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UVU Photograph Goes Viral

17 June 2015 2 Comments

For Immediate Release

University Marketing & Communications: Melinda Colton | 801-863-6807 | melindac@uvu.edu 

It started out as a design element and is now trending on social media and has even gone viral. In the past 24 hours, Utah Valley University has received local, national and international attention thanks to a photograph of a stairway in its Student Life & Wellness Center that is divided into three lanes — walking, running and texting.

UVU’s Marketing & Communications Department was tasked with enhancing the center’s design through the use of art and graphics. The center opened last spring and serves the recreation and fitness needs of the University’s 31,000 students.

“When you have 18- to 24-year-olds walking on campus glued to their smartphones, you’re almost bound to run into someone somewhere; it’s the nature of the world we live in,” said Matt Bambrough, UVU’s creative director. “But that isn’t the reason we did it — we used that fact to engage our students, to catch their attention and to let them know we are aware of who they are and where they’re coming from. The design was meant for people to laugh at rather than a real attempt to direct traffic flow.”

The photo has been published in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, TimeMagazine.com, fusion.net, businessinsider.com, and reddit.com., and has aired on TV stations in more than 25 states, as well as India and Japan.

Bambrough said the idea has received positive feedback. “The concept was developed to add more functionality to the building. This graphic is obviously more aesthetic than functional, and though  we’ve noticed that most texters aren’t actually following the posted lanes, they are enjoying walking to their workout space,” he said.

“The viral photo began as a single social media post and from there was covered by numerous digital outlets. Now the photo has appeared throughout the country and even internationally,” said Melinda Colton, director of public relations. “What started out as a creative way to enhance a building has now caught the attention of people worldwide.”


Photo of stairs in UVU’s Student Life & Wellness Center goes viral.










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