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Carving Out A Spot In Our Community

Bring On The Buddy Benches

After the success of the Buddy Bench project last spring, 91.5 The Beat approached us to once again be part of their next round of School Tour Buddy Benches.  We were so happy to see how well received they are at the local schools and gladly accepted the chance to sandblasted the cedar with donor recognition names and the BUDDY BENCH text for this next round of school visits.

Positive Community Involvement

Today the first of the fall Buddy Benches was awarded to St. Matthew Elementary School in Waterloo Ontario. One of our Sign Depot Facebook Fan Page members, Jennifer Beckett, sent us this emotional message regarding today’s presentation, along with a picture of her son sitting on the new St. Matthew’s Buddy Bench.

St. Matthew Catholic School in Waterloo had some sad times recently with the tragic passing of a student over the summer followed by the arson of the school’s only play structure a few days before school started. A visit from 91.5 The Beat and the donation of a Buddy Bench from The Sign Depot & Cedarland Lumber was just the warm hug this wonderful, caring school community needed! Thank you!
Community Involvement - The Sign Depot - Buddy Bench

To see that this is going to make such a positive impact on the school that has experience such hardship recently is exactly the reason why community projects are so important.  To learn more about this project and what exactly a Buddy Bench does for the school’s students, visit our post  COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT – THE BUDDY BENCH.  To give your school a chance to receive a Buddy Bench of their own, enter the contest at 91.5 The Beat.

Did your local school receive a Buddy Bench? We would love to hear about the positive impact it is making.  Leave a comment below so we can learn more about our locally Buddy Benches.

     

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Recognize Your Community of Donors With Donor Recognition Signage

Donor Recognition

According to LIFT PHILANTHROPY PARTNERS there are 3 strategies for proper donor recognition.

  • Thank them
  • Recognize them
  • Tell the story

Each of these areas can be covered by choosing unique signage for donor recognition. Recently we had the opportunity to fabricate a donor recognition sign structure for St. Paul’s University College, which is on the University of Waterloo Campus in Waterloo Ontario. This unique design was developed here at The Sign Depot with the assistance of ABA Architects, also located in the Region of Waterloo.  This sign structure has become a focal point in the building and incorporates the 3 strategies listed above.  First it thanks the donors for their community involvement.  Second it recognizes each donor and their contribution to St. Paul’s and third the arch structure conveys the message of the donors lifting up St. Paul’s and incorporating their spirit into the building.

Below you can see the beginning stages of the sign on the layout drawings and the final installation.

  Donor Recognition - The Sign Depot - St. Pauls University College Donor Recognition - The Sign Depot - St. Pauls University College       Donor Recognition - The Sign Depot - St. Pauls University College Donor Recognition - The Sign Depot - St. Pauls University College

As the donor recognition sign came together it was decided that the sign should light up as the students, professors and staff of St. Paul’s walk through the arch-way.  This signals how important their donors are to them by making them take notice of all those who chose to donate to St. Paul’s.

Donor Recognition Walls and Signs

Whether you are part of a University, a Social Enterprise or a Not-For-Profit, making the effort to recognize your donors is a great way to keep in touch with them and their community involvement efforts.  It may encourage them to become lifetime contributors to your organization.  We can create unique displays of for donor recognition walls, commemorative plaques and memorial signs. Visit our CONTACT US page to connect directly with the Sign Depot designers to see how your donor recognition project can be implemented into your establishment.

         

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DIY Backyard Games – Great Ideas For Your Cottage or Cabin

Crafty Ideas For Your Cottage / Cabin Life

DIY Backyard Games Cottage Cabin - The Sign Depot

Here at The Sign Depot we have become fast fans of Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman’s Making It competition TV show.  Each week the show’s crafters, known as the makers, take on challenges to create unique items for each competition.

In essence, that is what our signmakers do here on a day to day basis when they are creating custom cottage signs and other unique structures.  This show has inspired us to connect with some bloggers about their DIY projects that can add some family fun to your cottage, cabin or even your backyard.  Below is a list of do it yourself backyard games that we think you will enjoy making and playing in the great outdoors.

DIY Backyard Games

DIY Nerf Target

See how to tackle this target at https://the-gingerbread-house.co.uk/2018/04/23/how-to-make-a-diy-nerf-target

Outdoor Patio DIY Tic-Tac-Toe Game

Learn how to put this together at http://juliemeasures.com/outdoor-diy-tic-tac-toe

Ring Toss and other Carnival Themed Games

DIY Backyard Games Cottage Cabin - The Sign Depot

Check out this list of outdoor games like Ring Toss and Balloon Down at https://www.playpartyplan.com/fun-outdoor-games

More Outdoor Fun This Summer

For those that want to mix it up without too much crafting, check out these lists of outdoor games at https://www.onecrazymom.com/20-forgotten-summer-games-for-kids  and  https://www.playpartyplan.com/camping-games-for-kids-and-adults and https://thesoccermomblog.com/outdoor-games-for-kids

Even those with little ones can enjoy some outdoor activities with ideas from https://www.whatsupfagans.com/top-backyard-activities-for-four-year-olds

Many people can be put these games together with household items like tin cans, string, disposable cups, t-shirts, sidewalk chalk or even pool noodles to create obstacle courses.

We have been known to put together some fun games as well.  We have made CUSTOM CORNHOLE BOARDS and even some BRANDED PLINKO GAMES for businesses.

Getting Crafty at The Cottage

Is there a backyard game you have made for your cottage, cabin or backyard? Post about it in the comments! We love to get inspired by our readers’ crafting abilities.  Don’t have a unique backyard game? That’s okay.  Try one of the ones above and tell us how it turned out.  Let us know if you invited extended family or neighbours to try them out too.  To ensure they find your cottage with ease you should consider an address/lot marker or a sandblasted cottage sign like the ones pictured below.  To learn more visit our CONTACT US page and send us a note!

Cottage Signs And Address Markers - The Sign Depot Cottage Sign Loon - The Sign Depot  

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Collaborative Sign Design – Cambridge Pallet

Collaborative Sign Design - Cambridge Pallet - The Sign Depot

From Networking To Collaboration

Networking has always been a focus for The Sign Depot.  Through networking we build great business relationships within our community.  This is how the Cambridge Pallet reception sign came about.  Through connecting with Jorge Meneses we were able to refer business back and forth between our companies and learn more about our interests outside of our companies as well.  In fact we are now committee members for Movember KW, swap vacation stories and assist each other with community involvement fundraising events.  Because we have gotten to know each other well throughout the years, when it came to creating a sign for Cambridge Pallet, it became a collaborative effort.

Sharing Sign Design Ideas

Jorge had let us know that Cambridge Pallet was looking for an interior sign for their office area.  He envisioned steel letters in the reception area.  We suggested to take it one step further and have a replica wood pallet added to the sign design.  These sign ideas were put together to create a sign that reflects their company and their brand.  While this might not be the exact definition of collaborative design, we feel that this was a great way to work together to create a unique 3 dimensional sign.

Building A Pallet Sign

To create the pallet sign we began with MDF board, which is a great material for interior signage. It was cut and assembled to replicate a wood pallet.

Collaborative Sign Design - Cambridge Pallet - The Sign Depot

It was then finished to match the colour they use for their pallets.  After the paint finish was complete, the text portion was added to the sign project. The brushed metal letters were pin mounted to the sign to create dimension.

Collaborative Sign Design - Cambridge Pallet - The Sign Depot

Once the sign was fully assembled, our installers placed in the reception area of Cambridge Pallet.  Since its arrival both staff and clients have remarked with how much they like the new sign and that it is a great representation of the company.

Build A Sign Around Your Brand

Whether you connect with in person at networking events or online through our social channels, we want to collaborate with you to create a sign that reflects your company and brand. Visit our CONTACT US page to get the process started.

         

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Outdoor Dining and 3 Dimensional Signs at Dels

Dear Dels, We Love What You’ve Done With The Place

Approximately four years ago the expert sign-makers here at THE SIGN DEPOT were busy with the signage rebranding of Del Dente to the Dels Enoteca Pizzeria.  If you read our earlier post you know the change was quite significant, and you are aware that they were able to re-purpose the original 3 dimensional sign to different part of the building.  Fast forward to present-day and the restaurant has upped their game once again. They have created a very inviting outdoor dining space.  This Al Fresco dining area, known as #DelFresco, is a charming patio that provides a wonderful dinner spot for the summer.  It even has an area for you bring an extra special guest that normally wouldn’t be able to join you while eating at the establishment.

Pet Friendly Patio

The addition of pet beds and water dishes make it a welcoming spot to bring SPOT along with you!  This means you can now bring your dog to your fancy Italian dinner.

Outdoor Decor

Beyond the wood tables and the pet area, the Dels Patio is surrounded by bountiful flowers and plants and the signage provides great accents to this fresh air atmosphere.

The custom crafted utensils and dimensional signage serves as a backdrop for the new dining area and because it is a lit sign you can easily find your way to the patio during the evening hours.  Open air dining is great way to enjoy warm summer nights and we think the new Dels Patio is the perfect place to try before the summertime ends.

dels lit 3 dimensional signs - The Sign Depot

If you are looking to add 3 dimensional signs to your establishment, we would glad to assist you.  Check out our DIMENSIONAL SIGNS GALLERY for inspiration and then head to our CONTACT US page to connect with us.

       

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Bring On Boating Season With Custom Nautical Signs

Wonderful Waterways

Custom Wood Cottage Sign - The Sign Depot

This summer we are experiencing lots of warm weather and the best way to spend the season is near water.  Whether you are water skier, wakeboarder, fisherman or boat enthusiast, spending time on the water is a great getaway from the everyday.  If you are a boat owner and you don’t live near a waterway, you have a few choices when it comes to enjoying boating season. Either you trek your boat with you from dock to dock, store it at a local marina or keep it at the cottage.  Being that many choose to invest in real estate we think the later is a great choice especially if you tend to make the most of boating season.

Best Boating Areas To Invest In

When selecting a vacation property it is best to think of what area will best suit your needs.  You may want a cabin near a large river, a cottage at the Muskoka Lakes, a summer house in The Hamptons, a winter property in Florida, vacation house in the Okanagan or maybe you will decide to build bayside.  There are great options all over North America that fit your style.  To further enhance your boating lifestyle we think the addition of a custom nautical sign will be a welcome addition to your property.

Custom Nautical Signs

Custom nautical signs come in all shapes and sizes.  We can customize your exterior wood sign to reflect what you love most about boating.  Some great ideas to start with are

  1. Beach Scenes
  2. Sunsets
  3. Muskoka Chairs
  4. Light Houses
  5. Anchors
  6. Fishing Poles
  7. YOUR BOAT
 

 

The possibilities are endless when it comes to picking the theme of your custom sign. Once you have decided on the size, shape, text, graphics and colours then you can visit our CONTACT US page to let us know how you want you nautical themed sign to look.  We are happy to provide you with a free quote for your fully customized sign.

We hope you can spend some time boating this summer and get a chance to drop anchor on a wonderful waterway.

Custom Nautical Signs

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Long Weekend Road Trips and Custom Cottage Signs

Road Trips and Tourist Attractions

We want to ensure your long weekend is a fun one.  The best way is to have a great plan in place.  Start by checking out our ROAD TRIP PACKING LIST post to see our list of the TOP 10 items you should make sure you pack for your next road trip.  Now that you have everything in place it’s time to download a playlist for the trip.  We have created one full of songs about driving and travel.  Have a look at our ROAD TRIP PLAYLIST to see if you agree with our selections.  We think it will help you chill out on the journey.

While some times the road trip is about the journey, other times it’s about the destination.  We have a great list of Ontario Tourist Attractions that might peak your interest.  We would love to know which ones you have visited and which ones you plan to.  Perhaps you might even be interested in some of the Historic Sites in the picture below.

historic sign - The Sign Depot

Cottage Country and Custom Cottage Signs

Maybe a trip to the cottage is more your style.  We have lots of info to ensure you have a fun time at the cottage.  Hopefully our road trip lists above have helped you enjoy the trip to cottage country and now that you have arrived it is time to enjoy long weekend.  Bird watching is great way to pass the time at the cottage.  Learn about some of the more popular birds we have put on cottage signs by visiting our post about the NATIONAL BIRD PROJECT.

Canadian Custom Sign - The Sign Depot

Another great thing about spending time at a cottage is cooking over an open flame.  You can see our list of recipes to try at your cottage or cabin by checking out our CAMPFIRE RECIPE list.  Are you having guests join you at the cottage? Make sure they can spot your site with an address marker or family cottage sign.

Cottage Signs And Address Markers - The Sign Depot

We hope these ideas help with your long weekend!

 

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Social Enterprise and Small Business Signs

Welcome sign - The Sign Depot - Community Involvement

Community Involvement Means You Are Always Learning

The month of June was beyond busy with our cottage sign segment of the business, but we still take time to be involved in our community and find ways to learn about new ideas.  Earlier this month The Centre for International Governance held an advance screening of the film THE SOCIAL SHIFT along with a Q&A with the creators of the film, Meaghan and Marie Wright of Mirror Image Media. Many in attendance were new to the concept of Social Enterprise and the positive effects it has on a community.  The creators summed it up well when it was stated that many business owners wait until they retire and then become philanthropists.  In reality they could be creating businesses that “do good” as their mandate, which then would be referred to as a social enterprise.  You can learn a bit about social enterprises in Canada by viewing the film’s trailer below.

Throughout the filmed the audience learned about Canadian businesses that assist with environmental change, companies created that gave people a place to work and taught them new skills with a chance for advancement and so many many other ideas that help both locally and globally.

Signs With Social Enterprise In Mind

Last month we spoke about our community involvement with the BUDDY BENCH project.

Since then we been able to work on other signage that promotes inclusivity and social change.  One was a donor recognition feature at St. Paul’s University College along with signage for their Greenhouse social impact incubator.  Another project we were proud to be part of was the WELCOME NEIGHBOUR exterior sign created for the Victoria Hills Neighbourhood Association that was revealed at this year’s Neighbours Day.

As you have noticed in earlier posts we also enjoy being involved in our community, whether it be at sponsoring events or attending events like this above mentioned screening to see how we can be innovative with the way we make our signs and source our materials.  For example our preferred metal provider donates and holds fundraisers for the Make a Wish Foundation, which is why we buy from them.  When businesses take a look at how they run their company and the businesses they choose to work with they can learn how they can make a social impact.  Even small tweaks can provide lasting results and social change.

       

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Community Involvement – The Buddy Bench Project

Buddying Up With Our Community

Recently we were contacted by our local radio station 91.5 The Beat to see if we would be interested in their latest School Tour project.  They were looking for a business that values community involvement to assist with their BUDDY BENCH initiative.  We were glad they came to us and we could help with the project.  This may have you wondering what we mean by “BUDDY BENCH” but we think the video below describes it best.

How A Buddy Bench Works

 

This 3 minute video is a great example of what a BUDDY BENCH can do. Many children often struggle with making friends, joining in and/or finding someone to talk to.  The idea of putting a BUDDY BENCH in a school playground assists the children that need a little help in this area.  They sit on the bench and a spotter will come and sit with them and strike up a conversation.  This little engagement can do a lot to improve the mental health and/or self esteem in kids.  It also assists with stopping bullying at school.

Bring On The Buddy Benches

91.5 The Beat is donating BUDDY BENCHES to 3 local schools.  Together with our friends at Fiddlesheads and Cedarland Lumber we assisted them with this important community project.

Our involvement was to engrave the words BUDDY BENCH along with the sponsors names into the wooden bench.  To do this we sandblasted the bench pieces to carve into the wood.  Yesterday the first bench was donated to a local school and as you can see it was all smiles when it was received.

 

Sandblasting wood is something we have been doing for over 25 years.  If you want more info about our sandblasted wood signs please visit our portfolio and if you see something you are interested in please CONTACT US!

       

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What To Do With Storm Damaged Exterior Signs

Custom Signs That Weathered The Storm

The past few winter storms managed to cause quite a bit of damage.  Some from high winds and others from ice.

Custom Wood Signs - Outdoor - Ice - The Sign Depot

If there is a lot of property damage we suggest putting your signage through your insurance claim, but if only your exterior signs need repair and no other property damage was done, then we think your best bet it to contact a sign company that specializes in SIGN REFURBISHING.  This will save you the cost of your deductible and the sign company can let you know if you are better off repairing or replacing the broken outdoor signage.

Exterior Sign Refurbishing

Many of our custom wood exterior signs show signs of finishing damage after seven to ten years because of winter storm damage. When that happens, visit our CONTACT US page and let our sign-makers know what needs repaired.  We are able to sand down most cedar signs, repair any checks in the wood and refinish the sign to “like-new” condition.  This means that the fixed sign receives a new life and it keeps another damaged sign out of the landfill. The longevity of sandblasted cedar signs make them a great choice as they provide dimensional signage that can stand the test of time, with very little upkeep required.

Signs That Are Damaged Beyond Repair

When a sign broken to the point of no repair, we suggest taking pictures of the broken sign and where it was placed and sending them to sales@sign-depot.on.ca to request a quote for a sign replacement. Your estimate will come with suggestions for the new sign and new fasteners that will stabilize the sign going forward.  This will assist you with your decisions about that sign and other signage for your establishment.

Once you have decided which option works best for your exterior signs and the signs are placed back on your building, your curbside appeal with rise significantly.

   

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