An Inside Look at a Strategic Signage Design-Build Process

Design Process / 02.06.2024


Developing and implementing a successful signage program can be a complicated process, no doubt about that. From facilitating signage designs and manufacturing products to ensuring the right stakeholders are on board from start to finish, there are a lot of variables at play—and a lot that can go wrong without the right partner.

This undertaking can be made more difficult when the professional teams involved don’t share a common vision or are more interested in satisfying their own operational goals than they are in realizing the client’s. Many wayfinding signage providers also fail to plan for what may happen after a signage program is put into place: if your collaborators boast a mindset of moving on quickly without fully considering the options available to a client when updates or revisions are needed later down the line, then it will be challenging to keep a signage program current as the years go by.

That’s why working with an experienced, like-minded partner from the onset of a project can have a profound impact on its eventual success. At AGS, we’ll help you balance form and function to stay on budget, meet deadlines, and achieve the best possible value for your objectives.

Dive deep into AGS’s proven approach to signage projects by walking through each phase of a strategic design-build process and the services provided by a right-fit partner.

Phase I: Discovery & Site Audit

It all starts with research and analysis. To ensure the success of a signage program, the client’s objectives and expectations must be understood. The key is to provide tasteful and appropriate signage solutions, while having a keen ear for client feedback. AGS takes the time to meet with all our clients to fully understand the project scope and objectives. This includes reviewing relevant site plans, architectural finishes, and marketing collateral.

Next, we perform a site audit to verify existing conditions and document the site using photographs. AGS will then begin programming the campus and develop a location plan of the site, which is used to help finalize the project’s required quantities and sign types.

Phase II: Signage Concept Design

With initial homework complete, the fun can really begin. AGS will take what we’ve learned through our investigation and use this to develop site specific concept designs for the client to evaluate. These illustrate recommendations for layout, materials, finishes, typography, and colors, while providing suggestions for maintenance and flexibility for growth. Throughout this whole process, partners like AGS strive to maintain fiscal responsibility to the client and ensure cost-effective outcomes.

Phase III: Design Intent Documentation

This phase helps to further develop and optimize components of the signage program. During design intent documentation, AGS refines our initial designs, including materials, decorative elements, typography, color finishes, and fabrication and mounting methods. This is where we confirm our schedule and budget with a client based on their financial objectives. Taking the client’s selected design concept, AGS will continue to develop and finalize the design prior to fabrication.

Phase IV: Implementation

Now we see it all come together with the final documentation and implementation of the signage program. AGS revises our design intent drawings, resulting in fully realized shop drawings. These include materials needed, fabrication specifications, color matching, and details for installation. With the client’s approval, we can then proceed into the signage fabrication process. The best partners bring all of this in-house, meaning there is a direct line of communication between our front office team and our production plant to encourage a seamless design-build process. With the signage complete, AGS’s trusted team of installers coordinate with the site to install the product on the client’s schedule.

At AGS, we’re proud to be the signage partner of choice for educational institutions, healthcare organizations, corporations, residential living facilities, and other leading businesses. We take the time to understand client needs to deliver a product that’s aesthetically unique and functional, while staying within the constraints of schedule and budget. In our more than 60 years of business, we’ve learned a thing or two about flawless wayfinding signage projects—earning us a reputation as one of the region’s leading design-build partners.

Have signage needs? Let’s get to work. Browse our design-build services and connect with our team to discuss your project requirements and goals.


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