About Gropen

Gropen is a full-service, design/build company based in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Our facility is unique in the signage and fabrication industry, because we employ a full-time design team alongside our fabrication equipment and staff. We manufacture from raw goods to finished products, meaning we are not dependent on sub-contractors during any stage of project design to fabrication. We set the timeframe and oversee quality control; every step of the process from project inception to installation is under our supervision. This facilitates an efficient, expedited collaboration between designers and fabricators.

Since 1982, our business approach has been to develop and nurture relationships while fulfilling contracts. Over the years, we have evolved and added services and capabilities to meet expanding needs. Gropen is a licensed Class “A” Contractor as recognized by the Virginia Board of Contractors, and a SWaM-certified small business.

We believe in the importance of building and nurturing valued relationships within our community and beyond. Our primary goals continue to be to help customers dream and design projects that best fit their needs, and to deliver quality products that exceed expectations.



consult-darkenWhether you are an architect, engineer, developer, business proprietor, or simply an individual with an idea, Gropen specializes in finding solutions to bring your vision to life. Expect help with design direction, implementation, purchasing, and material specification to maximize durability and minimize cost. Site visits—along with code, aesthetics, and needs assessments—are routine. Specific areas of expertise include new construction, adaptive reuse, and both traditional and sacred spaces.

Gropen works with clients to develop a budget and establish a timeline for the design, production, and installation of a desired product. We are accustomed to coordinating among large groups of stakeholders to determine how a client’s needs and wants can best be applied to the environment in question.

The way we provide line-item costs and refinement options makes it easy for clients to prioritize their desires and funding. Gropen consistently delivers competitive pricing and bids, based on decades of experience. Let our experience aid your decision-making process.

Please contact us to see how we can assist you with your next project.


design500-darkenGropen’s in-house design team is experienced in both graphic and industrial design. With fabrication in the same facility, our designers have a holistic perspective regarding their projects. Their insight and talent translate into clean, effective, and beautiful finished works.

In addition to standard print design—including branding, business cards, posters, etc.—Gropen uses the latest computer technology to draft and specify complex architectural signage and exhibits. For larger projects, we typically provide scaled photocompositions and detailed prototypes. Professional photography is available on request.


build500-darkenProduction abilities include routine and custom fabrication of aluminum, wood, acrylic, stone, composites, and various composite panels. We also frequently work with tempered glass, specialty adhesives, and custom hardware. We are experienced with TIG welding, CNC routing, sand blasting, hand carving, screen-printing, and engraving.

Our large-format high-resolution printers can produce photo-quality prints on a wide variety of substrates. The media may be banner, canvas, highly formable, rigid, transparent, or adhesive-backed.

Our downdraft spray booth is 25 feet long; we use it with low-VOC acrylic polyurethane paints. We can match color to practically all specifications imaginable. Our finished coatings have exceptional exterior life. Our facility allows for edge polishing and profiling on premises.


install500-darkenOur professional installation team takes pride and care in executing your project’s vision, and in putting the final touches on each project. We have a history of working with organizations on highly sensitive, historically significant sites like Monticello (a UNESCO World Heritage site), Montpelier, and the University of Virginia. Our installation services – including casework and artifact mounting – reflect the highest-quality museum standards

“Great teamwork is the only way we create the breakthroughs that define our careers.”         

-Pat Riley

Our Team

Gropenites Unite!