The Sign Depot



Sign Of Strategy At The Sign Depot – Involvement In The Tech Community

Social Media = Social Currency = Real Currency

For the past few months, we’ve been creating a buzz through social media. Many may think this is a pointless waste of time, but for Sign Depot, it’s given us to get to know others in the community. Here in Kitchener Waterloo Ontario there has been a shift in the last decade or so from being a factory based community to the new technology hub in Canada.

Sign Depot has always been a contributor to networking in KW (members of the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce & the Kitchener Waterloo Business Women’s Association), but now we’re taking it one step further.

Through this blog, & our twitter @TheSignDepot we’ve made several new local connections & attended local events that we would not have know about otherwise.

One such event was the KW Design Meetup. Thanks to @CuteGecko ‘s introduction to @Jooliah Sign Depot was invited to their monthly meetup as a presentor.

That night our twitter page lit up. Take a look —————- jooliah Huge thanks to all the presenters tonight @cdutson, @tinyHippos, @TheSignDepot and also to all the #kwdm peeps who made it out! Great night! ChristineHamon Question of the night “How did you learn to speak so softly?” @TheSignDepot. #kwdm jrodgers another awesome #kwdm thanks to @jooliah and the great presentations from: @TheSignDepot @tinyHippos @cdutson

another awesome #kwdm thanks to @jooliah and the great presentations from: @TheSignDepot @tinyHippos @cdutson mrswookiee @seanyo they have nice staff too! @TheSignDepot @those2girls seyDoggy RT @seanyo: I had no idea…but I’ve been a huge fan of @thesigndepot‘s work for years! #kwdm cdutson We like your speaking voice @TheSignDepot ūüôā (via @cutergecko) – it’s so soothing. He should start reading books for audio about cutergecko We like your speaking voice @TheSignDepot ūüôā via TweetDeck seanyo

I had no idea…but I’ve been a huge fan of @thesigndepot‘s work for years! #kwdm seanyo I had no idea…but I’ve been a huge fan of @thesigndepot“s ‘s seanyo I had no idea…but I’ve been a huge fan of @thesigndepot“s cdutson We need to visit @thesigndepot. #kwdm field trip!!! (via @seanyo) I promise to be good can I go? IWANNAGOLETMEGOPLEASEGOD cdutson They just are teh awesome, srsly @thesigndepot #kwdm seanyo We need to visit @thesigndepot. #kwdm field trip!!! seyDoggy They just are teh awesome, srsly @thesigndepot #kwdm RT @seanyo: Secret of @thesigndepot‘s success: 1) find out the client’s budget 2) be awesome 3) PROFIT seanyo Secret of @thesigndepot‘s success: 1) find out the client’s budget 2) be awesome 3) PROFIT! cdutson Pride. In. Craft. That’s how its done. @thesigndepot (via @seanyo) – exactly eijones Nice! Amazing to think that many of the signs I see around town are done by @TheSignDepot ! I’m impressed! #kwdm myankelovich Absolutely blown away by @thesigndepot‘s work! True art #kwdm cdutson huh. @TheSignDepot owner/runner/presenter guy is one of the most down to earth and practical business owners I’ve met. #kwdm cdutson oh: “if I’m going to spend my life making signs, I’m going to make the best goddamned signs I can” . * yes #kwdm seyDoggy RT @modsuperstar: #kwdm @thesigndepot does some fantastic work. Very impressive cdutson Crap, man @TheSignDepot‘s feature work is really… really good. I tip my literal hat at them. #kwdm modsuperstar #kwdm @thesigndepot does some fantastic work. Very impressive seyDoggy @TheSignDepot is putting some funny stuff. OH: “I can get techy on you too.” ———- Want to know what happened one week later? We received calls from attendees, wanting us to quote for them! Now if we can impress a group tech based of designers, imagine what we can do for you! Want to find out? Give us a call 519-894-0890 Need a guest speaker for your next business event? Contact Lisa¬†and we can arrange Sign Depot to present for your group as well.


Custom Business Signs – City Of Kitchener Facade Grant Program

Giving Downtown Kitchener A Facelift One Business at a Time

Here at Sign Depot we knew the impact the Facade Grant Program would make in giving Downtown Kitchener a facelift.   He knew this custom business sign project would be massive, that is why he came to The Sign Depot.  We are experts in custom business signs and were able to see the project through from the sign permits to the final sign installations
Mario Halapir, owner of Sportslink, took advantage of Kitchener’s¬†grant program to upgrade the facade of his store. Here are some of the highlights from the article. This article is taken from ¬†
    • Behind the sleek new sign and the strikingly modern stucco lays the bones of a building that has watched over Kitchener‚Äôs downtown for nearly a century. With its modern facelift, Mario Halapir‚Äôs soccer retail store and uniform business, Sports Link, shows little sign of its age. But what it does show, Halapir hopes, is his commitment to the business and the city‚Äôs core. ‚ÄúWith the economy the way it is right now, everyone‚Äôs thinking about saving dollars,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúWe thought about it the other way around. We said, ‚ÄėWe‚Äôre going to invest some money into our business so we can be here forever.‚Äô ‚ÄĚ
    • The Sports Link fa√ßade improvement is the largest completed project in the city‚Äôs granting program, which matches exterior improvement dollars for commercial businesses in the downtown.
    • The city will pay up to $10,000 per storefront for approved projects. In total, Kitchener has $600,000 to hand out over the five years of the program.
  • In 2009, the city approved grants totalling $175,000. The private investment portion of those projects will equal about $375,000 since some businesses exceed the maximum amount that could be matched, said Cory Bluhm, the city‚Äôs urban investment adviser.
  • In its inaugural year, 10 businesses were approved for grants in the Kitchener program. Four projects, including DNA silk screening, two storefronts at the Tannery, Matter of Taste and Sports Link, are now completed.
  • Sports Link, located on the corner of Charles and Ontario streets, made $80,000 worth of improvements to its fa√ßade, including upgrades to the windows, signage and all new stucco.
  • The fa√ßade program is aimed at businesses within the area bordered by the railway tracks on the west to Cedar Street on the east, and Joseph Street on the south to Weber Street on the north. Of the 10 projects approved last year, seven are on King Street.

Here is the BEFORE image of The Sportlink

The Sportslink - original signage
and now take a look at the AFTER. I think you’ll agree that Image Is Everything!Custom Business Signs - The Sportslink - The Sign Depot


Wholesale Wood Signs – Testimonial


We Specialize In Wholesale Wood Signs For The Sign Industry

Being a sign shop in Southwestern Ontario that is know North America wide for our sandblasted wood signs is quite an accomplishment and we thought we would share these recent accolades with you.  Creating carved cedar signs for the sign trade is something we specialize in here at The Sign Depot and we always welcome wholesale inquires from sign professionals.

recent wholesale job : Sandblasted Cedar finished in Cetol
Wholesale Wood Signs - The Sign Depot
Scutt Signs Guelph Ontario ” We have dealt with The Sign Depot for many years and our experience has always been a positive one. They understand the fast paced sign business and their pricing always allows us to be competitive without sacrificing quality.”
Thanks Louise, nice to hear a great testimonial – we look forward to our continued business relationship.
We have been servicing other sign companies locally, across Canada and as far away as Texas with wholesale wood signs for many years.
In fact 80% of our business comes from repeat customers and of our new business 70% of that is referrals.
That’s a Testimonial in numbers
recent wholesale job : Sandblasted Cedar Finished in Walnut Cetol
Wholesale Wood Signs - The Sign Depot

How To Order Wholesale Wood Signs From The Sign Depot

To learn more about what is required in order to get a wholesale sign quote, please visit our post Wholesale Wood Signs.  There you will learn more about the specifications we will need, and find out how to add a revenue stream to your sign business by offering custom wood signs to your clients. Variety is the spice of life so they say. At The Sign Depot we embrace that saying, but we have one more saying to pass along.  As it says on our Wholesale Website Page  We’ll look after the dust while you look after your clients!



Community Involvement Haiti Relief – How Dollarama Helps Me, Help Haiti (cross post)

Community Involvement And How It Involves The Sign Depot

This is a cross post orginally from

Written by Lisa one of the employees here at The Sign Depot. The building we are now located in is a drop off centre for this 50 Ottawa St S. Kitchener Ont Enter on the Charles St side of the building. When you drop off your donation please come in¬†and see us! Lisa would love to meet you¬†and thank you for reading¬†and responding to this. ——————————

I feel the world finally learning to rally to help those in need. I know there is so much more that can be done, but this is my contribution.

Dollarama Stuff Yes you heard right stuff from Dollarama will help those in need. Yesterday @Flourishflorals tweeted this link Which had this info ————– MCC is asking for donations of 20,000 relief kits as part of its response to the Haiti earthquake. Thank you for joining this response. Relief kits provide valuable supplies to families traumatized by war and disasters. In recent years, kits have been sent to Iraq, Gaza, Bosnia, Serbia, Nepal, Mozambique, Indonesia and Honduras.

Contents (NEW items only) 4 large bars bath soap (leave in wrapping) 1 plastic bottle shampoo (380-710ml / 13-24oz; place bottle in a re-sealable plastic bag) 4 large bars of laundry soap (Some stores carry Fels Naptha, Sunlight or Zote brands; contact your local MCC warehouse with questions) 1 squeeze-tube toothpaste (minimum 130ml / 6oz; leave in box) 4 adult-size toothbrushes (leave in packaging) 4 new bath towels (medium weight, dark or bright colors) 2 wide-tooth combs(6 to 8in / 15 to 20cm) 1 fingernail clipper 1 box adhesive bandages (minimum 40, assorted) 1 package sanitary pads (18-24 thin maxi) Place contents in a box or bag and deliver to one of the drop-off locations in Canada or the U.S. The kit will be re-packed in a new 5-gallon plastic pail with lid. ———— Looking at the list I realized I can purchase a majority of it at Dollarama. So that’s what I did!I got everything except the laundry soap bars. They have them, but they are unwrapped, so I’ll get some at the grocery store tomorrow.I spent less than $20 for all of this.I hope to drop it off early this week(the site lists all the drop off locations)So even when you think you’re little donation is just a drop in the bucket, look how much my drop will provide!


3 Dimensional Signs – Creating A Landmark Sign

Creating a Landmark – Souvenir City Vase

The best signs make you stop and take notice, they draw you in for a closer look.
Souvenir City located in Niagara Falls Ontario commissioned us make a sign for their glass blowing studio. What better sign could we make other than a 3 dimensional sign replica as a vase.
We have created a variety of unusual signs for this client from a chain saw carved bear and moose to a Mountie on his horse perched high above the road way.
Every year thousands of tourist are drawn in to pose and snap pictures in front of the signs Рphoto mementos of a falls vacation. These landmark signs are serve as eye-catching advertisements for the store and attract new customers daily. The use of 3 dimensional signs has made an impact on their business and by continuing with their 3 dimensional sign trend they were able to put focus on the new facet of their business without taking away from their already established brand.
Wondering how you go about making a go about making a giant vase? Here’s how we did it. 3 Dimensional Signs - The Sign Depot
First, we built a arm powered lathe to accommodate the huge foam shape.  
3 Dimensional Signs - The Sign DepotThe handles were made from High Density sign foam and covered in fiberglass fior extended durability
  3 Dimensional Signs - The Sign Depot

Next a welded steel super structure was manufactured to keep the dimensional sign centred and rigid. This was attached to a fabricated mounting plate.

    3 Dimensional Signs - The Sign Depot


The turned vase was then installed onto the steel post and surface coated in two layers of 6oz. woven fiberglass cloth to begin the custom sign finishing process

3 Dimensional Signs - The Sign Depot A complete sanding and filling to smooth the surface 3 Dimensional Signs - The Sign Depot


Finally, a crack paint job by Dave to replicate the character of translucent glass. A clear UV top coat to hold the colour, and wax to accentuate the shine on our latest sign prop.

Once this 3 dimensional signs was done and installed it was¬†hard to miss. This is where custom sculptural signs¬†come into play for your company’s findability and wayfinding sign solutions. They become a focal point for passers-by.¬† These 3 dimensional signs get you noticed and make your business memorable.

 Even while we were installing this signs folks were stopping by getting their picture taken in front of the vase. They would then make their way into the store and exit with bags in hand.  The 3 dimensional vase was already proving to be a worthwhile advertising investment.

Landmark Signs - The Sign Depot - 3 Dimensional Signs


Custom Wood Cottage Signs At Christmas

Custom Wood Cottage Sign - The Sign Depot

Cottage Signs for Christmas

Over the years we have¬†created many, many cottage signs as Christmas gifts.¬†Custom Wood signs from The Sign Depot are made from western red cedar,¬†known for being¬†rot-resistant¬†and durable¬†in all outdoor¬†weather conditions.¬† Pairing that with our custom paint finishes for signs,¬†our Traditional Wood Signs Are Personalized To Suit You!¬†Plus you¬†have an abundance of choice when it comes to creating a custom wood cottage sign.¬† Our sandblasted and carved signs provide you with an artistic sign that is sure to be appreciated as a gift this Christmas. Here is a sample of this year’s custom sandblasted cedar sign projects.
Your carved cedar sign should last forever – at least out last you.
Resin in western red cedar is naturally very rot resistant. But, your sign can become dull looking from a build-up of grime and dirt.
Simply wash with warm soapy water to remove dirt and top coat with spray on car wax for a clear protective water repelling finish.
15min once a year will keep your sign looking good
* Do not use high pressure washer to clean your sign as this will damage wood and finish.
Custom Wood Sandblasted Sign - The Sign Depot
Custom Cedar Signs - The Sign Depot
Custom Wood Cottage Sign - The Sign Depot
Custom Wood Cottage Sign - The Sign DepotCustom Wood Lake Sign - The Sign Depot
We hope the above examples give you some gift giving ideas. As you can see there is no limit to the type of sign we can make.  You pick the size, shape, text, graphics and colours to give your cedar cottage sign a personalized engraved look.  To see more wooden signs that we have made, take a look at the portfolio page on The Sign Depot website.
Is there someone on your list that would appreciate a Custom Wood Cottage Sign At Christmas?
If so, make sure to visit our contact us page and start arranging your custom cedar sign.
From us to you – Happy Holidays
The Sign Depot - Logo


Re-purposed Doon Twines Business Building And The Sign Depot, A Good Move For Custom Signs

Re-purposed - The Sign Depot

Moving due to an expired lease, we have taken the opportunity to reassess Sign Depot. Where do we want to be? What kind of company do we want to be? How do we want to service our customers going forward? What do we want to look like within the sign market and to our customers?
Re-purposed - The Sign Depot
All big questions and while daunting at first, it is a revitalizing
belly-button gazing exercise. We will continue to redefinte who we are and what we do.
Over the past month we have slowly and steadily moved into our new crib. Directly across from the old location we are still located at the corner of Borden and Charles but now south…about 200 ft.
The heritage space we choose to work in influences the custom work we produce. We look for, and create work spaces that inspire us, have a story, and inevitably say something about us.
We have chosen Kitchener’s historic Doon Twines building as our next shop/studio. A grand factory from the early 1900’s that wears the history of it’s workers like smile wrinkles of a experienced traveller. Boot polished hardwood floors, sturdy steel rivet I-beams, soring steel truss vaulted ceilings and sky-lite work area’s. This building has a straight forward honesty, it’s structure is not hidden, beams and braces are exposed and understood.
Artistic sign design shares these structural attributes. Good design makes sense with a clear message and materials reflecting the business and suggesting a story you want to know more about.
We look forward to working within Doon Twines to create some of our best work.
We thought it would be a good idea to capture some behind the scenes photos from our new space to serve as memento of this chapter here at The Sign Depot. One day we can look back and see how we evolved within this re-purposed factory.
Re-purposed - The Sign Depot Re-purposed - The Sign Depot

Re-purposed - The Sign Depot

Re-purposed - The Sign Depot Re-purposed - The Sign Depot
Re-purposed - The Sign Depot
Re-purposed - The Sign Depot
Re-purposed - The Sign Depot
Re-purposed - The Sign Depot Re-purposed - The Sign Depot Re-purposed - The Sign Depot Re-purposed - The Sign Depot


Signs Of Kindness – Random Act Of Kindness Day Friday Nov 13 2009

How Kitchener Waterloo Is Celebrating Something Different This Friday The 13th

I know that some are superstitious about this day¬†and others make their way to Port Dover, but this Friday the 13th in Kitchener-Waterloo (Waterloo Region for the out of towners) is Random Act of Kindness Day! A day where you do-good for others and create some smiles wherever you are headed today. I’m headed into The Sign Depot office, so that means my lucky co-workers are getting donuts from me! Shhhh don’t tell, I haven’t arrived yet.

Did You Show A Sign Of Kindness Today?

What are you doing for Random Act of Kindness Day? Make sure you show signs of kindness to those around you.¬† It doesn’t take much effort and it can make a big difference in someone’s day.¬† To learn more about visit the Random Act Of Kindness Day website. Community Involvement is a priority at The Sign Depot, and we hope other businesses and individuals understand how important¬†kindess and caring¬†is to a keep a community¬†thriving .¬†Finding ways to add kindness initiatives¬†in companies, schools, community centres and so many more local¬†establishments is the best way to keep the¬†friendly local spirit alive where you live.¬†Let us know what you are doing to get your workplace involved in your local community. They say smiling is contagious. It can lead to other great things like volunteering, charity and a feeling of accomplishment. Make sure you show you signs of kindness to everyone you meet today and hopefully you want to carry it on throughout the whole year. Who knows what a little kindness can spark, or in my case what a dozen Tim Horton¬†donuts will bring?

¬†By sharing information and ideas……

……. something tells me we’re all in for something good


Artistic Sign Displays

 Sign Displays For The Restaurant Industry

Restaurants are always looking for unique ways to add decor elements to their interiors.¬† Finding ways to enhance a restaurant’s interior with artistic sign designs that compliment the establishment’s atmosphere is one of the many signs solutions we offer to our clients.

Eyecatching Artistic Sign Displays

When The Charcoal Group brought us the concept behind Wildcraft Grill And Bar we knew they wanted sofisticated signs for interior that complimented their exterior business signs.   Choosing to create a display stand showcasing their extensive wine bar was a way to add a wayfinding sign that fit the surrounding decor. 

Artistic Sign Displays - The Sign Depot - Wildcraft

Restaurant Reveal

Wildcraft Grill And Bar was well received by Waterloo Region.  It continues to be a thriving restaurant where people enjoy the atmosphere just as much as the menu.  By adding a few artistic sign displays, this establishment keeps their customer well informed of what to expect and where they should be headed next, to fully experience all their restaurant has to offer.

Artistic Signs - The Sign Depot - Wildcraft


Choose Your Signs Wisely

Remember to keep your restaurant signs clear.¬† They serve a purpose, but if it doesn’t reflect the atmosphere it can end up looking cluttered and confusing.¬† When deciding on sign displays consider these factors

  • Does it serve a purpose?
  • Will it compliment the surroundings?
  • Where will it be located?

These are key elements to creating sign displays.  You want to highlight certain aspects of your businesses without taking away from the look and feel of your interior design. 

For more information on how The Sign Depot can help you with your restaurant sign solutions make sure to talk to one of our sign design experts.  They will be happy to answer all of your questions about Restaurant Signs and how they impact the Food Service Industry.  Knowing what will look great in your restaurant is just the beginning of the professional sign services we have to offer.



3 Dimensional Signs And Sculptures


3 dimensional sign - The Sign Depot

Scuplture As Signs

What makes The Sign Depot unique from many other signs shops is our ability to create 3 dimensional signs.  Many think of these pieces as artistic sculptures, but our clients know that these signs serve a purpose.  Below are you can see examples of  3 dimensional signs for businesses.  The chainsaw sculpture was created as a landmark sign for Souvenir City in Niagara Falls Ontario.  This kind of sign is known to grab the attention of passers-by making your business memorable to potential customers.  Finding original ways to advertise your business through custom signs is something The Sign Depot is well known for.  We have won several sign industry awards for our 3 dimensional signs and structures.  Being at the top of your industry is an honour for any company and it is why we continue to create artistic signs that we can be proud of. 

3 dimensional sign - The Sign Depot
3 dimensional sign - The Sign Depot

How 3 Dimensional Signs Can Elevate You To The Top Of Your Industry

You should always strive to be the best, and standing out from your competition is the great way to be at the top of your industry.  3 dimensional signs do just that.  They stand out and get your business noticed.  Whether you chooose a chainsaw sculpture or  High Density Urethane Sign Props your company will recognized right away.  These signs make an impact and you want the first impression of your business to be a memorable one.  A custom business sign is a 24 hour advertisement for your business so be sure it reflects your company and what you want it to be known for.  This how you elevate your game and rise to the top of your industry.  To learn more about dimensional signs be sure to visit our dimensional  sign gallery, then be sure to contact our dimesional sign fabricators to see how sign sculptures can work for your business.