The Sign Depot

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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.


Celebrating 25 Years of Cottage Signs With New Digital Strategies

25 Years Creating Custom Wood Signs

This year marks the 25th anniversary of The Sign Depot.  Through the years we have made quality signage and customer service a priority which makes us valuable partner to our clients.  We provide them with signage that best fits their brand and assists with making them recognizable in their industry.  Of all the different materials we use to fabricate signs, the most popular has been our western red cedar signs.  They are a popular choice for exterior signs for our business clients and as cottage signs for our residential customers. They can be spotted across Canada and into the United States.

Innovative Signs and Strategies

With over two decades of sign making experience we have always been on top of sign trends and choose modern day methods to market them.

It began in 2009 when we incorporated a digital strategy to engage current and potential clients through our social media channels on twitter and facebook. That sparked a fresh website and blog.  As new networks came online we found pinterest to be a valuable tool to display our work and company culture. Whether it’s signs or strategies we are always looking to innovate in our industry that is how we connected with Digital Main Street.

The Sign Depot Meets Digital Main Street

Earlier this year we attended a Digital Main Street info presentation at the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre.  There we spoke with Sara Bingham the Entrepreneurship and Technology Advisor for the centre.  We discussed how we could bring our cottage signs to the masses through E-commerce.  Sara understood what we needed and set it all up.  She brought in Digital Main Street representatives to assist with this project. Mansi was the rep. that customized a Shopify E-commerce site for us

Cottage Signs Shopify - The Sign Depot

and Felipe created a Google 360 of our showroom.

Google 360 Sign Depot

Sara, Mansi and Felipe were fantastic to work with and they really listened to our needs for this project.  Working with the Digital Main Street team was fun and inspiring.  It made us see how can bring our custom wood signs into a modern marketplace and change the way we do business. We believe that our new COTTAGE SIGN site will streamline the process of ordering a custom cottage sign. See how easy it is by following the steps below.

Simple Steps For Cottage Signs

All it takes are a few simple steps to order a personalized cottage sign.

  1. Visit
  2. Pick from one of the choices available at
  3. Enter the text you would like on the sign
  4. Complete payment process
  5. Look forward to receiving your cottage sign

We think this new way of ordering will make it us a ONE STOP SOLUTION FOR COTTAGE SIGNS!



Flexing Our Custom Sign Design Muscle At Fluxible

Fluxible - Custom Sign Design - The Sign Depot

Fluxible 2017

We are thrilled to announce our involvement with this year’s Fluxible conference happening in Kitchener-Waterloo Ontario, Canada. Fluxible is Canada’s UX Festival and it brings those interested in the user experience fields together for a week long celebration.  This year we noticed the theme of tech and design intersecting and we knew we needed to be there. In fact you can find us there in a few different ways. You can find us in person, on stage and through out the festival. All of these factors will contribute to our custom sign design theme we are creating with Fluxible this year.

The Sign Depot Enters Fluxible

Earlier this month we were announced as a sponsor for Fluxible via their twitter account.


As the custom sign sponsor sponsor for this year’s event we will be creating a stage item as well as wayfinding signs throughout the event spaces. We are collaborating with Fluxible by using their designs and logo to create signs that are highly visible for the conference.

Not only will be represented at Fluxible through sponsorship, our own Owner/President, Peter Moir will be the presenter at the BROWN BAG LUNCH that is happening at Noon on Wednesday September 20, 2017.

This brown bag lunch features Peter Moir of The Sign Depot, a local fabricator of high-end signage whose work can be found across North America. Peter will talk about how sign design impacts our experience of public spaces. 

Looking to learn a little more about Peter before the event? Read up on his latest adventure at THE SIGN DEPOT – @ THE TOP OF CANADA and see what was happening in this pic.

Peter Moir - The Sign Depot - Top of Canada

To get all the info on Fluxible: Canada’s UX Festival visit the links below




and the link to Peter’s talk is can be found at

We’re looking forward to seeing how everyone will be flexing their design muscles at Fluxible. Be sure to connect with us while you are there! We always want to be part of a “connected” community.



Adding Chalkboard Vinyl To Custom Signs And Other Custom Interior Items

Heading Back To School

With feeling of fall in the air and the children heading back to school to work on their ABC’s, we thought we would take this opportunity to give you a few lessons on adding chalkboard to your custom interior signs and other items.

Chalkboard Signs

Here at The Sign Depot we are quite familiar with chalkboard paint and how it can be used for custom sign applications.  Using chalkboard paint to create an artistic sign in can be very labour intensive. There are many quick at home do it yourself chalkboard paint tutorials, but is a lot of sanding, priming and painting required in order to give a custom interior sign a professional look.

Custom Signs - Chalkboard - The Sign Depot

If you don’t require an actual board we have second option to help customize your signs and other custom interior items.  We have added Chalkboard Vinyl to our lineup of vinyl products. Chalkboard vinyl is quick way to add an artistic element to your custom signs decor items.  It is especially handy for those that are constantly changing their specials on for their business.  It gives you the flexibility to change menu items, add some quick messaging and add daily deals without creating a new sign each day.

It would be great for signs in

Unique Ways To Use Chalkboard Vinyl

Looking for other unique uses for Chalkboard Vinyl? We created a Pinterest Board to give you some inspiration! The board shows many projects created with chalkboard paint, but we think they would look just as great if chalkboard vinyl was used for these items. Head over to Uses For Chalkboard Vinyl Pinterest Board and see what inspires you!

Custom Signs With Chalkboard Vinyl - The Sign Depot

How To Get A Chalkboard Vinyl Sign Designed?

Wondering how to get a custom Chalkboard Vinyl sign designed? Contact our Ben our Vinyl Master by emailing  and he will be able to prepare your custom quote and let you know all the options you have when it comes to temporary custom signs created with vinyl!


3 Dimensional Signs and Sculptural Structures

We Had A Barrel Of Fun Creating This 3 Dimensional Sign Structure

Here at The Sign Depot we are always looking for ways to add creativity to signs.  3 dimesional signs are a great way to customize and transform a sign into a creative sign structure.  When we were approached by Souvenir City to create a custom photo booth we went all out to make sure that the sign not only served the purpose as a photo opp spot, but also to build an eye-catching scuplture.   As you can see in the pics below we had a barrel of fun with this custom sign.

From Design To 3 Dimensional Sign

This sign project began with an in-house designed metal structure with attached High Density Urethane (sign foam) pieces carved to create a Niagara Falls scene for the photo booth.

3 Dimensional Sign Structure - The Sign Depot

The sign foam was pieced together to look like a barrel headed over Niagara Falls. After assembly, the sign structure was coated with epoxy to harden it and make it durable.

3 Dimensional Sign Structure - The Sign Depot

 Next it was time to give the 3 dimensional sign structure a custom paint finish.  It started with dark base colours to give the the custom structure depth.

3 Dimensional Sign Structure - The Sign Depot

 After the base colours were dry, lighter colours were applied to add highlights and add to the dimensional look.

3 Dimensional Sign Structure - The Sign Depot

 A final coat was added to the barrel to instantly age the sculpture. The rust finish technique was exactly what the barrel needed to make it feel vintage.

3 Dimensional Sign Structure - The Sign Depot

When CTV News Channel contributor Neil Hedley and his wife Tatiana stopped by, we decided to give the photo booth a test run.  The look on their faces is priceless!

3 Dimensional Sign Structure - The Sign Depot

The next steps included fabricating the top portion of the photo booth and manufacturing a Niagara Falls sign that would be affixed to the top of the sign structure.

3 Dimensional Sign Structure - The Sign Depot

Custom Sign - The Sign Depot

The sign structure travelled to Niagara Falls where our expert sign makers installed the photo booth and added the Niagara Falls Canada sign.

3 Dimensional Sign Sculpture - The Sign Depot

If you happen to stop at Souvenir City Headquarters make sure to tweet us a pic of you in their new photo booth!

To see the project evolve in more detail take a look at the gallery below.  As you can see this sign project really “stands out”. If you are interested in having your business stand out, make sure to visit our CONTACT US page let us know about your future signage plans.  We’ll be sure to get your project quoted asap and perhaps our next post will be about YOU!



What To Wear – Wood Fashion

Trends in wood fashion and sign design

For many years wood has been a staple in the construction, furniture and landscaping industries.  It’s multi-purpose and durable.  It displays well in a natural finish, stained or painted, and blends well in a variety of surroundings.

Wood Signs, Lawn Signs, Business Signs

Lately the design industry has taken a look at how to incorporate wood, and that has transcended (or should I say TRENDscended) to the fashion industry.  Now wood is becoming trendy in the high fashion circles.  Wood fashion  finds  are now making their way into today’s hottest looks.  Wood fashion items tend to be fun and functional.  The question is would you wear wood?


Where would you wear wood?

The thought of wood accessories is not new to jewelery industry.  Bangles, earrings and wood beaded necklaces are very popular and match nicely with the latest styles.  Finding new ways to accessorize with wood is the latest craze!

Suddenly wood is cool to carry.  Take your wooden purse, sunglasses and iPhone case with you wherever you roam to give yourself an edgy look.

Wood Purse

Wood Sunglasses

Dear Photograph, Wood iPhone Case

Wood will continue to show up in the latest style trends and the design world is watching.

What’s Next For Wood?

Fashion designers are not the only ones looking for ways to incorporate wood.  Interior designers are adding wood in ways that go well beyond furniture.  The images below are just a few of the ways wood has added style and dimension to create interest and unique qualities to design projects.

wood wall feature

Wood Display

Wood Sign

Looking for ways to stay on trend? Contact us here at Sign Depot and we can create a wonderful wooden sign project that will make a style statement.  Find your favorite finish.  Create with contour cuts.  Choose to chisel.  Stand out with stains. These are ways that wood would make you unique to those around you.

What do you think of wood as an element of style?


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.



And we’re PLANKING

Creating Walls With Wood Planks

When a designer has a vision, it is our mission to make that vision a reality.  Taking everyday materials and changing them to create interest is something that we do almost daily.  In most cases, once the right materials are found to fit the design concept, then the  construction can begin.  In this case, it was more about fitting the material into the construction.  The design was to create a wood plank wall in our Kitchener workshop for a Toronto restaurant.  Finding a way to construct a wall that could be transported and installed to match the design specifications required, was the challenge with this project.

Even big sign projects start small

Instead of beginning with a wall of lumber, the project was built in several small sections.  Each 24″x 24″ tile was made from cut cedar planks. When it was laid out on our workshop it resembled parkay flooring.

Against The Grain - Wood Wall Sign - The Sign Depot

After seeing how the individual sections would fit together, the project was disassembled so that each cedar piece could be finished with a spray stain process.  Once all the pieces were stained the cedar sections were stacked and transported to Toronto.

How we went against the grain

 Each 24″x24″ cedar tile was attached to match the pattern that was laid out in the workshop.  Adding dimension to the wall was a way to give it character.

 It also was to be a reflection of the establishment’s name,  Against The Grain Urban Tavern.cedar wall - against the grain - The Sign Depot

When the cedar wall installation was finished it transformed the back drop of the restaurant and ended up reaching 21 feet across the wall.

Custom Interior Signs - The Sign Depot

When a sign is not a sign, it can still be a sign of something else

While there is an absence of graphics and text on this sign project, to us it is still a cedar sign.  The lack of words on this sign still represents the business name in an understated way.


Who You Know and What You Know Can Create A Business Sign of Delicious Proportions

Referrals and Recommendations

Earlier this year we had to opportunity to work on a project for Stephanie Page.  It wasn’t business related, but when she needed a hand we were happy to lend one.  We were pleasantly surprised when we received follow up emails letting us know that she recommended our work to her employer PINTY’S DELICIOUS FOODS.  Pinty’s was in the midst of a business re-brand and needed someone to step in and take their designed logo one step further and create large exterior sign for the business.

Today we are proud to present Pinty’s newly installed building sign on the exterior of their building.

Pinty's - Business Sign - The Sign Depot

The Pinty’s outdoor business sign was designed to be very visible during the day and included a lit up feature for the building after the sun goes down.  We are grateful for this opportunity to create a long standing business relationship with Pinty’s and thankful that Stephanie brought The Sign Depot to their attention.

We welcome your referrals as well.  A great referral for us would be someone who is

    • Starting out in a new business
    • Rebranding a current business
    • Moving locations
    • Updating a building’s interior or exterior
    • Has an existing logo that needs to be constructed
    • Needs a logo to represent themselves or a business

They say it’s not what you know, but it’s who you know.  Here at The Sign Depot we say it’s a bit of both!  Want to get to know us better? We can connect with you and your business in several ways.  Just send an email to we can create a custom quote to meet your budget and exceed your expectations. We ship across Canada too! See why we we are Canada’s Award Winning Sign Company and lets chat about how we can help you with your upcoming sign needs.

The Sign Depot’s Community Involvement – The Fans Have Spoken

The Sign Depot’s Community Involvement – The Fans Have Spoken

 Opening the Door

Last week the question was asked our SIGN DEPOT BLOG VIEWERS what they would like to see covered on the blog.  We receive answers on both the Facebook Fan page as well as on Twitter.

The answer with the most votes was OPEN HOUSE INFO.

We are holding our next Open House on Friday Sept 9th from 6:30-9:30pm in conjuction with the

140 Characters Conference Meetup

The 140 Chartacters Conference is coming to Canada for the first time and the event is being held at The Tannery.  We’re very familiar with that building in regards to reception signage, window graphics and wayfinding signs.

To celebrate the arrival of the 140 Conference in Canada, there are meetups being held all over Ontario this summer.  The final meetup will be held here 51 Borden Ave S. Kitchener Ontario.  Once again we are partnering with Little Mushroom Catering and I’m sure a few other friends will be involved along the way.

If you are interested in meeting lots of people from different parts of the province, please plan to drop by!  Make sure you RSVP at this link so we can ensure there are enough munchies for everyone!

If you’re interested in learning more about the 140 Characters Conference make sure to watch the video below

You can see more vids about it in the playlist found here

You can also learn more by following #140confONT hashtag or becoming a fan of their page on Facebook.

You can learn more about The Sign Depot’s community involvement by visiting out Sign Blog and searching community.  You will quickly see how involved we are in our community.  We pride ourselves on being helpful to both the business and not for profit community.

As for our part in the 140 Characters Conference we will be providing wayfinding signage for the Conference and a great meetup leading up to the Conference.  We hope you’ll join on here on Sept 9th


welcome sign - The Sign Depot