Design Facilitation: IDS and the Art of Designer Support

There’s an element of work at ID Signsystems that is seemingly invisible, yet is crucial to our success as a sign business: our support of the design community. We call the methodologies involved in our collaboration with designers design facilitation.

The design facilitation approach applies our expertise in fabrication, documentation, and project management to the designer’s process

Architects, designers, and planners often need help from specialists but have a difficult time finding outlets for engagement. The design facilitation approach is built around making collaboration easy to understand and communicate.

IDS has mastered a series of design facilitation tools that have been used for major projects including large landmarks, wayfinding projects, and exhibitions. The design facilitation process includes:

Strategic Planning

The Mercantile RenderingIDS has experience in many areas of fabrication. When IDS begins working with a designer we encourage collaboration to create a strategic plan outlining possible fabrication, lighting, and technology opportunities that designers can incorporate into their design process. The plan provides both IDS and the designer a medium to communicate to the client the capabilities of the project.

For the Mercantile on Main Building, we worked with the renowned agency Partners + Napier to introduce design intervention ideas early in their conceptualization process. This collaboration helped to enhance the famous Rochester landmark.


Empire State Trail KioskDesigners are experts at design intent, providing conceptual ideas, explanatory text, and graphics to better understand a project. IDS has built its visualization capacity to better support them by embracing 3D modeling technology. This allows the designer and client to see the IDS interpretation of their intent which can be approved and shared with the client.

Cultural designers Starr Whitehouse and EGD experts C&G Partners already had a strong design approach for Empire State Trail Landmarks. IDS developed dimensional visuals to explore and confirm details.


RIT's Cyber Security Rendering

Elon Musk built SpaceX into enormous success in the past ten years by utilizing a form of Design Thinking called Iterative Testing, or the use of frequent prototypes. We also use prototypes as a central part of our process for cost analysis, durability, and overall look.

When working with LaBella Associates, IDS made extensive prototypes of signs and graphic elements before installation in RIT’s Global Cybersecurity  Institute building and exhibition.


Many projects break down because of communication mistakes. IDS has worked to correct that issue by creating guidelines and databases that convert designer intent into tools that can be used during fabrication, installation, and ongoing sign management. With our digital documents and cloud-based software communication, this is now a simple process.

At Syracuse University, IDS utilized cloud-based software to manage communication of locations and message schedules between architect EDR, IDS, and the University.

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