Honoring design, dedicated to precision, beauty and longevity

Archetype is a custom sign-fabrication partner committed to turning our clients’ visions into reality. With leadership members averaging more than 20 years in the industry, we value collaboration, foresight and attention to detail, priding ourselves on creating fabrications characterized by precision, beauty and longevity.

We approach our work with a complete understanding of the design process, and will partner with you to make your job easier and your project come alive.

Archetype is a member of the Society for Experiential Graphic Design.

Archetype collaborates well with our team. In fact, they’re able to read our minds. They know how to use their knowledge to provide us with creative solutions.

Cheryl O’Donnell

Principal, Visual Communications



Committed to your design and your success

At Archetype, we embrace a philosophy founded on an understanding of design and the knowledge that successful projects are begun and fulfilled in partnership. This approach grounds our commitment to creating solutions that fulfill our clients’ visions.

Steven Carpenter

Steven Carpenter

Founding Archetype in 1999, Steve has more than 25 years of industry experience. His plan for the company as president and CEO has focused on realizing his clients’ goals by honoring their design and providing exceptionally crafted results, no matter the challenge. With a BA in art, he is continuously inspired to push the envelope and satisfy clients such as the Walker Art Center and Caribou Coffee by drawing on his knowledge of design, supporting the productive exchange of ideas and delivering flawless fabrication and installation.

Steve is also an accomplished artist and art instructor whose award-winning work is part of numerous corporate and private collections. Learn more about his work.

Gary Stemler

Gary Stemler

Gary, vice president of architectural signage, has been in the environmental graphics field for more than 20 years, collaborating with designers, architects and their clients to implement custom graphics worldwide. With a BS degree in industrial design and graphic design, he has served on the national board of the Society for Experiential Graphic Design and on its education committee; he also serves as treasurer on the executive committee. He has spoken internationally and has mentored university students, exposing them to the intricacies of the fabrication process. Motivated by working with creative minds, he is committed to turning clients’ visions into beautifully executed results.

Jennifer Kruse

Jennifer Kruse

Jenny brings more than 20 years of experience to her position as vice president. With a BS degree in visual communications and applied design, she is responsible for critical business operations within the company and places top priority on working proactively with clients to ensure smooth collaborations and productive results. With clients ranging from Caribou Coffee to HealthPartners, she takes special pride in establishing deep and long-term relationships with clients, helping them realize their design goals and become heroes to their own clients.

Community Involvement


Signs of Life: Bettering people’s lives, one sign at a time

Born out of our desire to support the communities with which we are connected, our Signs of Life program aims to better people’s lives, one sign at a time. When a member of Archetype’s team discovers a signage need in the community, we design, build and install the sign — often to the recipient’s surprise.

Signs of Life also provides charitable organizations and foundations with signage and banners for golf tournaments, annual galas and other special events.


Matter – formerly Hope for the City

One example of our Signs of Life commitment is our involvement with Matter, a Minnesota-based nonprofit dedicated to fighting poverty, hunger and disease by acquiring and delivering corporate surplus to organizations helping those in great need, both locally and nationally.

Working with Matter for 11 years, Archetype has developed and donated signage and banners for the organization’s annual gala, as well as many other events.


Other partnerships

Signs of Life has also worked with the following organizations and on the following events: