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Archive for the ‘High Density Urethane signs’ Category


High Density Urethane Signs For School Of Rock Kitchener-Waterloo

School Of Rock Opens In Kitchener Ontario

Who could forget Jack Black’s performance as Dewey Finn in the film School Of Rock?

Well the School Of Rock Kitchener Waterloo Ontario steps right in where this film left off. Their mission is to inspire the world to rock on stage and in life and they wanted to make a big impact upon their arrival in Kitchener-Waterloo Ontario.

Custom Guitar Logo

The highlight of the School Of Rock’s branding is the letter “O” of the word “ROCK” customized to include a guitar in the letter’s centre

Custom Guitar Logo - High Desnity Urethane - The Sign Depot

This was created with our CNC Router Table program and cut from High Density Urethane otherwise known as HDU or Sign Foam in the sign industry.  It is a material that fully customizable.  It can replicate wood, stone, and many designer looks.  High Density Urethane can be used in both Interior and Exterior signage which makes it a substrate we use often for crafting our custom signs. The stylized guitar was added as an extra layer to give the sign dimension and finished in red to stand out from the other letters in the sign.

High Density Urethane - School Of Rock - The Sign Depot

Ready To Rock

Once the School Of Rock sign was fully finished it was taken to the location and installed to building’s exterior, making it a recognizable landmark in that area.

The full signage package was brought together in time for their Grand Opening and as you can see from the pictures on their facebook page it was a great success.

For Those About To Rock We Salute You

We want to hear from you! Have you been to School Of Rock or are you planning to soon? Leave a comment below, send us a tweet or post on our facebook page and let us know if you’ll be rocking out there!

Long Live Rock!!!


Communitech HYPERDRIVE Hits Lightspeed With the Help Of High Density Urethane – HDU

communitech hyperdrive - High Density Urethane - The Sign Depot What is Hyperdrive?

Well according to George Lucas’s 1977 movie STAR WARS  Hyperdrive propulsion systems were vital starship components that allowed starships to enter hyperspace to traverse the vast distances of space at faster-than-lightspeed. 

There is one issue, as you can see, without a properly functioning hyperdrive motivator the hyperdrive can break down.

Enter Communitech Hyperdrive

As listed on their website Communitech helps technology companies start, grow and succeed.  Earlier this week Communitech launched Communitech HYPERDRIVE.  This is truly the motivator requirement that many startup companies need.  This functioning motivator helps new tech business owners gain access to industry investors and mentors.  They find ways to make their companies grow quickly, or more appropriately send them into lightspeed.


Launch Party

Because of our long standing relationship with Communitech, Peter from Sign Depot was invited to the HYPERDRIVE launch.  When asked about the event he has this to say

“The room had lots of energy with a young and vibrant crowd.  The introduction of each selected company showed the diversity and unique business opportunities supported by HYPERDRIVE.  The idea and mission of  HYPERDRIVE is exactly what will continue to fuel a strong, continuum of start up companies, which in turn will be good for the economy.”

 Sounds impressive indeed.  Finding a way to impress the occupants of the already buzzing Communitch Hub was Sign Depot’s task.  Their sign needed to be futuristic and edgy, while maintaining a professional look.  The sign was constructed by CNC routering letters made from HDU (High Density Urethane) and creating a halo light effect with LED lights.

Being included in Communitech’s post was the nod of approval we were happy to receive.

 To find more info about the next round of  Communitech HYPERDRIVE applications, keep watch of the HYPERDRIVE blog.  In the meantime we will the first round of recipients the best on their upcoming endevours.  We’d also like to recognize that today July 13th is Harrison Ford’s birthday.  Without Han Solo, we would never know what a hyperdrive was for.



Think Outside The (Cake) Box

Making The Move With A Little HDU – High Density Urethane

When The Cake Box changed locations it was an opportunity to create a look and feel that matched what they do.  The Cake Box prides themselves on high standard cakes and their signage needed to reflect that.  Being that they are set back from the street with a parking lot in front, the sign needed to be eye-catching to grab the attention of those travelling in that high traffic area.  The inspiration for this sign came from decorative picture frames.  Framing a sign is a way to make your info noticeable without it looking out of place.  The key is to make it reflect the business it represents.  In this case a gingerbread style frame fit the bill.

Frame and Fortune

When creating this dimensional sign we chose to work with High Density Urethane otherwise known as HDU.  The design was carved on the CNC router table then given a high gloss UV finish.  The Cake Box individual letters were pin mounted to a backer and we gave Sweet Indulgences portion of the sign the golden touch by finishing it in 23K gold leaf.

CNC Carved High Density Urethane - The Cake Box - The Sign Depot

CNC Carved High Density Urethane - The Cake Box - The Sign Depot

 Final Finishing Touches

As you can see, the sign was installed and the project shows very well from a distance.

Custom Business Signs - The Cake Box - The Sign Depot


Creating ways to catch the eye of those already walking through the plaza was also considered.   Using window frosting vinyl The Cake Box specialties were displayed and a bright banner brought attention to the corner window.

Custom Business Signs - The Cake Box - The Sign Depot


 Finding ways to think out of the box are normal occurrences here at The Sign Depot.  We hope they have encouraged you to get inside The Cake Box.

 If you’re looking for ways to change the look of your business signage, or if you’re planning an upcoming move to a new establishment, make sure to contact us and we’ll help create something creative for you.



Wayfinding Signs Point You In The Right Direction – The Rustic Loft

Helping St. Jacob’s Furnishings Find Their Way

When St. Jacob’s Furnishing wanted to find a way to lead their customers to their new Rustic Loft level, they came to Sign Depot for some direction. The wayfinding signage needed to be bold but fit in with the look and feel of The Rustic Loft area.  Creating a vintage theatrical look that would incorporate the purpose of the sign as well as making it a different component of the store required some innovation.  Choosing the right materials and colour scheme is what brought this sign to life.

The process started with metal arrow that was finished with our signature rusting technique.  This distressed look is becoming increasingly popular with our clients.

Wayfinding Signs - The Sign Depot

The next step was to add some pop to the project by creating arrow shaped layover to fit the metal box.  This was then painted red and than faded an quickly aged with through the rusting process.

Wayfinding arrow - The Sign Depot

To give the sign the look of a vintage lighted marquee,  bulbs equipped with LED lights (better on environment and hydro) were added to the arrow.

To incorporate the Rustic Lofts logo, the script was created with plexi and vinyl then a scratched-vinyl technique was used on the vinyl to give it the look of years gone by.

Vinyl sign technique - The Sign Depot

The script was mounted on to a stained wooden oval with epoxy to give the sign character and dimension

Wood Sign - The Sign Depot

All the sign components were then attached to the metal arrow which tied the whole project together.

Wayfinding Sign Lighting - The Sign Depot

Electrical Wayfinding Signs - The Sign Depot

Not only is this sign eye-catching it serves the purpose of a wayfinding sign as well.  

Wayfinding Custom Sign Tips

  • Choose an area that is visible to all
  • Pick clear, easy to read fonts for your sign
  • Find a way for it to stand out from the surroundings without looking out of place
  • Make it simple to interpret the sign’s purpose (IE washroom, exit, parking)
  • Check that your sign contains the correct info

This wayfinding custom sign is finding its way to St. Jacob’s Furnishings in time for The Rustic Loft Grand Opening today (June 21/12).  The event is in conjunction with company’s 25th anniversary.  More info about the event can be found here


High Density Urethane Letters – VeloCity Garage

HDU And What It Can Do

High Density Urethane, often referred to as HDU is a material that we use quite often when creating dimensional signs. It can be manipulated in many ways to create the look you want to achieve.  In the past we have made it look like wood, brick, stone and even fudge.  HDU is a versatile substrate that can be routered,  sanded and painted just like wood.  You can be equally creative with the finish on a High Density Urethane sign. That is what VeloCity Garage decided to do with their space in The Communitech Hub.   The idea was for a sleek look with a bit of an edge.  The way that was accomplished was by using two different finishes on the same project.

Step By Step

The HDU sign letters were cut out on the CNC router table.  Then after sanding and priming the letters, pins were attached with epoxy.  These would be used for installation.  Then they were ready for the paint finishes.

the GARAGE portion of the sign was given a rust finish while the VELOCITY part was painted to a high gloss look.

After the VeloCity Garage signs were installed, the two very different looks came together to capture the feel of this High Tech shared space inside a re-purposed Tannery.  Finding the right mix of old and new was the key to artstic look of this uniquely crafted sign project.  The result was a “best of both worlds” sign that tips the hat to the building’s historic past and fast forwards occupents to the bright future.

VeloCity Garage Sign - High Density Urethane - The Sign Depot

If you happen to be visiting VeloCity Garage we would love to hear what you think of the sign. Tweet a pic to @TheSignDepot with your thoughts or find us on Facebook to see more of our projects.


CNC Router Table Cutting For Dimension

Designing Dimesion

Have you ever looked at the logo on your business card and wondered what it would look like if it wasn’t flat?

By using a CNC router process we can give your logo/lettering the dimension it deserves.  Take a peek at our CNC router table in action

This  demo is just the base of the object.  After the HDU (High Density Urethane) otherwise know as outdoor use foam, has been cut and stacked it will then it will primed and painted to give it that extra punch to make it stand out!  Using a router table to CNC cut the HDU creates a custom carved sign that makes a impact. Dimensional signs that are created by CNC routering spark curiosity and often an grab the attention of prospective customers.  These 3D signs are a great way to get your business noticed and they often serve as a memorable landmark that literally stands out from your competitors.  You want your business to be easily recognized and CNC routered signs give you the opportunity create logo into a unique advertising opportunity.  The next time you are in a busy downtown area, take note of what grabbing your attention.  Is it because it is different from everything else around it? Is it dimensional? Would you like something like that for your business?  If the answer is yes to any or all of these questions, then perhaps you are ready to make the leap to a custom carved sign. If you foresee a CNC sign in your future, make sure to contact The Sign Depot and we can walk you through our dimensional sign making process and find what fits for your business.  You will be sure to carve out a niche with a High Density Urethane carved sign from our CNC router table.


How Going For The Gusto Can Become Deeply Distressed

Aging Something Brand New

This project reminded me of the technique to age paper items.  Something as simple as dabbing a damp tea bag on a paper surface can suddenly change that sheet of copy paper into a ancient scroll, a treasure map or an antique photo.

We’ve created that distressed look on many of our larger projects through a  specialty paint process.  By rusting some High Density Urethane (otherwise known as HDU or sign foam) letters we were able to create the distressed look the client wanted to achieve.

Rust Finished Letters by The Sign Depot

We created the custom look with an  “instant rust” look created with a Modern Masters  reactive paint that contains flecks of metal in the paint, and then activated the paint with the solution that creates the rust effect.  Within a few hours the project took on the look a reclaimed sign.

The letters were then attached to a hand painted backer, again created to match the look of aged sign.

Signs with an aged look The Sign Depot

Next LED lights were inserted behind the letters to create a halo effect around the restaurant name. This added extra dimension to the sign while making it a practical choice for the restaurant’s visibility.  LED lights are economical to run and have a long lifespan.  This makes them a great choice for any type of lit sign.

LED signs The Sign Depot

To finish it off the sign was attached to a custom made welded bracket that also went through the quick rusting process.  All that was left was the assembly and installation of the sign.

When the sign was fully assembled it found it’s final resting place at the Gusto101 restaurant, which can be found at 101 Portland St. Toronto Ont.

 Aged Rusted Sign The Sign Depot


We can hardly wait to see the how the Gusto101 sign looks once it’s lit up! If you’re passing by please take a pic & tweet it to us or upload it to our facebook page.


HDU Signs – Making A Daisy Blossom

Delighted to Decorate the Daisy

We reside in the Access Storage/Doon Twines building and were delighted when our friends from The Frugal Decorator told us that they were moving into the building as well.

The showpiece of their logo is a Daisy & they wanted to make it the standout item of their front entrance-way as well.  It was created using HDU otherwise known as High Density Urethane.  HDU is a sign substrate that is cut in layers on a CNC router table and pieced together to create a dimensional sign.  With the addition of LEDs the custom HDU sign will be visible from busy intersection in both daylight and night time hours.  This makes The Frugal Decorator sign noticeably predominant on that side of the building which will increase walk-in traffic, something that everyone wants.  Once people notice something new they often will stop by to see what you offer.

Now that they have a great logo adorning their front entrance it was time to add some final touches to their custom business sign.

The business name was made to match, vinyl graphics were added to the windows and the address post sign from the last location was re-purposed as a projection sign for this building.

Custom Business Sign - The Sign Depot

Stay tuned for pictures of it lit up after dark

 To see more examples of our Artistic Structural Signage make sure to pop in to 51 Borden Ave S. Kitchener or give us a call at 519-894-0890 or visit our gallery page and make sure to stop by the OPEN HOUSE at The Frugal Decorator happening Thursday July 28/11 at Noon!  50 Ottawa St. S Kitchener

Let us know what you would do with a brand new entrance-way to attract passers-by in the comment section.  We love hearing your input and knowing what you think looks great!


I Saw The Sign HDU Letters Contest – High Density Urethane


Did You See The Sign?

Heading into The Sign Depot workshop today I noticed a lot of of High Density Urethane  (HDU) sign letters had been routered on the CNC table.  It looked like quite a letter jumble to me, so I figured this would make a great contest for our online community. Get your thinking caps on! What do you think it says? Give a guess of what this HDU sign letters will end up spelling. 

HDU High Density Urethane - The Sign Depot

HDU Letter Jumble 

Now we don’t have anything spectacular like a new car or a dream cruise, BUT who wouldn’t want a SIGN DEPOT SANDBLASTED WOOD BLOCK????

Try and win one by figuring out our HDU Letter Jumble with white  sign letters in the pic above.  Send your answers to with CONTEST in the subject line (hints will be posted on our facebook page and twitter).

Let us know that you saw the sign and what your HDU letter jumble answer is! You could be the proud owner of of a custom cedar block. Be the envy of all of your friends! Boast about your letter jumble skills and be the master of the HDU letter contest!

Look at how happy our cedar block makes Dave! 

HDU High Density Urethane - The Sign Depot

 The winner will be notified Friday February 25, 2011 

Note the winner must be able to pick up their SIGN DEPOT BLOCK at 51 Borden Ave S. Kitchener Ontario.

We look forward to all the answers, but only one winner will be picked for this contest. 


Darren White of Makebright is the winner of our HDU letter jumble contest. He was able to decipher the answer as  THE PURPLE ROOM. To find more info on our High Density Urethane signs be sure to stop by our sign shop or contact us here at The Sign Dept to see how dimensional HDU sign letters will help you stand out from the competition.


Carved High Density Urethane Signs

Restaurant Signs For Charcoal Steakhouse

Manufacting custom business signs for the restaurant industry gives the expert sign makers at The Sign Depot the opportunity create artistic signs with several different sign materials and sign finishing techniques.  When it came time to create this outdoor lit sign we knew that a Carved High Desnsity Urethane (HDU) sign would be the best choice for this locale.  HDU is our material of choice when it comes to 3 dimensional signs.  It is a very versitile material which gives us lots of options for designing signs. After the HDU has been carved on our CNC router, it is then layered to add dimension and finished to add durablity and visibility.

High Density Urethane Sign - The Sign DepotThe three colour palette  of  matte black, matte white and 23kt gold leaf guilding was selected to keep the sign clear and easily noticed in this high traffic area.

Carved High Density Urethane Sign - Gold Leaf - The Sign DepotBy adding a lit sign option to this sign package The Charcoal Steakhouse’s roadside sign serves as a 24 hour advertisement for the restaurant. Custom Carved High Density Urethane Sign - The Sign Depot - Charcoal Steak House
 This carved high density urethane roadside side is complimentary to The Charcoal Steakhouse’s surroundings while bringing extra attention to their well know establishment. The look is warm and inviting.  This HDU sign will grab the attention of passers-by and encourage new customers to come and dine at the restaurant. 

From Restaurants To Retail

When it comes to Carved High Density Urethane signs, be sure to contact the sign professionals at The Sign Depot.  They can offer signs solutions for everything from Restaurant To Retail signs. To see more examples of our custom business sign solutions, take a look at our portfolio page on The Sign Depot website. Be sure to let us know what caught your eye! Leave us a comment, send us a tweet or post on our facebook page.  We always look forward to hearing your comments.