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.



Spotlight Saturday: David Butler

Employee Spotlight / 02.12.2022

Full name: David Butler

Job Title: Development

Years at AGS: 4

Why do you like being part of AGS? 

What is a project that you’re currently working on that excites you? 
Lions Gate Full  Facility Dedication

Give us a little bit of background about yourself. What brought you to where you are now in your career at AGS? 
Too much to write about. I have been very fortunate to live a very full personal life and business life

If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be? 
George Washington

If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would buy? 
I would not buy anything. I would secure my children and grandchildren’s financial future and donate a significant amount to multiple charities.


Spotlight Saturday: Rebecca Whitton

Employee Spotlight / 01.15.2022


Meet Rebecca Whitton!
She’s the first of many employees we’ll be chatting with this year. Catch up on all of them in our monthly feature – Spotlight Saturday!

Full name: Rebecca Whitton

Job Title: Production Planning Manager

Years at AGS: 7 years

Why do you like being part of AGS? 
I enjoy working for smaller companies because you aren’t just a number the way massive corporations make you feel. At AGS, we get to be creative and we get to watch beautiful things get built right before your eyes! It’s a niche industry but I think that’s what I like most about it.

What is a project that you’re currently working on that excites you?
We are wrapping up CHOP’s new hospital in King of Prussia. CHOP is close to my heart because they saved my sister’s life when she was an infant. To be a part of their first hospital outside of Philadelphia, is truly incredible. They are top notch in everything that they do so it’s special to be a small piece of this exciting new addition to our area.

Give us a little bit of background about yourself. What brought you to where you are now in your career at AGS? 
I started out as the Project Management Assistant and overtime I just started to learn more and more about what we do and really felt invested in what we do. With each passing year, I was eager to learn as much as I could, which gave me the opportunities for growth over the years.

If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be? 
Any of the founding fathers. American Revolutionary History is a huge interest of mine! I was originally going to West Chester University to major in American Revolutionary History!

If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would buy? 
The first thing I would likely do is pay off my mom’s house.

What’s been your favorite project to work on so far? 

One of my absolute favorite projects we ever did was a Donor project for the Franklin Institute. I remember the day we won the project, the team was concerned about the complexity. But I thought the design was brilliant. They are long aluminum antique looking keys with the donor names attached that hang over the archway to the Ben Franklin statue inside the entrance. It looks BEAUTIFUL!


Customer Service

Company Process / 11.25.2020


Customer Service is KEY

At AGS, the Project Management Team prides themselves on clear, timely, and transparent communication with our clients. Our customer’s needs are always our number one priority and to ensure their confidence in AGS, we must build strong relationships.

Our Project Management Team faces an infinite number of obstacles in any given project. What we have learned from those experiences is how great communication can alleviate the pressure on both ourselves and the customers we serve. Whether we are relaying detailed information or discussing a challenge, the approach is the most crucial part in getting to a decision or resolution.

Understandably, our team desires to always provide good news to our customers, however, we know there are some difficult conversations that are needed to be had from time to time. AGS remains humble in delivering complicated circumstances and we are continuously improving. We care about our clients and we will always strive to communicate with the utmost urgency, respect, and honesty. We believe our Project Management Team achieves just that!


Mercy College

Project Spotlight / 10.23.2020


Project Highlight – Mercy College

AGS had the wonderful opportunity to fabricate interior signage and graphics for Mercy College’s newest renovation of Dorm 34. We were able to achieve Cannon Design’s beautiful vision with many fabrication prototypes and testing. This project was unique as Cannon Design created a schematic design that was not only stunning in appearance, but incredibly functional for the students residing in the building. Collaboration between AGS and Cannon Design led the project in a whole new direction when we provided samples of a digitally printed self-healing corkboard material. This created a long-lasting, operational piece of décor that is elegant yet useful. The graphics portion of the project not only contained the pin-up boards, but also integrated display cases, vinyl wall graphics, and dimensional letters. The room signage in this program was far from your typical ADA specifications. The room identifications were floor to ceiling with whiteboard material with dimensional numbers, insert signage, and ADA compliant numbering.


Project Management Organization with SmartSheet

Company Process / 07.27.2020

In order to successfully manage a sign project at AGS, organization is an absolute must. Between managing open issues, timelines, meetings, dialogues, etc., it feels as though chaos can ensue at any moment! The best way to avoid disorder and confusion is by having a strategy and keeping documented information logged appropriately. Because of this need to stay prepared, AGS is a subscriber of a web-based software called SmartSheet.


In the Loop: The Life and Times of Eric Lupacckino

Employee Spotlight / 06.24.2020

Meet Eric Lupacckino! Eric’s career at AGS began almost 12 years ago and he’s been an integral part of our Fabrication team ever since. Eric’s always the first one in and he helps the team start off each day on a good note by opening the shop; and organizing tools, materials, paperwork, and schedules. Then he’s on to cutting aluminum and welding parts. Additionally, Eric is our resident U/L certified lighting expert, so he might be wiring up electrical components for an illuminated monolith or programing an LED control. He’s also learning how to use our CNC router and regularly QCs the products that come out of our Machining department.

“You always have to double-check!”


The AGS Face Shield Project

Project Spotlight, Information and Updates / 05.19.2020

The events of the last few months made all of us at AGS think about how we could do our part to support front-line workers in the fight against COVID-19. Then we heard that a client of ours, Kohelet Yeshiva high School in Merion Station, PA, had started making face shields to give to medical professionals. We knew we had found our opportunity to help.


Information Update

Information and Updates / 03.18.2020







Dear AGS Community,

Hopefully you and your families are coping well with the growing urgency of the moment. Like you, we have great concern about the uncertain impacts of the COVID-19 Virus. You can trust that we are addressing this situation appropriately.

color gamut

Color Matching

Signage Process / 10.02.2019

Color matching has many inherent challenges. There is the visual: what the eye sees; there is CYMK: the traditional four color process used in printing;  there is RBG: what a monitor shows you; and finally there is Pantone: the measurable system we use in print and other media to dictate exact color matching. The printing process has its own unique limitations, as we can’t actually create everything that the eye sees.