Design Engineering

Where Creativity and Quality Converge

If time and money weren’t an issue, what would you create? We all have ideas that we’d like to bring to life without restriction, and we’ve all faced the realities of making our dreams gain tangibility in the real world. At Harbinger, we face these dream-to-reality moments every time a client comes to us with an idea, design, or concept. Be it modern wayfinding structures for their campus or an attention-grabbing and stylish front marquee, our work is focused on ensuring your idea comes to fruition – on schedule, in budget, and exactly as envisioned.

They say there are three qualities one can hope for in completing a project: fast, cheap, and good. As the joke goes, you’ll often hear that followed by “you can pick two.” Our team believes that project satisfaction will never be achieved by simply picking two of these qualities, and that everyone deserves a product that matches their expectations in all levels of project management. How we get to that dream end-product, however, is what truly sets us apart at Harbinger.


If you’re familiar with architecture design or construction, you have heard the term “value engineering.” This is what project managers call the process of altering a design in order to fit either construction timeline or budgetary restrictions, and can take place at the expense of design. “Typical value engineering can strip away the ‘candy’ of a project,” says Harbinger Creative Director Ed Busey. “Whether that’s a decorative element or a custom fabricated structure, it’s likely something the client loved when they saw a rendering, and now is ‘value engineered’ out of the final product in order to maintain the bottom line.”

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 10.58.31 AMAt Harbinger, we strive to provide solutions at every level in order to avoid any loss of creative touch and keep your vision intact. We call this approach “design engineering;” a process in which we focus on maintaining design and quality first while only positively affecting budget and timeline.


In order to effectively design engineer a project, “we rely heavily on our staff’s experience in a variety of backgrounds including architecture and construction,” says Busey. “Our team’s collective understanding of the building process and materials usage allows us to stay ahead of the curve.” So when designers begin conceptualizing, Harbinger knows exactly which direction to take in order to achieve that vision. “Whether its understanding illumination types or acrylic versus poly-carbonate usage, we infuse our design engineering process throughout the phases of conceptualization and production in order to ensure the best possible final product.”


Harb1502 3203 (2)Our clients – our designers – don’t come to us with ideas that are bland and boring. They come to Harbinger because they want the best quality signage, produced by a forward-thinking company with outstanding attention to design detail. “It’s easy to look at a concept and say ‘it can’t be done,’” says Busey.

    How does this translate to your future project? “Commonly, our clients aren’t familiar with the pricing of different product materials,” says Busey. “Let’s say a client wanted a family of wayfinding signs on their campus and in order to fit in with their branding, they envision clear acrylic lettering at a one-inch thick level. Through design engineering, we can maintain the vision while switching that one-inch thick lettering to half-inch thickness; representing a significant difference in machine time, and ultimately, cost.”

“Realistically, we must always look for potential pitfalls when managing a client’s expectations. However at Harbinger, our team can absolutely provide solutions that will keep as close to the heart of the design as possible.” That means getting the job done on time, on budget, and as anticipated – if not better.

Whether you have a napkin sketch, a full concept rendering, or just a general direction you’d like to go, Harbinger is ready to deliver the sign of your dreams. We have the team equipped to assist in the design process at the most conceptual level or earliest stage. We’re also able to take a precise or exact idea at a bid level and execute it in the most cost-effective way while maintaining your vision – and that’s design engineering at its best.

Type to Search

See all results