design and fabricate and install this signage.

The Columbia College Chicago Student Center signage lights up the area at night.

Columbia College Chicago

The Challenge

We love challenges and finding new solutions, and this project presented many. The Columbia College Student Center involved installing 13′ 9″ faux neon LED channel letters on the interior of a glass wall. The design by Gensler called for frame sections to be mechanically fastened to structural columns with plates and brackets and for the letter mounts and wireway to be attached at mullion locations with vertical stainless steel aircraft cable.


The LED letters have full illumination (360 degree view) to allow them to be visible from both the street and the interior of the student center. The segmented letters were cut around the window mullions and were made to be both strong and barely seen.


The day and night view bring pride to all on the Columbia College Chicago campus and brand awareness to all that pass by the Student Center.

13' 9"

Height of LED Channel Letters

3,580 lbs

Weight of the Sign


Energy Savings of Faux Neon over Traditional Neon


Cool White LEDs