APCO has a long history of both partnering with design firms and providing design-build services depending upon the unique circumstances surrounding each project.

When undertaking design-build projects, we follow a proven process. Keep reading to learn more.

Understanding the Needs

A successful wayfinding program involves a thorough understanding of the facility and the client's specific needs.
Before beginning any project, the first step is to meet with the client and the facility's staff and listen to their needs, learning about the wayfinding challenges, branding objectives as well as any other factors that might impact the development of the sign program.

A Traffic Flow Analysis should be a component of any successful wayfinding program, surveying the facility and studying traffic patterns and decision points in order to identify problem areas where people get lost. Site plans and floor plans should also be analyzed in detail to ensure a comprehensive and cohesive system is developed.

Lastly, it's important to identify any local codes and/or zoning regulations that may impact the signage program. This is especially critical for an exterior sign system as mistakes or oversights there can be very costly.


In order to develop the best wayfinding solution for a particular client, there has to be a clear understanding of the budget for signs.
APCO's vast experience with wayfinding projects of all sizes allows us to advise clients early in the process of what the expected costs will be, from planning and programming to manufacturing and installation.

The breadth of our product line means that we can provide an effective solution for virtually any budget.

Regardless of the budget, APCO professionals work with clients to develop the best possible solution according to the unique needs of their facility.


The strategic application of signs, landmarks, architectural features, interior design elements and maps for the purpose of directing people through a given space or facility.
Wayfinding involves more than just signage, but the design and placement of signs within a facility or campus plays a critical role in how easily one can navigate a space. Improper signage and wayfinding can be costly, wasting time for staff, causing frustration for lost visitors and having an overall negative impact on a facility's image and brand.

APCO's local sales representatives nationwide, along with the trained consultants of our Sign Planning Department in Atlanta, are ready to assist you with the planning and design of your sign system. We offer a unique mix of knowledge that is essential for a successful project, including a foundation in graphic design, knowledge of materials and human perception and a thorough understanding of the ADA and its impact on a sign system. Our expertise and innovative solutions will help you not only have a successful signage and wayfinding program, but will also save you time and money in the long term.

Product Selection & Design

Developing a cohesive family, or system, of signs that relate to one another as well as the surrounding environment is critical to the success of a wayfinding program.
In addition to directing and informing, a sign system should connect with its environment and help convey a facility's brand and image. An analysis of a facility's interior finishes, marketing collateral, and branding objectives will help ensure this is accomplished.

Product features should also be an important consideration. Selection of a modular product that not only offers design flexibility but can also be easily maintained over time will make the wayfinding solution much more effective for the long term.

Not all modular products are alike! APCO offers the widest range of award-winning modular sign systems on the market and can provide expert guidance for when one particular product might fit a situation better than another or which systems would be best suited for a LEED project.

APCO's online Design Studio is also a valuable resource, providing an easy way to start the conceptual design phase and explore materials and finishes.

Planning & Programming

This is the meat of any wayfinding project, involving strategic placement of sign types throughout the facility, developing message lists, refining sign type designs and collaborating closely with the client throughout the entire process.
This phase of wayfinding can be the most time consuming and can have the greatest impact on the overall success of a project. 

ADA Compliance
Knowing how the ADA impacts both the signage design as well as the placement of signs throughout the facility is essential for any successful wayfinding project.

APCO has a team of experts who are knowledgeable about the complexities and latest requirements of the ADA and can help ensure 100% compliance.

Manufacturing & Installation

All APCO products are manufactured in one of our two facilities in Atlanta, Georgia, totaling over 150,000 sq. ft.
A well-trained, experienced staff and state-of-the art equipment ensure high quality, long-lasting products. Detailed project management and a customer-focused approach to service ensure 100% satisfaction.

APCO also has a far-reaching network of professional installation technicians around the US who are capable of managing both small and large projects, for interior and exterior signs. Installation is certainly not to be overlooked in a signage project. A poor installation can easily ruin what is otherwise a well-planned, high quality sign system.

Ongoing Maintenance

What happens after your signs are installed can often have the greatest impact on the long-term success of your wayfinding project.
Project Documentation
For APCO design-build projects, we provide a comprehensive project binder with all of the sign type drawings, specifications and location plans to help you stay organized and on top of your sign program management moving forward.

APCO's products are constructed of modular, pre-engineered components to enable easy updates of graphics when needed. We also maintain a 20,000 sq/ft warehouse of extrusions, injection-molded components and other parts and materials so we can service your reorder and expansion needs for years to come.

SignWord Pro
All of APCO's interior sign systems are also compatible with laser printed graphics. Using APCO's free SignWord Pro software, clients can easily and quickly update graphics for their system in-house, at a fraction of the cost and time of traditional sign updates.

Financial Stability of the Sign Manufacturer
This is a factor often overlooked, but what is the financial stability of your sign provider? Will they be around in five years when signs are needed for your next expansion? Or, if there is a problem with the installation, will they be willing and financially able to take care of it?

In business since 1966, APCO is a financially stable company and able to address problems quickly and thoroughly should they occur. We have a proven track record of successfully completing large, complex projects and doing whatever it takes to ensure long-term customer satisfaction.

Design-Build Project Examples

APCO has successfully completed numerous design-build projects for customers throughout the US across multiple vertical markets
Design Drawings, Location Plans, & Message Schedules
Bunge North America

Bakersfield College
Blue Ridge Community College
Cowley College
Durham Technical Community College
Gwinnett Technical College
Hiram College
Johnston Community College
Roane State Community College
Sandhills Community College
Victor Valley College
Walters State Community College

Senior Living
CC Young - The Vista
The Culpeper
Lakewood Senior Living

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Clarendon Memorial Hospital
Divine Savior Healthcare
Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center
Hedrick Medical Center
Riverside Community Hospital
St. Alexius Medical Center

Maxwell Agriculture & Convention Center
North Carolina Agricultural Sciences Center
Richland County Decker Center

Mount Vernon Baptist Church
Princeton Church of God

Callaway Gardens