The Sign Depot



Sustainable Wood Signs Add Charm To Heritage Building

Tucked behind Kitchener’s High Tech Hub, otherwise known as Communitech at the Tannery, sits another heritage site that has been transformed into a tech office space. The building at 5 Michael St. in Kitchener Ontario was once shoe factory. It is situated between Victoria Park and Downtown Kitchener, which makes it great place to be when you want to be in the heart of the city. There are many historic features that make this building unique, and give it much of its charm. Choosing custom wood signs for the building’s exterior made for a great fit. These outdoor signs were created to match the look of the building and serve as a warm greeting for this landmark. The selection of wood enhances the exterior and creates sustainable signage for the century old construction.

Sustainable Wood Signs

The trend in the Canadian Construction Industry is headed back to wood. The properties of wood make for strong structures and is one of our country’s top renewable resources.

According to Architect Michael Green in a Global TV interview from earlier this year “The North American forest grows enough wood every four minutes to build a 100-foot, eight-storey tall office.”

Additionally, our custom wood signs, made from western red cedar, are rot resistant. This gives companies the confidence that their signs have a lot of longevity and will not need constant replacing. Even if the sign did suffer some damage, often we can repair it, then add a coat of fresh paint and it looks brand new. We are proud that our wood signs stay out of landfills and are made from a sustainable material.

Branding a Building with Signs

As in the case of 5 Michael St. the exterior signs also serve as a branding tool.

The signs are clear and concise. The choice of fonts with the gold leaf finish eliminates the need for graphics and gives the signs a classic clean look. With these highly visible signs adorning the building’s exterior, it gives those arriving a sense of what they can expect once they enter the doors. These signs represent the sophisticated space that pays tribute to the hard work that the building was known for. Make sure your signage reflects your brand and lets potential clients know what they can expect from your company.

For more information on exterior business signs, be sure to visit our CONTACT US page connect with our expert sign designers.


Our Friends at The Charcoal Group of Restaurants Want You To PLANeT

#FridaysForFuture #CGPLANT4PLANeT

Today marks a new initiative by our friends at The Charcoal Group of Restaurants. The #CGPLANT4PLANeT came out last week’s global climate change strike.

As listed on their website, Jody Palubiski, CEO of The Charcoal Group of Restaurants was quoted as saying

“This all started when my kids asked me if they could miss school last Friday to support the climate strike.I told them that it is important to ensure their voices are heard but it is equally as important to understand that you also have the power to take action. Of course they asked, ‘what can we do’? To which I responded; Plant trees! I want to lead by example for them, for our community, for our planet.” 

Below are some change-makers from the Chamber of Commerce CPN group that are ready to plant their seedlings that were supplied by The Charcoal Group of Restaurants.

Time To Get Planting

Not sure what to do with your white spruce seedling? These instructions provided by Cindy Perri, BRAND GUARDIAN for The Charcoal Group of Restaurants, are sure to help!

Isn’t it too cold to plant? NO! It’s actually the perfect time to plant. The seedlings NEED to go into dormancy to grow properly. (they actually need to freeze to live!)

What if I want my seedling but I can’t plant it this fall? IF you simply cannot plant it this fall on a sunny day, then you must put your seedling in the freezer for the winter. Or you can store it in the garage but DO NOT put it on the concrete. Put it on a piece of wood/shelf or in a pot off of the concrete ground. DO NOT keep it indoors, it will not survive.

Do I take it out of the Peat Pot? NO! you keep it in the peat pot and plant it in the peat pot as well. Plant it on a sunny fall day and make sure it gets lots of water!

The info-graphic below is a great reference as well.

Click To Enlarge

So remember to visit on of the restaurants shown above and post your photo with the hashtag #CGPLANT4PLANeT

We’ll be following along and sharing them on our instagram story!

Do you have a great community involvement initiative that we should know about? Let us know in the comments!


The Small Business Show Features The Sign Depot

Small Business Show - The Sign Depot
Peter Moir sits down with Linda Ockwell-Jenner and Steve Bentley of The Small Business Show

Talking (Sign) Shop

President/Owner of The Sign Depot, Peter Moir, spent some time talking shop and signs with Linda Ockwell-Jenner and Steve Bentley on The Small Business Show. The premise of The Small Business show is to feature members of the small business community and discuss what has has got them to where they are today. In the episode below you will hear Peter speak about what brought him to the signage industry and he sheds some light on how our sign shop runs day to day and year to year.

Click the play button to view the episode. It may take a minute to load

Behind The Scenes at The Sign Depot

As you may have noticed, we also gave Linda and Steve a behind the scenes tour of our production facility where we house our showroom, vinyl department and wood-working area. By keeping the majority of our production in-house we are able to control the project from beginning to end. This gives our customers piece of mind. They know they are receiving a top quality sign that has been crafted by our expert sign-makers. The sign that they receive will often exceed their expectations, which creates a long standing business relationship with our company. Finding suppliers that you can trust and rely on are the basis of any successful business to business relationship. It can assist with growing your business and creating a great brand in your industry.

Lessons Learned

Peter mentioned the lessons he has learned after being in business for more than 25 years. We hope by sharing these tips with the Small Business Show that we have inspired other small businesses in some way. Let us know in the comments what you thought of the show or any lessons you have learned from it. For more information about The Sign Depot be sure to visit our CONTACT US page and connect with us by email or our social channels.


How Custom Signs Solve Problems For Companies

Farm Market Signs - Custom Business Signs

Many companies are in need of solutions when it comes to their business. Whether it is marketing their business to the public, promoting a new product to existing and potential clients, or just making it easier for customers to navigate your establishment, custom signs can solve many of these issues. Choosing a sign solution can alleviate many hardships from a company and bring them to the forefront of the marketplace. Signs can assist businesses in expanding their customer base and in turn, help to increase sales. Turning potential customers into repeat customers is always a great way to do business. Below are a few examples of signs that solve problems.

Exterior Signs

If you have a brick and mortar business, then a dimensional exterior signs can help attract new customers to your store, restaurant, salon, spa, factory, industrial space etc. Exterior signs serve as a 24 hour advertisement for your business and put your company on display in the best way.

Custom  Exterior Business Sign - The Sign Depot

They come in both lit and non-lit formats and heighten your company’s recognition, which can elevate your business to high performing brand. When contacting a sign company about an exterior sign it is best to understand what message you want to convey to the public. Remember less is more. Many exterior signs are only noticed for a moment by passers-by so you want your sign to represent the quality your company can offer them. An outdoor sign with too much info can look busy or become confusing to the passing traffic.

Show Signs

Even if you don’t have a brick and mortar business, custom signs are still important. Many business choose trade shows, consumer shows, public exhibitions and conferences to market their company. Many of these shows have similar vendors and as a company you will want to stand out from the sea of competitors. This is where custom displays and signs can help people seek you out. Several businesses will prop up banners and do promotional giveaways, but the trick is to get them to your area to see all you have to offer. Our sign solution for that is a customized Plinko game. It displays your brand and makes enough noise to capture the attention of those in attendance.

Plinko Game - The Great Canadian Meat Company - The Sign Depot

Plus, by gamifying the process, those who chose to participate will take away a memorable experience with your company.

Directional and Way-finding Signs

Directional and Way-finding signs are often overlooked by companies. These signs assist with the user experience. If you ever been to a building and have to ask where to find the elevator, or the route to the washroom then you know how uncomfortable that can be. To save your customers from having to ask such awkward questions, then you need to have easy to understand way-finding signs. These signs range from clear floor directories, welcoming reception areas, parking lot signs, room numbers and hallway directional arrows.

Directory Signs - The Sign Depot

These are just some of the sign solutions we can provide. For signs that are as unique as your business, and provide a great customer experience, please visit our CONTACT US page and connect with one of our sign professionals.


Signs of Summer 2019 – Beertown Oakville

Restaurant Signs - Beertown Oakville - The Sign Depot

While many chart toppers want to be known as the one of the Songs of Summer, we want to tell you all about the Signs of Summer 2019.

The summer of 2019 will be forever marked with song Old Town Road, but this summer we want to introduce to you “Beertown near Trafalgar Road”. While that may not roll off the tongue as easily as the title for the song of the summer, it is sure to be hit this summertime in Oakville Ontario Canada.

Since their first Beertown Public House location in 2012, the Charcoal Group of Restaurants has expanded their Beertown Public House Restaurants across Southwestern Ontario. Now that Beertown has entered the Greater Toronto Area, they are making their mark with updated exterior signs. With a variety of signage surrounding Beertown Oakville, it is sure to be one of the biggest sign projects we will be part of the this summer. These custom restaurant signs will make people take notice and may even create instagram-worthy moments outside of their new location. Whether it is the view from the street, from the sidewalk or those looking for the patio, Beertown Oakville is clearly marked an marketed a place for the public to gather.

Custom Pub Signs for Beertown

The signage project for the Beertown signs included a variety of signs. The individual Public House letters were fabricated using high density urethane, otherwise know as HDU. Then they were given a matte black finish for high visibility against the light brick exterior, and as you can see in the picture below, it creates dimension through the use of natural daylight and shadows.

Pub Signs - Beertown Oakville - The Sign Depot

The word BEERTOWN was created with aluminum channel letters that were fit with LEDs to replicate red neon. This is a process we are getting known for. The look says neon, but it is much better for the environment. It requires less electricity to run and has a greater longevity then the glass tubing used for neon.

LED Sign - Beertown Oakville - The Sign Depot

The last sign technique was the painting of a mural. Much like the one we created for the Beertown Cambridge location, we expect it to become an noticeable landmark for the area. This is where the contrasting colours of red and green are just the right mix to make it a great photo opp spot at the location.

Restaurant Signs - Beertown Oakville - The Sign Depot

If you take photos by the mural, be sure to tag @TheSignDepot and we will do our best to share them on our social feeds.

The Beertown Publich House – Oakville sign project made summer of 2019 memorable for us. If you have great memories of any of the Beertown Public House locations, we want to hear about it. Leave us a comment below.


This Custom Wood Sign Will Have You Wanting to Climb Every Mountain

Custom Wood Mountain Sign - The Sign Depot

When it comes to sandblasted cedar signs we have created a many custom wood signs with a variety of images. There have been beach scenes, cottage and lake views, wild birds, family pets and farms just to name a few, but this request for mountains was truly special. We were contacted through our facebook page about creating a mountain and water scene with an address number and a family name. In addition, the mountains were to be snow capped as that is how the back drop of their vacation home looks in spring. We wanted to climb every mountain to make this happen.

Our expert sign designers created a sign design to match the required expectations and our sign-makers went to work on crafting the western red cedar sign for them.

Sandblasted Western Red Cedar Signs

For those not familiar with western red cedar, it is also known as thuja plicata, a rot-resistant wood. This makes it the best choice for our custom wood signs.

All of our cedar signs are created to handle all kinds of weather. Knowing it would be going to an area that has snow covered mountains had everyone here thrilled to know that one of our signs would be going to such a different climate. The process began with a cedar blank that was cnc router cut to the requested shape. Then it a sandblast stencil overlay was applied prior to sandblasting. After the sign was prepped it was ready for the sandblasting. The process of sandblasting wood involves sandblast grit carving the wood through the use of a pressure hose. After the sign is carved to the preferred depth, the sign was sanded to create a smooth surface for finishing. The exterior grade paint finish was then applied to sign to complete the project.

Rocky Mountain High

After the sign was shipped, the customer installed it at their vacation property and sent us this image.

Cottage Sign, Vacation Property - The Sign Depot

You can see the snow covered mountain range in the background which are highlighted on the sign. We were over the moon, or should we say mountain, when we received this picture. You might say we were on a Rocky Mountain High!

If you need a custom wood sign made, please visit our CONTACT US page.


Instagram Worthy Signs Help Bring Smiles To The New Hamburg Dental Office

The New Hamburg Dental Group is known for maintaining some of the best smiles around, so it brought smiles to our faces when they came to us for sign frames to use in their dental office. They wanted custom signs to help their young patients show off their smiles.

When You’re Smiling On Instagram Then The Whole World Smiles With You

Many are familiar with the song When Your Smiling that has been recorded by Louis Armstrong, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and most recently by Michael Buble.

The New Hamburg Dental Group wanted to have the whole world smile while scrolling through their New Hamburg Dental instagram feed. To achieve this we created light weight custom signs that could be lifted by children and sized perfectly for them. Each sign had text and graphics designed and then applied to the surface with vinyl. The signs are hung in their office and make a great wall display as well.

After a check-up a child has the opportunity to show off their smile in an instagram-worthy moment. It gives the kids something to look forward to at the end of their appointment and encourages them to keep up their dental routines at home.

Elevate Your Brand on Instagram with Signage

Several instagram feeds show a variety of images and many of them feature signs as part of the photo. This takes the messaging well past the caption and assists in making your brand recognizable.

Often businesses use their reception signs and other office signs as part of their instagram images as a way to elevate their brand and display their company logo. This also assists your company in leaving a lasting impression for those viewing their instagram feed.

If you are looking for some assistance with office signs that fit your brand, be sure to visit our CONTACT US page or email

We want to ensure there are miles of smiles when it comes to creating custom signs for companies.


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


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


Email to register or RSVP at


If you are coming from the KW Expressway head in direction of Waterloo and keep going. UPDATE DUE TO CONSTRUCTION – Keep going into Elmira on Arthur St. (the expressway becomes Arthur St in Elmira). Turn left at Church St. which is the intersection with the Shoppers Drug Mart (so when you see that turn left) that road becomes  LINE 86 so continue on that road (its a bit of a winding road for the first bit so be aware).

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 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


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!