The Sign Depot



The Building Blocks of Sign Design

Sign Design - The Sign Depot

Setting Up Sign Design Partners

Readers of The Sign Depot blog know that our expert sign-makers are able to assist with sign design, but did you know we work many others in the design industry as well?  One of those designer partnerships we have formed is with Bradshaw Design.  Bradshaw Design is  the firm responsible for our well-designed and very functional website.  They understand our esthetic, and in turn they came to us to build a cedar wood sign project for a client.

Bring On The Building Blocks

When I first noticed the structure pictured above, I immediately thought of the wooden toy blocks that I had a child.


When I looked closer at the item and read the text, it does show that they are using the concept of building a harmonious project by concentrating on each step (or block) that will get you there.

This is how we think of our sign projects as well.  We focus on the details to ensure that it will make the designed sign come together flawlessly.  We consider everything from size, style, material, font, text and colour when it comes to creating signage.  We believe it is difference between meeting our clients’ expectations and exceeding them.  Exceeding expectations is something we pride ourselves on.  Everything we produce is a reflection of our clients’ professionalism as well as a reflection on The Sign Depot.  In this case, the sign structure we created for one of Bradshaw Design’s client impressed them so much that they sent a testimonial to them and included our craftsmanship in their note.

We received the original ‘Carleton House’ yesterday and the entire Compass team absolutely loved it!  Please pass our sincere thanks and congratulations to your wood working partner as he created a truly beautifully designed ‘Carleton House.’  I love the cedar wood he used throughout.   The base truly looks like an award podium with each additional block so intricately designed and created.  I know that took a significant amount of talent! Well done to you both!!! 

Building On Your Business

In our last blog post we spoke about finding the right fit for your business.  Once you have found the signage concept that works for you, then your next step (or building block) is to find a sign company that can bring your design from the computer screen to a 3 dimensional object.  We would appreciate the opportunity to discuss your next sign project with our signage team.  Just visit our CONTACT US page to get the process started.  We want to help you build your business with our custom signs.



Custom Interior Signs That Create Brand Awareness

Custom Interior Signs - The Sign Depot

Interior Signs For Business

When it comes to selecting a sign design for your company’s interior signs it is very important that it conveys your business brand and serves as a constant reminder of what your company is known for.

Most established businesses have a welcoming reception sign that includes the company name and logo, but they often stop with the branding there.  Your logo and company name should be on all of your wayfinding and office signage as well.  Whether is marking a meeting room or a building directory, your business should be represented throughout the interior of the building.  This elevates brand awareness about your company as it relays the message that you are a professional business that knows the importance of clear communication.

Interior Signs - The Sign Depot

Types of Interior Signs

When it comes to choosing interior signs for you company it it best to consider all the signs you will require.  Here is a list of the types of custom interior signs that your business may require.

  • Reception Signs
  • Directory Signs
  • Wayfinding Signs
  • Washroom Signs
  • Office Door Signs
  • Meeting Room Signs
  • Window Decals
  • Privacy Window Frosting
  • Elevator Signs
  • ADA / Accessibility Signage (IE Braille, Raised Lettering)

Find The Right Fit For Your Business

Once you have selected all the signs that you require, its time to consider what materials they should be fabricated from.  Choosing to work with a custom sign maker means that you have several options.  You have a variety of substrates to choose from.  You can also pick 3 dimensional signs and lit signage. When you find the right fit for your business we would happy to chat with you about pricing.  Visit our CONTACT US page to be connected to one of our expert sign-makers.  Together we can create the right interior sign mix for your business.


Purple REIGNS Again With The Announcement Of Ultra Violet As The Pantone 2018 Colour Of The Year

Purple Reigns Supreme Once Again

Today Pantone has announced that its 2018 Colour of the Year is Ultra Violet.  We think that the popularity of 2014’s purple hue Radiant Orchid and now with today’s announcement, that Purple Rain, oops I mean purple reigns the colour palette. As stated on the Pantone website,

Musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality.

With inspirations like this, be on the lookout for Ultra Violet popping up everywhere.


Perhaps even in 2018 artistic sign design projects.  We are always looking ahead and this colour is sure to spark creativity with many in the design industry.

Trendspotting For 2018

As each new year begins so do new trends.  Many follow trends in different industries.  Some follow fashion trends, others follow tech trends and most of us follow food trends.

Here at The Sign Depot, we follow design trends, but we also like to create trends with our custom signs. When it comes to creating trends in the signage industry we always try to partner vintage looks with new tech or give sleek design an edgy look.  There are always ways to incorporate signage into your brand strategy and with this bright bold colour trending, Ultra Violet and its complimentary colours can add new life to a dated look.

Now Is The Time To Start Building Buzz About Your Business

Being on trend also means that your company is creating buzz about the business.  You want to be as standout in your industry and make yourself unique in the marketplace.  Now is the time to put your 2018 marketing plan into action and start building buzz about your business.  Get a jump on your competitors by connecting with us to discuss how we can help elevate your brand with custom signs.



Ways To Make Business Signs Part Of Your Marketing Mix In The New Year

New Year Marketing Mix - Business Sign - The Sign Depot

Managing Modern Marketing

With the New Year just around the corner, now is the time to decide how your business will move forward in the coming year.  Many business are finding it difficult to maneuver their way through a modern marketing plan and are looking for ways to update their marketing and advertising campaigns.  We want to ensure your branding is at the forefront of your marketing mix, so we have put together a plan that is simple to incorporate and meant to elevate your business.

A Business Sign Is Your Best Branding Tool

An outdoor business sign is a 24 hour advertisement for your business.  Make sure it represents what your company stands for and properly brands your establishment.  It is best when choosing your business sign to select something that is highly visible.  This mean it can be seen by both vehicle traffic and those passing by. You also want it to be memorable and create buzz around your business.

Custom Sign - Curiosa - The Sign Depot

Is It Instagram Worthy?

Will it make it to IG? Did it get liked and shared on facebook? How many times was it re-pinned? Did they RT it? When it comes to modern marketing, nothing has changed the game the way social media has.  It is important that your signage makes to masses, as many people spend a good part of their day on at least one social network.  It is a way to get your messaging across many platforms to connect with both current and potential clients.

#Repost @pripocarrara (@get_repost) ・・・ Celebrating friends!!

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Your Influencers Can Be Found In Your Client List

Influence marketing is one of the best ways to keep your business current and on trend.  All it takes is the right people talking to your target audience to create online buzz and potentially media attention.  Often the influencers you need are already on your client list.  Be sure to engage with your customers online by sharing their content and quite often they will reciprocate by sharing yours as well.  They may even talk about your services and products online and refer others to you. This is a great way to get your brand in front of their audience and bring your business to those who may be unaware of it.

These are just a few ways that your business sign can used in a modern marketing mix.  If you have other ideas or insights, please let us know by leaving a comment below.



Crafting Custom Cedar Wood Signs For Christmas

2017 Colour Of The Year - Pantone Color Of The Year - Greenery - The Sign Depot

Cottage Signs For Christmas

When the weather starts to get chilly and everyone heads indoors to Hygge, we start preparing our cedar signs for the Christmas season.  Every year we receive requests for Cottage Signs for Christmas Gifts.  They make a unique gift and each cedar cottage sign can be personalized to an individual’s taste.  This means they become a timeless gift that can be displayed with pride all year long.

Wood Signs That Weather Well

While there are several types of wood signs, we prefer to use Canadian Western Red Cedar for our cottage signs because of the longevity of the wood.  Cedar holds up against the elements and with our 4 seasons ranging from heat and humidity in the summer to the freezing temperatures and moisture in the winter it is the best choice for custom signage.


We Make What Works For You

Our custom sign designers keep your budget in mind when it comes to creating a cottage sign that meets your specifications.  You are able to select the size, shape, text and image for your sign.  You can also decide if the sign is to be a single sided or a double sided sandblasted wood sign.  You even has the option of having a custom post created to match your sign. With all of this choice, you are sure to find a mix that works for you.

What You Need To Provide When Ordering A Sign For Christmas


Because you want to ensure you receive your quote in a timely fashion, follow these steps

  1. Know your budget
  2. Decide on a size
  3. Figure out the shape you want the sign to be
  4. Provide the text to be on the sign
  5. Think of an image that would suit the sign

Once you have prepared these five items, send an email to to receive your quote.  Please note that taxes, shipping and/or installation are extra.  Be aware the earlier you get your order in the better, as there will be time required to prepare and custom finish your sign.



Small Business Week – Collaborate With Your Community

Small Business Week In Canada

The third week of October is Small Business Week here in Canada. It is a time for those in the small business sector to seek recognition or learn about business opportunities in their area. This year we are shining a spotlight on community involvement.  We try to collaborate with local organizations and events that involve art and design.  Recently we sponsored FLUXIBLE a UX Design conference with a theme of art meeting tech.

Fluxible - The Sign Depot - Community

This year we provided in kind signage and Peter had the opportunity to present at a “BROWN BAG LUNCH SESSION”

Later this month we will sponsoring the Grand River Film Festival.  This year’s theme is about tech design which is something we are passionate about as we are always looking for ways to innovate and create new trends in the sign industry.

Grand River Film Festival - The Sign Depot - Community

The Importance Of Community Involvement

As a small business we think it is very important to be involved in our local community.  You can find us at Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Of Commerce events, local conferences, community gatherings, charity fundraisers and more.

Calories don’t count when it is for #charity right? #MondayMotivation #smilecookie @thebrianbanks @timhortons @nutrition_4_learning

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We understand the importance of community involvement and we constantly look for ways to connect with others in the area.  It helps us understand what people are looking for, know what they can expect from us, connect with our peers and find out what everyone thinks of our brand.  It assists in finding out what is working us and where we can improve. All of these factor in our future goals and help us concentrate on our efforts locally.

Celebrating Small Business

How do you celebrate Small Business Week? We would love to learn more about your business as well.  Leave a comment below with what Small Business means to you and how you help others with their small business ventures.


Flexing Our Custom Sign Design Muscle At Fluxible

Fluxible - Custom Sign Design - The Sign Depot

Fluxible 2017

We are thrilled to announce our involvement with this year’s Fluxible conference happening in Kitchener-Waterloo Ontario, Canada. Fluxible is Canada’s UX Festival and it brings those interested in the user experience fields together for a week long celebration.  This year we noticed the theme of tech and design intersecting and we knew we needed to be there. In fact you can find us there in a few different ways. You can find us in person, on stage and through out the festival. All of these factors will contribute to our custom sign design theme we are creating with Fluxible this year.

The Sign Depot Enters Fluxible

Earlier this month we were announced as a sponsor for Fluxible via their twitter account.


As the custom sign sponsor sponsor for this year’s event we will be creating a stage item as well as wayfinding signs throughout the event spaces. We are collaborating with Fluxible by using their designs and logo to create signs that are highly visible for the conference.

Not only will be represented at Fluxible through sponsorship, our own Owner/President, Peter Moir will be the presenter at the BROWN BAG LUNCH that is happening at Noon on Wednesday September 20, 2017.

This brown bag lunch features Peter Moir of The Sign Depot, a local fabricator of high-end signage whose work can be found across North America. Peter will talk about how sign design impacts our experience of public spaces. 

Looking to learn a little more about Peter before the event? Read up on his latest adventure at THE SIGN DEPOT – @ THE TOP OF CANADA and see what was happening in this pic.

Peter Moir - The Sign Depot - Top of Canada

To get all the info on Fluxible: Canada’s UX Festival visit the links below




and the link to Peter’s talk is can be found at

We’re looking forward to seeing how everyone will be flexing their design muscles at Fluxible. Be sure to connect with us while you are there! We always want to be part of a “connected” community.



Spellbinding Custom Sign For The Toronto Harry Potter Themed Store Curiosa

Custom Sign - Curiosa - The Sign Depot

Many Are Curious About Curiosa

Over the last few weeks there has been a lot of buzz about the Harry Potter themed store that popped up in Toronto. With both Halloween and Christmas around the corner, the timing for the store’s opening couldn’t be better.  This shop is sure to be a favourite for eclectic collectors, board game fans, movie fanatics, aspiring magicians and “would be” wizards. Curiosa is a retail shop branded as Toronto’s Purveyors of Extraordinary Things.  Their establishment stocks mystical, magical, magnificent items and they needed their sign to reflect that.

Custom Sign Crafted For Curiosa

The sign for the Curiosa store was created from western red cedar.  The sign was sandblasted on both sides with the store name and logo. It was given a dark finish with white highlights.  This keeps with the colour scheme of the the store but also makes it highly visible to vehicle traffic and those passing by on foot.

Findability is key when it comes to opening a new retail store.  The storefront must be welcoming and the sign should generate interest about what can be found inside.  In this case, the sign sparks curiosity about what can be found on the other side of the door through the use of the image of an eye peaking through the keyhole. It brings the idea of a “focal point” to a whole new level. Do you recall the FLYING KEYS scene in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone?

The idea that this shop might provide the keyhole for one of those flying keys makes it even more mysterious!

Crafting signs to reflect the business it will represent is something we take pride in and we are thrilled to see the attention this sign is grabbing.

We Want To Put A Spell On You

When it comes to creating business signs, we can create something spellbinding for your company too.  All it takes is a visit to our CONTACT US page to connect with us.



How Custom Sign Design Can Be Defined By Lagom

What Is Lagom?

Last time we spoke of trends, the word HYGGE was a hot topic. Nowadays the LAGOM is on the tip of every tastemaker’s tongue.  In fact it’s in Vogue – literally. Not sure what lagom is? The concept of lagom is similar to the old adage “everything in moderation”.  By definition the same rings true when it comes to custom sign design.

Lagom - Carriage Crossing - Custom Sign - The Sign Depot

What Does Lagom Have To Do With Sign Design?

Your sign should show your business offerings but not overwhelm potential clients.  Just like lagom your sign needs just the right amount of contact information combined with your branding. You want your text, choice of font and logo to compliment your brand. When all three of these design elements work together you have a winning combination for your sign design.

Lagom - Custom Sign - Just Fix It - The Sign Depot

By keeping the text on your sign simple and concise, people are able to focus in on your specialty. Choosing a clear font ensures your sign is legible from a variety of distances. Having a well designed logo gives everyone an idea what to expect from your company.

Alternatively, if you try to put too much messaging on your sign, use too many fonts and an oversized logo, then it looks too busy and people will find it confusing.  You want your sign to be eye-catching but not an eye sore.

Find The Right Fit

So are signs HYGGE or LAGOM?  We think they can be a combination of both. Just the right amount of information designed to add warmth to your establishment.

Award Winning Business Sign - The Sign Depot

By putting these concepts together in one sign design creates a synergy that can elevate your brand in the marketplace, giving your company a high level of visibility and potentially attracting new customers to your business.  The expert sign designers here at The Sign Depot are here to help you find the right fit for your business. Visit our CONTACT US page to speak with one of them. To keep up with signage trends stay tuned to this blog.


The Sign Depot Revamps the Look of Restaurant Signs with Their Rust Finish Signage

3 Dimensional Sign - Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar - The Sign Depot

Over the years, The Sign Depot has perfected the art of rust finishing signs using a custom finishing process.  It is a multi-step paint finish that requires steady hand when it comes to achieving the distressed look required for each custom sign.  This trend has since caught fire in the restaurant industry, changing the sleek chrome look to create more of a vintage look in many establishments.  At a time where businesses are constantly looking to find ways to be unique, the distressed look rust finish trend gives restaurants a one of kind sign that helps them stand out from others in their industry.  By using their signage as a focal point for the area, it attracts both current and potential customers to their locale and it serves as a 24 hour advertisement for their business.  Below are four examples of restaurant signs that were given a distressed look by The Sign Depot.


OAK + CRU Social Kitchen and Wine Bar

The sign for Kelowna British Columbia’s OAK + CRU Social Kitchen and Wine Bar is a mix of modern and vintage all in one sign.  The juxtaposition between two eras in one sign was crafted through a mix of metal, rust and LEDs.  It was created as welded metal sign box with cut outs for the letters.  The sign was then fit for lit LEDs to light up the cut out areas.  It was then given an all over rust finish creating a unique exterior showpiece for the local hot spot.


Belfast Love Public House

Belfast Love Public House in Toronto Ontario is branded as “A Proper Pub” and in turn required signage that reflected that statement.  As a new restaurant in Toronto they knew they would have to get lots of eyes on their building and establish themselves as the top of mind place to be for traditional pub fare. This signage project required open can letters with neon tubing along with a paint and distressed finish to achieve authentic the look that the restaurant was going for.  In this case the rust finish was strategically placed on the lit sign to create a patina look. For this project an exterior sign for the front entrance and a projection sign were created to catch the attention of both vehicle and foot traffic. The result is pub signage that looks like it’s straight out of Ireland.


Sociable Kitchen + Tavern

3 Dimensional Signs - Sociable Kitchen + Tavern - The Sign Depot

Retro is all the rage at Sociable Kitchen + Tavern’s Brantford Ontario location.  So much so that their sign is actually a retrofit of sign that was already on the property. This multidimensional sign has several components to recreate the look of a vintage marquee sign.  This project included refinishing the sign base to represent the look of an aged tin sign, LEDs faced with acrylic ovals to represent lit light bulbs, high density urethane that was CNC router cut to match the texture of a sea can shipping container, individual lit can letters for the restaurant name and a changeable message board to interact with their local clientele. The rust finish was the tie in that brought all of these items together.  It created the retro look that Sociable Kitchen + Tavern wanted to achieve. Once combined, all these sign elements created a past meets present upcylced pylon sign that has quickly turned into a local landmark for the City of Brantford Ontario.

Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar

Restaurant Signs - Las Vegas - The Sign Depot

In Las Vegas Nevada, the best way to stand out from all the flashing lights is to come up with something completely different.  In this case, the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa wanted to replicate the look of a salvaged Gaslight Sign for their Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar restaurant.  In order to recreate this look a three dimensional metal sign with can letters for the word Hearthstone was crafted.  The letters were then halo lit with LEDs to give off a backlit glow to best replicate the hazy lighting of gaslight sign. Below the restaurant name, individual push through clear acrylic letters with the words Kitchen & Cellar were attached to let additional light from the LEDs shine through.  After all of those components were in place, the distressed rust finish was applied to the sign base as well as the text and graphics on the sign.  The addition of the rust finished suggested that the sign could have been a salvaged sign from the Las Vegas sign graveyard.

As you can see from the images above, the rust finish on each sign is used differently depending on the style each restaurant wants to convey to the public. Finding the best fit for each establishment is something that the expert sign-makers at The Sign Depot specialize in.  They can transform signage from being brand new to a very vintage look with various sign making techniques and paint finishes.  By choosing the distressed rust finish for these restaurants signs, it took bespoke signage to the next level.  As a result of this, it makes each of the restaurant signs stand out showpieces that attract clientele to their establishments.  These one of a kind signs show the public that they are in for a unique experience by choosing to dine there.

The Sign Depot strives to not only be “on trend” in the sign industry but also creates trends with their custom crafted signage.  As they say at The Sign Depot “A Good Sign Is The Sign Of A Good Business”

To learn more about these and other sign projects by The Sign Depot, be sure to visit the following links





or visit our CONTACT US page for custom quote.