About Us

Company Perspective and History

Designer Sign Systems – Integrated Visual Wayfinding and Signage Systems

OUR BEGINNINGS date back to when architectural signage was hand painted, largely one dimensional and disaggregated when Designer Sign Systems began over 25 years ago. Customers had a need for unified wayfinding systems that supported their branding throughout their interior and exterior signage and could be supported as their business changed. The Healthcare industry in particular had a need for high levels of customer service and was experiencing rapid expansion and consolidation.  This was a void that that Designer Sign Systems filled by designing, manufacturing, and installing  signage, chart holders, patient room flag systems for multi-site locations on a recurring basis.

OUR GROWTH OVER 25 PLUS YEARS! Today, Designer Sign Systems provides a full service offering  that includes design, wayfinding planning, signage design, manufacturing of both interior and exterior signs and sign systems, project management, permitting, installation and post-installation maintenance and re-order fulfillment. We are proud to be a partner with many leading corporate, healthcare, architectural, educational, hospitality, government, and retail clients. We are continually growing our range of signage and related custom products thus allowing our customers to have one stop shopping including.

OUR CAPABILITIES include full design, manufacturing, distribution, installation and re-order fulfillment.  Our primary facility is in Minneapolis Minnesota encompasses and is where all the action takes place.  We distribute and install signage directly for customers throughout the U.S. and also offer lines of products which Designer Sign Systems manufacturers and distributes through National retailers. Our signage and office products are built-to-order in-house using our electronic design specifications which allows for quick and efficient re-order fulfillment, quality level  Signs are built-to-order from this one location, which allows for cost efficiencies, operational consistencies, and up-close and-personal quality control; all of which translates into providing clients with value.

 

The Team

Karen Fisher  – Owner / CEO

Fun Fact:  Karen left her running career with a times of 58 seconds in the open 400m, 64 seconds in the 400m hurdles, and 15 seconds in the 100m hurdles while also training as a Heptathlete.  

Kathy Brown Zerwas – Director of Business Development             

Fun Fact:    While Kathy wears many hats, a little known fact is that she has taught typing in Russian and earned the nickname “Striker” during her welding certification.

Bjorn Bowman – Account Manager  Contact

Fun Fact:   Bjorn is the traveler of the group and has relatives in 5 of the world’s continents. Even better is that he has actually traveled to them.

Kathy Johnson – Account Manager  Contact

Fun Fact:   Kathy draws, sketches, and paints portraits of people and animals.  One of her murals was on the back cover of a published book.  Was born 9/29 at 9:29.

Jenny Robertson – Regional Manager (OH)  Contact

Fun Fact:    Jennifer can recite every line in Christmas Vacation and reads 4 newspapers a day. She’d rather be in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands than anywhere else in the world.

Dino Paglia - Sales Executive (OH)  Contact

Fun Fact: Dino enjoys making wine and he rehabs houses in his spare time.

Brian Elsesser – Project Manager  Contact

Fun Fact:   Brian loves to fish. In fact his goal and dreams growing up we to become a professional fisherman. Though reality has set in, he still shares his passion with others and most importantly with his children.

Ryan Johnson – Project Manager  Contact

Fun Fact:   Ryan likes to brew his own beer. He also enjoys spending time with his family while fishing and 4 wheeling.

Julie Wandtke – Project Manager (OH)  Contact

Fun Fact:   Julie thinks she missed her calling to be a race car driver.  She loves warm weather and the beach, any beach but the more tropical the better!  She hopes to one day own land with many horses so that she could start a therapeutic riding program.

Mitch Otto – Estimating  Contact

Fun Fact:   Smart and athletic, Mitch is an Eagle Scout and has a Gold Medal from the 1991 Minnesota State Games.

Tim Prinsen – Estimating  Contact

Fun Fact:   Likes to fish and hunt, also enjoys woodworking and building items needed around the house.

Ashley Otto – Customer Service Lead  Contact

Fun Fact:   In the truest life imitating art or in this case food Ashley loves to make homemade pies from scratch. In a simple twist she and her husband live in a home that was converted from a creamery.

 

 


Awards, News, and Recognition

2011 Award Winning Projects

Arbor Lakes Senior Living

Finance & Commerce:  —DSS Provided Interior & Exterior Signage

Ellipse on Excelsior

Finance & Commerce:  —DSS Provided Interior & Exterior Signage

Hiawatha Maintenance Facility

Finance & Commerce:  —DSS Provided Exterior Signage

The Minnesota Building

Finance & Commerce:  —DSS Provided Interior & Exterior Signage

Oak Grove City Center

Finance & Commerce

2010 Award Winning Projects

Phoenix on the River

Finance & Commerce & Building of America:  —DSS Provided Interior & Exterior Signage

Zenith Condominiums

Finance & Commerce:  —DSS Provided Interior & Exterior Signage

Colopast US Headquarters

  Best in Real Estate - St. Paul Business Journal:  —DSS Provided Exterior Signage

aLoft Hotel

Finance & Commerce:  —DSS Provided Interior Signage

Center for Changing Lives

Finance & Commerce:  —DSS Provided Interior & Exterior Signage

Van Cleve Apartments (East & West)

 Best in Real Estate - St. Paul Business Journal:  —DSS Provided Interior & Exterior Signage