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Connecting In The Community

Welcome sign - The Sign Depot - Community Involvement

3 Community Events Within 7 Days

Community Involvement has always been a priority here at The Sign Depot. Whether it’s being involved in a community project, or learning about Social Enterprise, we want to take part.


Being connected to the community is a big part of my role here. I am present at most Chamber of Commerce meetings, I attend networking events, participate in Peer2Peer groups and do my best to support our clients with their endeavours.

This week is no exception. I attended the Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery #CultureTalks last Thursday. I went to the D2L Night School #LearningCulture event last night and tonight I will be at the Shopify #ShopClass19 session.

Each event I attend is inspiring and I appreciate the information that is given and do my best to absorb it all and bring it back to implement here.

Here’s the recap of the week.

Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery #CultureTalks took place at the historic Walper Hotel and Caroline Robbie of Quadrangle presented about the “hub” culture that is happening in Toronto at The City of The Arts Launchpad. It is a space dedicated to creating synergy between different art forms. Learning about the design of the building and the projects that are emerging from it was very motivating. So much so, that I plan to head there this summer to tour the building and meet many of the creators that base their work there.

The D2L Night School #LearningCulture discussion was a fantastic event where John Baker-President-CEO of D2L, Nick Oddson-Chief Technology Officer and Chantal Thorn-Director of Learning and Leadership Development spoke about incorporating learning into the workplace as the labour force changes over the course of the next decade. It was conversation between the panelists and the attendees and everyone’s knowledge of the culture surrounding learning evolved. I also enjoyed the office tour given by D2L’s Dan Congdon (who also took my picture with their Moose Mascot). I have witnessed many of their signs being created in our workshop, but seeing them installed in their space at the Tannery brings it full circle for me.

Tonight I will be at the Shopify #ShopClass19. We are clients of Shopify for our cottage signs website and I am enthusiastic about tonight’s class. I have attended their info sessions before and which provide great networking opportunities and lots of valuable marketing information that I implement into our online advertising. Tonight’s topic is email marketing, so be sure sign up for our monthly newsletter and see first hand the knowledge I gained from attending.

Want to connect with us? Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @TheSignDepot or connect with us in person at our upcoming Open House by registering at https://guestlist.co/events/609114

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Sign Depot New Production Facility OPEN HOUSE and BBQ June 13th Noon to 6PM

Time To RSVP!

Sign Depot 2019 BBQ

The Sign Depot Inc. has a new production facility! Come see our new space during our OPEN HOUSE and FREE BBQ on June 13th from Noon to 6pm.

Find us at

8519 Wellington Rd. Line 86

Listowel, Wellington County

Ont. N4W 3G8

519-894-0890

Email

accounting@sign-depot.on.ca to register or RSVP at https://guestlist.co/events/609114

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If you are coming from the KW Expressway head in direction of Waterloo and keep going. Turn left at the road between the Esso Station and the Crossroads Restaurant.  Follow that road to the end.  Then turn left on to LINE 86.

You will drive through several small towns, and we will be on your right side of the road.

NOTE: Some GPS systems list it as PERTH COUNTY RD (which is across the street from us).

Feel free to call 519-894-0890 or email accounting@sign-depot.on.ca for specific directions from your location.

Make the trip fun too and carpool with your friends!

For updates stay tuned on SOCIAL! @TheSignDepot #SDbbq2019

We’re also collecting items for our prize table. Let us know if you have a something you wish to donate for it by emailing accounting@sign-depot.on.ca

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This Restaurant Sign Needed a Passport Stamp of Approval

Dimensional Restaurant Signs

Last year the owner of PASSPORT SIPS + TAPAS contacted us after being inspired by our barn board signs post and wanted something similar but with a few minor changes to fit their brand.  Their visual marketing strategy is to connect their branding to the “passport stamp” within their logo using a dimensional restaurant sign to make it very eye-catching.  In order to accomplish this, the sign makers here at The Sign Depot created this exterior sign from two different materials to create the style that Passport Sips + Tapas was looking for.

Creating the Passport Sips + Tapas Custom Sign

This sign was mix of pine wood and outdoor PVC. The first step was to create a pine wood backer, then distress the wood.  Two different hues were used when finishing the wood to give it more dimension.  Next the individual PVC letters and logo were cut out on our CNC router table and given an outdoor paint finish with minor distressing done to the paint. As you can see in the image below the letters were prepared for pin mount installation on to the wood sign backer.

Passprt Restaurant Signs - The Sign Depot

The last part of the sign project was to insert the passport stamp image into the letter “O” in the word passport to make it the focal point of the sign.

Next the sign was assembled and prepped for shipping, which included a custom made wood case to ensure the sign arrived safely.

Passport Sips + Tapas Wood Sign - Restaurant Signs - The Sign Depot

The Passport That Crossed The Border

Here at The Sign Depot, we manufacture many signs that are shipped into the United States.  We just thought it was such a fun play on words that we were fabricating a sign with the word PASSPORT that would be crossing border.  Now it is great to see from their Instagram page that their restaurant is in full swing and the sign provides a welcoming entrance-way to the establishment.

 

With more that 25 years experience creating custom restaurant signs, we look forward to assisting with your upcoming sign projects.  Visit our CONTACT US page to connect with us!

   

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Getting The Right Business Signs Can Make All The Difference

Business Signs You Will Need

We often have new business owners come to us unsure of what kind of business signs they need.  There are several options, but we know that there are many costs involved in starting a new business venture so we want to ensure you get a great signage starter package that fits your brand.

According to Entrepreneur’s post on Creating Memorable Business Signs

“Great signs are always the most interesting piece of scenery in their vicinity. This is why they’re noticed even when people aren’t looking for them”

Below are the Top 3 Signs you will need to start your business.

  • Custom Exterior Signs

High Density Urethane Business Sign

Whether you need retail sign to advertise your restaurant or clothing store or an outdoor sign to let you people know you are doctor / lawyer / professional in the area, custom exterior signs are key to informing potential clients about your business.

Doctor's Sign - Custom Business Signs - The Sign Depot

These signs are a 24 hour advertisement for your business and should serve as memorable landmark. It should be made from outdoor quality materials that can weather the elements and the sign(s) should look attractive to your target market.

  • Reception Signs

Once someone comes through your door, you know they have an interest in your business.  This is where a fantastic reception sign can make a difference.  Your entrance-way is a welcoming area where everyone should feel comfortable upon arrival.

Custom Interior Signs - The Sign Depot

The reception sign should be the focal point of the office / showroom / waiting room to reinforce brand recognition.  It should work with all the other marketing materials there. IE it should have the same logo as the pamphlets, brochures and business cards that sit in that area.

  • Wayfinding Signs

If someone has to ask which floor your office is on or where to find the exit, then you know you need to improve your wayfinding signs.  They keep your clients informed without making them ask the awkward questions like “Where is the washroom?” or “Do you have an elevator?” Wayfinding and interior directory signs are often subtle signs that blend with the decor

Wayfinding Signs - The Sign Depot

and provide clear information.

Directory Signs - The Sign Depot

The Next Steps For Your Business Signs

The above 3 types of signs are a great place to begin when it comes to starting a business.  To further establish your business we also suggest, vehicle graphics, window decals, A-frame signs and signs for your trade shows.  As you can see getting the right business signs can make all the difference when it comes to beginning a new business.

To get quotes on any of the signs listed on this post visit our CONTACT US page.  We look forward to hearing from you and want to #StepUpYourSignage.

       

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Client Spotlight – Cambridge Pallet Ltd. #StepUpYourSignage with Business Signs

Signs of Good Things To Come

Last year Cambridge Pallet Ltd. collaborated with Sign Depot on a new reception sign.  You can read about the process at https://sign-depot.on.ca/collaborative-sign-design-cambridge-pallet. This also signified the commitment of a new ownership team that had recently been implemented and lots of changes to way the company operates including automation processes to make their workshop floor more efficient.

In preparation of Earth Day we visited the Cambridge Pallet Ltd. industrial workspace to learn about their Repair, Reuse, Recycle process.

Business Signs - Cambridge Pallet Ltd - The Sign Depot

During the tour we could see how the blue wooden pallets became the inspiration for their reception sign, which greets you as enter the building.  Each of the pallets pictured above make their way through a system so that they can be sorted, repaired and painted in preparation to be shipped to the next user. This thriving business is located close to the highway to make it accessible for transportation and logistics purposes. Part of their mission is to be

Always acting with integrity and respect for the community and the environment

which is why we were so interested in seeing their facility and learning more about what they do. Because they make it a priority to minimize waste, conserve resources and protect the environment we think they will continue to have a very busy production line and become a leader in their industry.

Signs That Tell A Story

Does your business sign match your brand? Perhaps,just like Cambridge Pallet, your sign tells the story of your business. If your signs do not match your company and your brand, then we are here to help.  We can assist with integrating your company story into your business signs which will elevate brand awareness for your business.  Visit our CONTACT US page to connect with our expert sign designers.

   

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Grants and Funding for Municipal Signs and Business Facade Upgrades

Your Sign Wish Might Be Granted

Over the years we have created many signs that were covered by Facade Upgrade programs, Community Improvement Plans, Tourism Grants and Sustainability Funds. These programs are often run through funding of a province, city, town or municipality. Occasionally the private sector offers grants as well if your project falls within their specifications. Below are explanations of these terms and examples of sign projects that we have been a part of because of the funding available at that time.

Facade Upgrade Programs

We have created several signs for clients through the City of Kitchener Facade Grant Program, but the most dramatic transformation of them all was the changes to the exterior of The Sports Link.

Business Sign Upgrade - The Sportslink - The Sign Depot

This beautification grant was created to revitalize the look of the Downtown Kitchener business core.

Community Improvement Plans

Community Improvement Plans, otherwise known as a CIP, often includes funding for signage. This year the Township of Mapleton is running a CIP and we are excited to see what it brings to the area.

Last year the City of Waterloo offered a CIP for members of the UpTown Waterloo BIA. For those not familiar with the term BIA, it refers to Business Improvement Area.

This year the City of Waterloo CIP includes the following projects

  • intended to improve the appearance of the streetscape and buildings, while conserving heritage properties
  • additional grant of up to $5,000 is available per building if the property is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act

In fact, Rachel March the City of Waterloo’s Economic Development Coordinator had this to say

The City has a CIP study area that is slightly larger than the Uptown BIA area (see general program requirements link on the CIP page near the top). The CIP study area is the catchment area for the grants, rather than the uptown BIA area.  However, for 2019 the Uptown BIA is offering to double the available grants to applicants who are BIA members for their Façade Improvement works.  For example, normally the maximum FIG available is $10,000 (or $15,000 if you are a corner property).  In order to receive this, you would have to spend at least $20,000 (or $30,000).  The BIA bump up will double the grant to $20,000 and $30,000, however the applicant will have to spend $40,000 and $60,000 in façade improvements to receive this. 

Info for this year’s City of Waterloo CIP can be found at https://www.waterloo.ca/en/government/uptown-community-improvement-plan.aspx#Facade-improvement-grant

To further our knowledge about the Facade Improvement Grant in Waterloo Ontario we attended an information session.  Below is a summary of what you can apply for during their SPRING application intake.

For the specifics regarding signs for this program, please email us sales@sign-depot.on.ca

PLEASE NOTE the deadline for applying for the Spring intake is in May 2019

 

We have also learned that the Downtown Cambridge BIA has launched a Signage and Decorative Lighting Improvement Grant.

In order to qualify for a Signage & Decorative Lighting Improvement Grant:

• Applicants must be a recognized BIA Member (Associate Members and other businesses do not qualify).

• Applicants may be eligible for one signage grant per storefront.

• Qualifying applicants may be eligible for a one-time grant of up to a maximum of $1,500 for a maximum of half (50%) of the value of an eligible signage and/or decorative lighting improvement.

• Projects must not have commenced prior to the awarding of the requested grant.

• Projects must be completed within six (6) months of the date of the signed grant application

• Eligible project costs must be actual cash outlay to third parties acting at arm’s length and which can be documented through original invoices or proofs of payment.

• Projects must demonstrate a contribution to the overall quality of the streetscape of the community.

• Signage projects must be permanently attached to the building facade.

For all the info about this grant visit https://www.downtowncambridgebia.ca/applications and scroll to the bottom of the page to find the download links

Tourism Grants

Last year we assisted the Municipality of East Ferris with their roadside signs.  They received funding for this sign project through a Tourism Northern Ontario grant, and this year through Destination Northern Ontario partnership, they are adding additional signage.

East Ferris - municipal signs - The Sign Depot

Sustainability Funds

The City of Waterloo Park Services received funding for upgrades at Waterloo Park through the #TDCommonGround Sustainability Fund which included a new Pedestrian Entrance.

Steps to #StepUpYourSignage

As mentioned in post for 2019 projects, here at The Sign Depot we want you to #StepUpYourSignage and the financial assistance of a grant or fund could make it even easier.  Here are 3 things to look for when deciding to advertise your business with custom signs.

  1. Is there sign grant or financial assistance fund available?
  2. Does your sign project fall within the parameters of the funding program?
  3. Does it also include coverage for the required sign permits?

Once you have the above questions answered, then we suggest you file your sign grant application right away.  Often these opportunities will only accept a certain amount of applicants and they must be granted within an allotted time frame.  After you have applied and been approved for your funding ,our sign experts are here to help make your sign wishes come true.

               

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Monument, Church, Donor and Architectural Signage – Custom Signs

Custom Signs for All

Many sign companies have standard sign templates that do not fit all industries or organizations.  That is when a custom sign company can make all the difference.  A custom sign company can create signage to suit the needs of the client.  This ensures that buyer gets the perfect look to match their vision.

Church Signs

Churches are unique in that they require several different signs.  Often they have a monument sign out front to serve as a landmark.  Additionally they will have a building sign with the name of the church and some churches have donor recognition signs as well.  Below you can see the signs we created for The Church of St. John the Evangelist to add to their memorial garden display on an exterior wall of the building.  They wanted new signs to be made from a material that could handle the elements, but still match the existing signs that were already on the building.

Church Signs - Custom - The Sign Depot

Photo Credit – Kerry Long

As you can see the new High Density Urethane signs (HDU) fit seamlessly into the outdoor display.

Monument Signs

While monument signs are often found outside of churches, they are a popular choice for other establishments as well.  Monument signs are ground signs that are separate from the building. They have a solid base structure often made from concrete or brick.  You can see examples in the images below.

Monument Sign - The Sign Depot Custom Monument Sign - The Sign Depot

Custom monument signs are often used as a roadside landmark to inform visitors that they have arrived at the entrance-way.

Architectural Signs

While the signs mentioned above can be looped into the category of architectural signage, they are several types of architectural signs.  Our definition of an architectural sign is a custom sign that displays info, branding, identification and/or wayfinding.  Our custom architectural signs are created to stand out from the surroundings but not become an eye sore.  They are easily identifiable and display important information to visitors and potential customers.

Architectural Signs - Digital - The Sign Depot Architectural Signs - The Sign Depot

As you can see there an both digital display options and traditional options available.

Choosing the right signs for your business or organization is always important.  To learn more about out the types of signs we can create for you, visit our CONTACT US page to connect with our sign experts.

                 

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Why You Need to Add Custom Signs to Your Visual Marketing Strategy

Custom Sign - Curiosa - The Sign Depot

All Eyes Are On You

It has been well documented that pictures and visuals perform better for the purposes of marketing, hence the rise of Infographics, Instagram and Pinterest.  Even Facebook posts perform better when an image is included.  This makes choosing a clear concise logo for your brand more important than ever.  It will become the heart of your visual marketing strategy.  It will increase awareness of your business and make your company memorable.  Crafting custom signs around logos is something that The Sign Depot has specialized in for the past 25 years.  We create eye catching signs that keep you at the top of mind of consumers.

Visual Marketing

Visual Marketing stems from Visual Communication.  Visual Communication includes many elements of design to help illustrate a point.  When paired with a marketing plan it creates a memorable form of promotion for your business.

Why Visual Marketing?

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.  You want to ensure the message you are conveying it easily understood and visual marketing assists with that strategy. The use of signage in your visual marketing is the best way to capture the attention of passers-by. Custom signs are critical part of any marketing plan as they provide visual marketing for your establishment 24 hours a day. Think of the captive audience you have if your business is near a stop light or even someone taking a stroll in your area.

A-Frame Sign - Pokemon Go - The Sign Depot

Our expert sign designers can assist you in creating that focal point for your business.  We can provide you with insight on how signage can be incorporated into your visual marketing strategy and make you notable in the marketplace.  To learn how we can assist with your custom signs, visit our CONTACT US page and send us note with what you want to incorporate into your signs.  One of sign experts will connect with you to help you with your signage decisions.

       

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KW Kiwanis Cash Calendar – Giveaway

KW Kiwanis Cash Calendar - The Sign Depot

Community Involvement

In earlier posts we suggested everyone should be preparing for 2019 now.  Here at The Sign Depot we have been getting ready for the new year for quite a while now.  One of the first things we did to prepare for 2019 was to sponsor a spot in the first annual KW Kiwanis Cash Calendar.  We learned about it through Greater KW Chamber CPN Group member Ian Inglis.  This fundraising calendar is raising money for local community organizations and we are glad to be a part of this inaugural calendar campaign!

Grab You Calendar

Now is the time to grab your CASH CALENDAR! The cost is $20 and there is a chance to win money every day of the year!  To order you own calendar 2019 KW Kiwanis Cash Calender be sure to contact IAN before they are gone.  Then keep watch at https://kwkiwaniscashcalendar.ca to see if you are a winner in 2019. Don’t worry about checking everyday.  If you win they will contact you. It will also make a great gift to give someone.  The timing is perfect for the holiday season as Christmas present, a stocking stuffer or a Secret Santa gift. Because it is affordable and helps the KW Kiwanis Club help others our community, you may want to get one for everyone on your Christmas List. Once you get your calendar we hope you flip it open to MAY 2019 to see our ad. We are so excited about it and want to giveaway a KW KIWANIS CASH CALENDAR to one of readers!

Enter To Win

Enter the rafflecopter contest below (it may take a minute to load).  Make sure leave us a comment with your plans for 2019 and it may just win you your very own KW KIWANIS CASH CALENDAR! What a great way to start off the new year.

a Rafflecopter giveaway    

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Pantone Gets Lively as it Introduces Living Coral as the 2019 Colour of the Year

Living Coral in Living Colour

In a stark contrast from last year’s Ultra Violet, this year Pantone has chosen Living Coral as their 2019 Colour of the Year.  They describe it as

An animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge
 

The video above shows how well it can flow into living world under the sea.

They go on to say

PANTONE Living Coral is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of color

This makes the colour easy to implement into colour schemes and designs.  If you are looking to mix this trend into your branding, then signage is a great place to start.  As mentioned in our earlier post, 2019 will be the year to #StepUpYourSignage and choosing this lively colour is great way to refresh your brand in the coming year.  Here at The Sign Depot we are thinking of it as a mix of 2012’s Tangerine Tango and 2015’s Marsala.  This makes Living Coral the perfect cross section of orange tones to add vibrancy to your signage.

Ways To Add Living Coral To Your Signage Mix

There are two ways to go about adding new colours to your signs.  You can either start subtle by changing some of your window graphics, vehicle decals and/or A-frame signs then changing the rest as you see fit, or you can be bold and rebrand your company signs all at once.  The first choice makes for a smooth transition, while the second choice makes a big impact.  When you decide the choice that best suits your business we are hear to help. All it takes is a visit to our CONTACT US page to connect with one of our sign experts. They can provide you with a free quote and get your company on trend for the upcoming year.  Want to know what else we think is trending? Follow our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest feeds to find out.

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