~ By JOAN TUPPONCE / Special Correspondent
David Goodwin of 2.0 Design refers to the graphic designs he uses in outdoor environments as sculptures rather than signs.
"We try to create fun, artsy pieces that add beauty to the project," the company's owner said. "Our mission is to provide sculpture in advertising. We have a very deliberate intent to make the project more interesting."
The company's designs, which have garnered 15 national awards, range from small you-are-here signs to large monuments that front shopping centers or developments. Projects are made from a variety of materials, including aluminum, masonry, stone, steel, fabric, water and stainless steel.
2.0 Design's services additionally include logo designs, visual audits, renovations on existing facades and consultations. "We make sure we understand what our client can and cannot do," Goodwin said. "All jurisdictions control the height and square footage of the sign. We can often get clients more size than they are allowed. That's an enormous advantage" to them. About 90 percent of the company's clients are out of state. The remaining 10 percent are scattered throughout Virginia.
Goodwin started the company in 1997 with an eye toward creating national awards and making signs a more pleasent experience.
Dennis Richardson, senior vice president of development at HL Development Services Group in Norfolk, used 2.0 Design for signs for City Center at Oyster Point in Newport News.
"We found them to be creative," he said. "We tasked them with some different problems, and they did (the job) with great elegance and a bold statement of grapic and signage, all of which we implemented." Richardson said he found Goodwin to be "very knowledgeable and creative, excellent to work with."
When Goodwin started the company, he had one employee. "We found our customers thruough trade shows and word of mouth," he said.
The company's main clients are real estate companies developing shopping centers, including Simon Property Group Inc., the largest mall developer and owner, Fairfax-based The Peterson Companies and Developers Diversified Realty.
"We have done signage for the majority of Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurants and AMF in North America," Goodwin said. "We work all over the country but do a good deal of work in Florida, Texas and California. We've also worked in Alaska and Puerto Rico."
Local clients include Kings Dominion and the Downtown Short Pump and Hanover Village Shopping centers.
Annual sales at 2.0 Design grew 15 percent each year during its first 12 years of business.
"In 2008 and 2009, our growth slowed because the client base we serve really slowed operations," Goodwin said. "In 2010, we were back up to about 15 percent growth. We expect to continue on that path in 2011."
Jeff Parana, principal of Potomac Developmetn Group in Fairfax, worked with Ad Vice on the National Harbor development in Marylnad, which includes the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center.
2.0 Design handled the signs for the project, including the ones coming of the Capital Beltway, Parana said.
"They added value to a project," he said. "They can take a concept design from a high-profile architect and turn it into reality. They know how to interpret it."
He found their work to be artistic and of high quality.
"They did a wonderful job," he said. "They understood what we wanted and interepreted the design. Their level of quality is inherent."