The Future is Bright for Our Business Family


In 2020, the world shut down. In 2021, the world adapted. Signal launched into 2021 with excitement, and it’s that eager stamina that led to one of our strongest years yet. Adaptation is not easy, but it’s the challenges of the past few years that have helped us grow to who we are today.

Over the past year, Signal transitioned to a new office space while giving employees the option to work remotely full-time. Despite changes in our physical work environment, our productivity never ceased. In fact, we continued to grow, expanding our business in sectors such as life sciences and manufacturing.

With the world rapidly changing around us, the need for a strong digital presence has increased. Our clients look to us to not just meet that need, but surpass it.

“The types of jobs that we worked on this year are completely different than the types of jobs that we worked on in previous years,” Phil Stephens, Signal Partner & VP, Client Services, said. “And we are dealing with new technologies that change the way we communicate.”

To meet the increased, more diverse demand, we’re scaling up and actively searching for more talent to add to our experienced team in the new year.

“It’s like a new generation of Signal,” President Ricky Haynes said. “Adding new perspectives and ideas, but also expanding the team and making us able to do even more.”

If one word could describe Signal’s year, it would be ‘resilient.’ 2021 was no match for Signal’s depth of experience.

“We have been able to persevere. To not only survive, but in many respects, flourish,” Phil said. “And none of this would be possible without great clients who also took a chance during uncertain times and put their trust in us.”

With the new year on the horizon, Signal is unwavering. In 2022, we celebrate 30 years of Signal. That’s 30 years of incredible clients, exceptional creativity, and most importantly, plain good work.

“Good work speaks for itself. If we continue to do good work for people, it takes care of itself like it did this year,” Jim Ellis, Partner & VP, Account Director, said.

2022 is a clean slate, bringing a fresh set of challenges and the overwhelming opportunity to look for more creative solutions. It’s in our DNA to adapt, and we will continue to do that. In doing so, we bring our core strengths forward in hopes to create our best work yet in the new year.

“Starting in January it’s new clients, new projects, new challenges and fresh perspectives,” John Gibson, Partner & VP, Creative Services, said. “Just trying to out-do the previous year.”

See you in 2022!

Re-Entry / Re-Opening Support

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve witnessed the need for clear communication within companies to let employees know the employer is committed to their health and safety. As pandemic restrictions begin to ease, reopening the workplace is a complex and multifaceted process.

LabCorp contacted Signal for help clearly and effectively communicating company policies and best practices to promote safe and considerate behavior as they re-open their global facilities. Our first task was to develop and produce a large volume of re-entry signage, including both print and digital:

  • Handwashing Bathroom Mirror Decals
  • Stand Here Floor Decals
  • Practice Social Distancing LCD Screen Graphics
  • Wear a Face Covering LDC Screen Graphics
  • Isolation Area Pop-up Banners
  • Directional Posters
  • Temperature Check Posters
  • Thank You for Working Safely Posters
  • Stairwell Posters
  • Elevator Posters
  • Face Covering Required Posters
  • No Waiting or Congregating Posters
  • Sanitize Hands Here Posters
  • Keep Your Personal Desk Clean Signs
  • Last Disinfected On Signs
  • Max Capacity in Room Signs
  • Healthy Steps Signs
  • Please Clean This Area Before You Leave Table Tents
  • Table Seating Instructional Signs

The approved English versions were also translated into several different languages, including Spanish, Italian, French, German, Russian, Chinese (Simplified), Japanese, and Korean.

The Signal team also worked directly with LabCorp’s existing online storefront provider to seamlessly deliver high-resolution files for print, fulfillment, and distribution. Through this process, LabCorp employees can access signage and communications via an intranet portal where managers can either place orders or download PDFs to print with office printers.

In addition, our team collaborated with LabCorp to prepare a Re-entry Readiness Timeline and Re-Entry Strategy for communication to employees and media.

How We’re Coping During the Shutdown

Like so many right now, all our employees are working from home and facing challenges. We have parents with young kids, dealing with school coronavirus protocols, and those helping young adults transition to a pandemic college experience. We have single employees balancing work with life-long creative interests. We asked a few employees how the coronavirus has changed daily life and how they are coping. What they all have in common: taking care of their own wellness to weather this storm.

The planner with young kids at home

One employee, a self-described planner who has adjusted her expectations, is balancing work as a creative and being the mom of two young, active elementary-school children.

I wear several more ‘hats’ throughout the day – working mom, technology assistant, teacher and CEO of family life – which keeps me busy managing all the pieces of the daily puzzle. This requires some planning and organization but we’ve learned to be more flexible and do the best we can each day.”

To stay balanced, she is making time to exercise daily, including the family on lunch walks or bike rides when she can. She finds that quiet “me” time is important and that even a few minutes in the early morning or before bed can go a long way. Essential oils have also been a great trick for balancing stress.

“Taking it one day at a time is my new motto. I’m celebrating daily victories and keeping perspective on what is most important – our health and the people we love.”

The bachelor juggling career and interests

Another employee describes himself as a confirmed bachelor with a challenging creative career and passionate interests in arts and entertainment. Since he lives alone, the lockdown has not been an easy adjustment. To help with balance, his doctor prescribed anti-depressants, which are working well. He also thinks of the big picture perspective.

“I always keep reminding myself how lucky I am to continue work remotely without interruption, compared with the many who are not so fortunate.”

He takes comfort in personal creative pursuits, taking walks, listening to music and audiobooks, and watching classic films. He misses keeping his home and work lives separate. On the other hand, he doesn’t miss the commute or packing lunch in the mornings. The shutdown has given him a new appreciation for his expertise and impact.

“Once I jokingly described my professional skill set by saying ‘I make things extra better.’ I find motivation and purpose in knowing that I get to apply my abilities to make things ‘extra better’ in various ways for our clients, for my coworkers, and for my friends and family.”

The exec, musician and father of a college son

One executive describes himself by his many roles: Father, husband, manager, sales guy and musician. He’s trying to navigate the new normal. As someone who has worked from home for a while, his personal daily routine is much the same but everything else is upended. Taking time for health and mindfulness is making a difference.

“I still have a lot of work to do to make it habitual, but meditation and exercise are key to my balance. I walk the dog most mornings, and am trying to do more running and weights. I have the Calm app for meditation and have for years. I know if I make meditation a regular part of my day that it will be hugely beneficial.”

He looks forward to the day when he and his wife can resume favorite social activities, like eating out and going to hear music. For now, his biggest motivator is helping his son navigate the challenges of growing up and watching what he can accomplish.

I need to improve my mind, body and soul to be someone my son can be proud of. That means I need to  get healthy, stay healthy, and live in the moment.”

These insights from our team members are but a microcosm of the global collective desire not just to survive, but thrive. And thriving means that each of us must take personal responsibility for our physical and emotional health. After all, our employers may deeply care about our well-being, but they can’t set the morning alarm, stock our fridge with healthy food choices, or dust off the treadmill for us.

Our corporate culture is, however, the village it takes to keep us feeling connected. The daily grind of Zoom or Teams video conference calls doesn’t take the place of intentional, personal touch points. Just a few minutes seeing a coworker’s face to say, “Hey, how are you doing? I really miss our talks in the break room…” can provide a little nudge of encouragement to get us through another day.

Rescue Ranch Website

Rescue Ranch is a non-profit animal welfare organization based in Statesville, North Carolina, founded by Krissie Newman and her husband, NASCAR driver Ryan Newman (who is also a client of Signal). Rescue Ranch promotes humane education by focusing on rescuing on a fundamental level through hands-on learning and care for animals.

Signal redesigned the Rescue Ranch website with a modern look and feel. We reorganized the site structure to make it easier to explore the Ranch’s education programs and various opportunities to volunteer or make donations. The site is now fully responsive for mobile devices, with a focus on big, colorful photography spotlighting the diverse animal ambassadors and spirit of fun found at the Rescue Ranch.

Experience it here

Patient Success Story Video

In 2018, Bioventus chose Signal to produce a patient testimonial featuring all-pro tight end Greg Olsen of the Carolina Panthers. Olsen endorsed the EXOGEN ultrasound bone healing device, which helped him recover from a nonunion fracture in the foot and get back on the field without additional surgery. The video debuted at the Bioventus national sales meeting in Las Vegas. The campaign also features billboards, print and digital advertising, as well as social campaigns.

75th Anniversary Commemorative Book


The Duke Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program is dedicated to developing the next generation of leaders in physical therapy. Since its inception in 1943, the program has evolved from a small course with a handful of students into a leading doctoral program with world-renowned faculty and more than 200 students. When it came time to celebrate the program’s 75th Anniversary, Duke DPT leaders contacted Signal to help them honor the past and look forward to the future.


Signal worked with the Duke DPT team to develop a 100-page commemorative book, “Duke Doctor of Physical Therapy – The First 75 Years.” We crafted provided information and images into a history of the physical therapy program from its beginnings in 1943. Our team conducted extensive research, wrote and edited the content, and partnered with Duke DPT historians to tell the fascinating story of dedicated faculty members and students who helped to shape the physical therapy profession itself.

In terms of design, Signal’s vision was to convey a sense of history, with a warm palette of tans and browns accented by pops of orange and Duke blue. The book features many archival images of Duke DPT faculty and students learning in classrooms, connecting at conferences, and working with patients. The look is polished and uncluttered, allowing the imagery to take center stage. Signal enjoyed a close collaboration with the client every step of the way.


In September 2018, the Duke DPT program marked its 75th anniversary with a series of celebrations, culminating in a gala event where attendees received copies of the anniversary book. The book is also being shared with alumni and prospective students. The Duke team was delighted with the outcome.

I can’t thank you enough Donald for discovering so many helpful aspects of our work in this book. You all have been great! The book looks wonderful!!

crop losses informational video

Crop Losses Informational Video

CropLife International is a global federation representing the plant science industry, addressing international developments in crop protection and agricultural biotechnology. The organization asked Signal to design and produce a short video animation on the topic of pre-harvest crop losses around the world. The objective was to explain the huge volume of crops at risk of being lost in the fields due to pests and diseases, and the value of plant biotechnology and crop protection products to help prevent these losses. The 80-second video features licensed photography and video clips with animated screen text and graphics.

MedSpa at Cambridge Village Rebranding


MedSpa at Cambridge Village offers state-of-the-art, non-surgical cosmetic enhancements and spa services to help people look and feel their very best. The Raleigh-based company engaged Signal for a full rebranding effort. Our team’s goal was to consolidate messaging and make the MedSpa brand more modern and engaging. The rebrand was designed to appeal to audiences of diverse ages and genders.



Our team started with a new logo to set the tone for the rebranded MedSpa. The logo is fresh and open, drawing on circular design and modern typography.


Signal created a dedicated website,, as part of the rebranding effort. The website – featuring large imagery, a blue color palette and a collage layout – offers visitors an immediate feeling of calm and renewal.


We showcased MedSpa’s “Optimal Living” philosophy – a holistic approach that maximizes wellbeing. Messaging also focused on the spa’s advanced anti-aging and skin care technology, as well as the skill of the licensed professional staff.

Open house event

We designed signage, posters, flyers and digital ads for an open house event designed to introduce MedSpa’s innovative services to new customers.

Fortalis Product Launch

Plant Impact develops innovative crop enhancement products that increase crop yield and quality. This UK-based company engaged Signal as a full-service partner to help them enter the U.S. market with the launch of Fortalis, a scientifically proven product for soybean. Our goal was to develop a primarily digital strategy to create brand awareness and engagement with soybean growers in five key states in the Midwest. Additional audiences included crop consultants, advisors, university researchers, ag media and retailers – groups interested in learning more about innovations to help their clients improve soybean crop ROI.

Email / direct mail  

The Signal team started with a series of segmented e-blasts to introduce Plant Impact, their track record of success in other countries, and the Fortalis product. Additional e-blasts were geared towards growers who had participated in Plant Impact product trials. We called these early adopters “Fortalis Forerunners.”


Signal created a dedicated website, to support the product launch. The website features a clean scrolling design and impactful imagery. It’s also interactive, featuring a simple ROI calculator tool and other resources to help educate growers about how Fortalis can improve their soybean yields.

Product video

The Signal team created an instructional video which explains the science and technology behind how the product works. The video is featured on the microsite and has been used for marketing.

Brochure / tradeshow collateral

We developed a comprehensive product brochure, as well as tradeshow collateral and displays for Plant Impact’s booth at the premier ag industry event, Commodity Classic.

Social strategy / promoted social ads

The Signal team created Facebook and Twitter pages for audience engagement, and activated a detailed social strategy which included regular posts and promoted ads.


Currently, the brand has inked three main distributor agreements which represent not only the Midwest, but distribution to the retail channel throughout the entire US. Signal is seeing tremendous engagement on completed forms online and links from our efforts. We look forward to seeing even more results as Plant Impact and Fortalis “grow” their brand in the US!

Branding and Execution


In July 2015, Quintiles and Quest Diagnostics launched Q² Solutions, a new global clinical trials laboratory services joint venture. Q² Solutions was created to help biopharma customers improve human health through innovation that transforms science and data into actionable medical insights.

Quintiles, the world’s largest provider of biopharmaceutical development and commercial outsourcing services, has been a Signal client for more than a decade. The Quintiles team reached out to Signal to support the Q² Solutions launch and to provide integrated, multi-channel marketing and communications support. The objectives of the campaign were to create excitement, raise awareness – and create a modern brand and messaging that highlighted the capabilities and personality of the new organization.

Signal Solutions

Brand identity / creative

Signal was given the exciting challenge of creating and implementing a brand identity for Q² Solutions on an accelerated schedule – just a few months! Our creative team started with the Q² Solutions logo and standout core messaging – elements critical to distinguishing the new organization from its industry-leading parent companies. Our work helped to capture the brand’s essence (“Actionable Insights for Better Health”) and smart, progressive personality. The messaging created alignment within the team and across communication channels.



The complete visual system included:

  • Logo and co-brand logo suites
  • Naming exercise
  • Voice guidelines
  • Font treatments

We also developed complete brand standards / style guides (abbreviated and detailed versions) to ensure proper usage of the new identity.

Marketing materials

Signal designed Q² Solutions’ entire suite of marketing collateral materials, including:

  • Fact sheets for multiple services and solutions
  • White papers and other thought leadership pieces
  • Internal screen saver
  • LinkedIn images
  • Collateral templates
  • Outlook and Eloqua email and e-newsletter templates
  • Letterhead, envelopes and business cards
  • Infographics
  • Graphics for social channels
  • Corporate PowerPoint slide bank and template
  • Holiday cards
  • Scientific posters
  • Photo bank
  • Icon bank

Website design / messaging

We created Q² Solutions’ website, enabling visitors to easily access relevant information about the new company’s services and differentiators (a phased deployment).

Environmental graphics

The creative team designed national tradeshow banners and tradeshow booth graphics aligned with the new brand architecture. Signal is also producing a lobby wall video to establish a strong, coherent presence for visitors arriving at company headquarters.

Print and digital advertising

We produced numerous print ads for publications and created monthly digital ads with tracking.


  • What the typical agency of record would have done in a year, Signal did in months (and in some cases, weeks!).
  • Signal completed the work for a fraction of the what the typical agency of record would have charged.
  • Q² Solutions’ team was delighted with the work – and they now rely on Signal as their agency of record.