Virginia Gehshan



Member Since

August 1988

2010 SEGD Fellow, 1995 Angel Award honoree, and SEGD President 1992-1993
Virginia Gehshan and Jerome Cloud were the recipients of the SEGD Fellow Award in 2010. They have built their practice on intellectual rigor, systemic thinking, and a user-centered approach to information architecture.
Since Virginia Gehshan and Jerome Cloud forged their design partnership in 1986, they have built an idea firm that encourages ingenuity and innovation. Two-and-a-half decades later, clients seek them out for their thorough research and analysis, methodical design process, and perspective that recognizes signs are just one of many physical expressions of a brand or place.

Cloud Gehshan Associates may be best known for its groundbreaking work on large, multi-component projects such as university campuses, medical centers, and park systems. Their work integrates identity, storytelling, signage, and information systems in a process they call placebranding.

They are also innovators. The firm was the first to incorporate sculptural elements into directional signage (University Center, Baltimore), created the first exterior interactive wayfinding kiosks (Johns Hopkins University), and created one of the first prototypes for branding, interpretation, and signage for the U.S. National Heritage Corridor system.
Both are teachers and lecturers on design issues, and Gehshan-a past SEGD board member and president-authored many of SEGD’s foundation documents, including its Standard Form of Agreement, Process Guide, Fee Guidelines, and RFP.

Professional Responsibilities
Virginia Gehshan is responsible for the success of some of CGA’s largest and most complex projects, Virginia Gehshan works with a range of clients in the areas of environmental identity, architectural signage and wayfinding. She started her own design firm in 1983, then partnered with Jerome Cloud to form Cloud Gehshan Associates. Virginia is also an educator, teaching in the Industrial Design department of The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Along with Jerome Cloud, she is the recipient of the 2010 Fellow Award from the Society for Environmental Graphic Design.

Virginia Gehshan graduated cum laude from Cornell University, where she received a B.S. in Design and Environmental Analysis.
Professional Activities
As past president and board member of the SEGD, Virginia Gehshan has played a central role in the development of the profession, developing client tools, Process Guide and authoring the SEGD Standard Form of Agreement.

Ms. Gehshan has led a variety of award–winning projects for signage and wayfinding, interpretive systems, digital displays, map design and donor recognition. Her recent projects are a mix of public parks and gardens, cities and towns, college campuses and medical centers. With a background in human factors and cognition Ms. Gehshan leads wayfinding planning at CGA both in terms of conceptual strategies and detailed recommendations. She has also formulated models for programming and master plans which have been used as the basis for many of CGA’s academic and medical projects.

Practice Area

Branded Environments, Digital Experiences, Exhibition, Placemaking, Strategy/Research/Planning, Wayfinding

Focus Area

Brand, Destination Experiences, Digital, Graphic, Interactive, Interpretive, Signage


Corporate, Cultural, Education, Healthcare, Museums, Recreation, Transportation, Urban + Civic, Workplace