The Sign Depot

class="tag"Posts Tagged ‘Wood Signs’


Custom Wood Cottage Signs And Making Memories

Signs Of Summer

We are finally getting some signs of summer.  With the snow behind us, thoughts of summer fun are popping up. We asked our twitter followers “When you hear COTTAGE what words do you think of” These are some of the words that @DavidArtHills @Spike_CS @JuliaRosien @YVRBlogger and @JRWaddell came up with.

cottage word cloud - The Sign Depot

We love all the different ways a cottage can be thought of.  The saying may be Home Is Where The Heart Is, but we think it applies to a cottage as well.  Whether you call it a cabin, a lake house, a vaction property or a cottage it is a representation of your getaway from the everyday.  It provides a break from the hustle and bustle and gives you place to reflect on what is important to you.  We make personalized custom wood cottage signs to represent this.

Whether you think of your cottage as place to welcome guests

custom cottage signs - The Sign Depot

A place to chill out

custom cottage signs - The Sign Depot

Or your place where your family gathers

Personalized Wood Cottage Signs - The Sign Depot

we have something that will fit your style.

All it takes is your cottage memories.  Our expert sign makers here at The Sign Depot can create cottage signs with the text, graphics, colours and font of your choice.  Once you find the size and shape that fits your budget they get to work cutting, carving, sanding, painting and personalzing your custom wood cottage sign.

Leave A Legacy

Our wood cottage signs are custom crafted from western red cedar.  Western red cedar is rot-resistant which makes it the best choice for outdoor signs.  The longevity of cedar cottage cottage sign makes it a perfect accompaniment for a family cottage as it passes down from generation to generation.

For more examples of our custom cottage signs visit our Residential Portfolio Page. Want to get head start before cottage season starts? Visit our Contact Us page to get a quote on your very own custom cottage sign!


Custom Wood Sign Trends – Why Barn Board Is Hot In Artistic Sign Design

How Do Trends Start?

Award Winning Custom Business Sign - The Sign Depot

By definition a TREND is a general direction in which something is developing or changing.  If that is the case then we are trendsetters here at The Sign Depot.  We strive to always be unique and innovative when it comes to creating our custom signs.  We approach each project individually and look for ways to help our clients get noticed.  We have been recognized for the uniqueness of our custom barn board signs by winning Runner Up for Best Business Sign for the Spirithouse sign we created, but the real trend began when barn board started popping up in Kitchener Waterloo. When clients come in with sign concept in mind we work hard to create the vision they have in mind.  This was the case with the Death Valley’s Little Brother sign.

Custom Wood - Reclaimed Barn Board - The Sign Depot

Bringing Back Barn Board

When Death Valley’s Little Brother needed a rustic looking wood sign that would catch the eye of passers-by we knew this would be an out of the ordinary custom business sign.

Barn board was used as a backer for the rusted finish individual cut out letters.  In order to give a lot of contrast between the wood and the letters the reclaimed barn board with given an distressed finish and the letters were pin mounted to add dimension to the sign.

And They Tell Two Friends

Once the Death Valley’s Little Brother sign was installed in Waterloo, we started receiving inquiries about rustic look wood signs.  The Truth Beauty Compay. contacted us regarding their upcoming move and wanted to have a vintage-look wood sign created for their new location.  You can read more about their sign creation over on our post Custom Vintage Look Wood Signs.

Custom Wood Sign - The Sign Depot

Another inquiry came from Cheeses Murphy.  Cheeses Murphy is a late night grilled cheese eatery that was about to open a second location in Downtown Kitchener.  They had noticed the custom wood signs that their Uptown Waterloo neighbours had and came to us to create a barn board sign for their new establishment.  Take a look at our Reclaimed Barn Board post to learn about the process to make their sign.

Custom Barn Board Sign - Cheese Murphy - The Sign Depot

Photo Courtesy of Cheeses Murphy

We’re Trending

Because of the many retro-look signs we have created over the past few years we are getting a lot of calls about signs made from reclaimed materials and even for new signs that have a distressed look.

It is a design trend that we love.  Using a variety of materials and fabrication methods is something we specialize in. Finding ways to create dimension through artistic signage is what makes us unique in the sign industry. What makes you a trendsetter in the marketplace? Leave a comment with your answer! We want to know what makes you stand out!


What is a Custom Sandblasted Sign and How are they Made?

What goes into making a Custom Sandblasted Sign?

We often have people popping in our workshop to inquire about the different types of signs we make.  We always want to give our clients a lot of choice and let them know all the signage products that are available to them.  Choosing the material that suits their style and their budget is what the sign experts here at Sign Depot pride themselves in.  A great technique is sandblasting.  Sandblasting allows for full customization of the sign.  This means that you have a lot of options when it comes to creating the sign best suited for you.


We have sandblasted several materials including stone, mdf and wood.  When it comes to wood we prefer to use western red cedar because of it being rot resistant.  Cedar signs have a long life and with a little bit of care your custom sign will always look spectacular.


Here are some items that our designers will want to know when preparing your sign design

  • Size
  • Shape
  • Colours
  • Graphics
  • Text

If you come in with some of these points ready, the sign designers can have some choices for you to pick from.  Once the design is ready you’ll be sent an image for approval.  After approval production can begin.


There are few steps in the pre-production of a sandblasted sign. Once the stone has been selected or the wood has been cut to the desired shape, the rubber stencil made to match your choice of material.  The stencil is cut out on the plotter and then applied to the surface of the selected sign material.


Once the sign is prepped for manufacturing the sandblasting can begin.  Sandblasting is a process when abrasive grit is pumped through a hose by forced air to carve the design and text into the sign’s surface.  The design is created through the cutout parts of the rubber stencil.  Those parts are sunk into the wood while the spots that are fully covered by the rubber stay protected resulting in a raised surface.  This Sign Depot block is a great example of the sandblasting technique.

Sandblasted Sign - The Sign Depot

The blue areas are the spots where the cedar was protected by the rubber stencil, and then natural wood showing through shows where the stencil was cut out allowing the sandblasting to cut away at the wood.


After the sign has been sandblasted it will be sanded to a smooth surface for the proper finish to adhere to.  Finishes come in choices of stains, paints and vinyls.  The finishing is very important as it is the final step before your sign leaves the shop.  Finding a finish best suits the conditions where your sign will be placed is very important.  Whether your sign will be indoor or outdoor, if it will be in direct sunlight or a sheltered area are things to consider when choosing the finish for your custom sandblasted sign.

That is how a sandblasted sign created here at Sign Depot.  To see more examples check out our photo galleries on our main website and our facebook page.  Have additional questions about sandblasting? Tweet them to us, or leave a comment below.



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?


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?


Wholesale Wood Signs At Imagemakers 2009

The Sign Depot - Members Of Consac - Imagemakers - Sign Association Of Canada

Wholesale Wood Signs For The Sign Industry

Last week we were displaying are Carved Wooden Signs at the Consac Imagemakers Show. This is a well known Canadian Sign industry trade show hosted by The Sign Association Of Canada (of which we are members). Being an award winning Canadian sign company we do our best to show our wholesale wood sign offerings to others in the sign industry.  Many would see others in their industry as competitors, but we see them as potential clients.  Most sign shops are constantly looking for new ways to add revenue streams to their business.  By offering custom wood signs to their clients they are able to do just that. 

Add Revenue With Custom Wood Signs

When we talk about wholesale wood signs, many think that they come in a standard size and finish.  This is not the case. Cedar signs are easily customized to suit each business.  We give sign companies lots of choice when it comes to size, shape, text and graphics. Additionally there are options when it comes to the final sign project.  It can arrive as an unfinished piece or a fully painted sign complete with outdoor finish and optional gold leaf guilding. All of these options are available in both single sided and double sided sandblasted signs. We can provide lots of options designed to fit your budget.  

How To Get An Estimate On A Wholesale Wood Sign

Once you have design and budget set follow these simple steps and we able to provide you with your wholesale sign estimate

  1. Change all fonts to curves or line art
  2. Send us vector file formats – .ai – .eps – .dxf – .cdl or .cdr
  3.  Confirm overall dimensions
  4.  Let us know if the wholesale sign is to be Single sided or double sided
  5.  We will need to know if the sign is to be Finished or unfinished

By providing us with the information listed above, the wholesale sign experts here at The Sign Depot will be able to estimate the cost of creating your cedar sign and will contact you regarding your wholesale quote.