Frequently Asked Questions


Do you make signs?

We don’t literally make signs (well, sometimes we do, but don't tell anyone). We're the bigger-picture people who develop the multi-faceted design approach for your built environment. Your plan may include anything from signage and environmental graphics to branding and more. If it includes signage, we custom design it to your space and bring in the best sign-making pros to do the actual fabrication.

What makes you different from other firms?

Two things. First, it’s our personality. We’re just as tenacious and rebellious as we are friendly and collaborative. This makes sure your design solution is not only the most impactful and unique, but that your experience working with us is, too. Second, it’s our approach to partnership. We see your project through all the way to the end. Most firms offer services only through the point when the design plan decisions are done, leaving clients left to work with contractors directly to oversee the implementation of the project. We're different. We're with you every step of the way.


What did you go to school for?

The things that are required of great designers: architecture, industrial design, interior design, graphic design, web and user interface design…plus any class that allowed us to sleep in after spending late nights in the studio.

But our secret to success isn’t about mundane coursework. It’s about unique people. We’ve formed our firm with a purposeful integration of specialized knowledge from diverse design disciplines as well as from the sciences, professions and humanities. Team members contribute a significant measure of skill and expertise in their own area of specialization. Together, we are able to holistically surround a challenge with disparate viewpoints to ensure the design solution is definitively distinct.


What is a master plan?

A master plan is the roadmap that establishes a project's scope. It's a comprehensive document that details the long-range views and intended guide principles that define how a signage and wayfinding system will be developed and implemented over a period of time. The good news: unlike most other firms, we’re with you from project plan to completion.

What is your process?

Typically, we follow the same process as architects and designers: research and analysis, schematic design, design development, contract documentation and contract administration. Within that framework, we test and refine and test and refine...and then test and refine some more.

What's the fastest you've completed a project?


Who do you work with (e.g., architects, designers, facility managers, CEOs)?

All of the above. It’s a collaborative approach that surrounds your project with anyone who has an amazing insight or great idea.

Do you work in other countries?

Yes. Forcade works wherever a project takes us worldwide.

Do you create digital signage?

Yes, we develop highly engaging interfaces for all types of digital solutions – big and small.

How about mobile phone apps?

Yep, do those, too. We work in every modern form of communication your organization uses.


So, you love coffee?

That’s a bit of an understatement. We grind whole beans daily. Then we brew them. And then we repeat. Often.

Where are your offices located?

HQ is beautiful Evanston, Illinois, just outside Chicago. All other Forcade offices are within minutes of thriving cities, too. But we prefer suburbia for its tree-lined streets, ease of parking and shorter lines at coffee shops.


What is Red Wine Friday?

It's our way of celebrating another week of amazing design. Note: It is not called White Wine Friday. But bring what you’d like…we’d never turn wine down.

What do your people do for fun?

Ride our bikes, cheer on our alma maters' teams, take pictures, travel and cook. Mmmm, cooking – how we love to create new dishes.


I hear you send out fabulous gifts around the holidays. How do I get on that list?

Simple. Hire us and you’ll be on the list!


Interested in working together? Get in touch!

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