The Sign Depot

class="tag"Posts Tagged ‘Centre for International Governance Innovation’


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.



Green Economy and The Sign Depot Workspace


How Do You Define Green Economy?

That was the question that Sustainable Waterloo Region asked via twitter

CIGI - The Sign Depot

best practices for both your company & your surroundings #GreenEconomy

As you can see my answer my answer earned me a spot at their forum.

The forum was held at CIGI.  As many of you know The Centre For International Governance Innovation is a prestigious “Think Tank” located here in Waterloo Region.  The Sign Depot has worked with CIGI on several signage projects over the years, and I was looking forward to see their completed building.  Being invited by Sustainable Waterloo Region made me think more in depth about how The Sign Depot functions and what green initiatives we have in place.

Keeping It green

When Sustainable Waterloo Region’s Mike Morrice spoke about how many local business, including Quarry Integrated Communications set goals as a company and were able to get others companies such as Mercedes Corporation (another company we work closely with) on board,I began to jot down ideas about how Sign Depot as a company is working to be earth-friendly.

CIGI - The Sign Depot

Location is everything

First off we are located in a re-purposed building.  Our building situated at Charles St. and Borden Ave. in Kitchener was originally home to the Doon Twines Rope Company.   The initial move it took some adjusting to the building and its quirks, but we feel the brick and morter showroom fits in quite nicely with the look of our sandblasted wood signs.

Custom Wood Signs - The Sign Depot

Making It last a lifetime

Our sandblasted custom signs are made from western red cedar, known for its rot resistance.  Signs made from cedar require little maintenance other than the occasional fresh coat of paint every 7-10 years.  The longevity of wood signs make it a great choice for those who try to keep items out of the landfill.

Let there be light

In recent years there has been a real change in the way signs are lit.  In our more recent projects, Beertown and The Rustic Lofts LED lights were featured as a replacement for marquee sign bulbs.  This is not the only use for LEDs when it comes to sign lighting.  We have used them in several projects.  The Frugal Decorator and The Purple Room are a couple examples of how halo lighting can be achieved through the use of LEDs

LED signs - The Sign Depot

Keep in house, hospitable

Inside our work-space there are many things we strive to achieve while still keeping this business sign company on track.  It wasn’t until the temperature hit 32 degrees Celsius that our air conditioning was turned on.  Utilities are often not thought of when talking about Green Economy issues, as was brought up at the forum.  Finding ways to create your products while still thinking of the environment are often brought up in staff discussions.

Some other ways we have chose to green up the company are

  • reuse of our sandblast grit
  • recycling of substrates deemed no longer useable
  • shredding paper to use as packing supplies
  • using materials for other projects altogetherre-purposed sign materials - The Sign Depot

Craig Haney asked the attendees to “Think about your circle of influence” and use it to bring environmental issues to the forefront.  I hope this post has done that.

Now I am turning the question towards you, the reader of this post.  What green initiatives have you implemented as an individual and/or as a business?