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For this first look back at our 70 years in business, we will be featuring one of the most important aspects of our process; the installation of custom signage displays and the various vehicles, tools and teams that have helped establish our reputation as a leader in the Western Canadian Sign Industry.
The Early Years (1946 – 51)
For the first years of our existence as a division of Blanchett Decorators, all signage installations took a back seat to the decorating work, and the mounting of custom neon signs during this period took place mainly during evenings and weekends when the main business was closed, and vehicles available.
Learn more about our history.
Our First Location at 11448 Jasper Ave.
Following incorporation as individual entities in 1947, business grew quickly and the purchase of a boom truck greatly expanded our sign installation capabilities, and in turn the manufacturing side as well.
Circa Early 1950’s
We’ve come a long ways from balancing half on a scaffold and half on a ladder while installing signage; our current safety program has not only achieved COR status, but is recognized as among the best in the industry.
For more on our commitment to safe work practices.
Circa Early 1950’s
Second Location (1952-69)
Following our early success and growth the former facility became quickly insufficient in size and capabilities, and both Blanchett Decorators and Blanchett Neon moved in 1952 to a larger facility downtown at 10224-109th Street.
Our Second Location at 10224-109th Street
The next few years saw continued business growth, as well as the emergence of a formal “Service” department. This new division required vehicles smaller than traditional installation trucks to fit in a wider variety of sites across Northern Alberta, and multiple service vans joined our growing fleet.
More on Service & Maintenance.
As we went smaller with our install vans, by the mid-to-late 50’s we also went larger with our boom trucks. The very latest technology at the time featured hand-cranks to raise and lower signage, and this sign installation vehicle was actually still in use for another company in the mid-90’s!
Circa Mid 1950’s
As we entered the 1960’s and 70’s, neon remained the illumination method of choice, and talented crews with signage installation vehicles traveled across Western Canada as our market continued to grow. The below signage display for Avis Rent a Car was installed in Yellowknife, NWT in the late 1950’s.
Multiple vehicles meant larger-scale installations, and some of the largest displays in Edmonton and area at that time were installed by Blanchett!
Third Location (12850 St Albert Trail)
Once again we had outgrown the capacity of our facilities, and a final move was made to our current plant at 12850 St Albert Trail in 1969.
Freestanding Pylon Signs have always been one of our specialties, and the new, larger manufacturing plant helped expand our production output, with a shift to a greater number of larger displays completed on a more regular basis.
Today, our crews still travel across Western Canada installing signage displays for a wide variety of clients. In mid-2017 our newest service van will be joining a current fleet of 3 boom trucks and 3 service vans to continue our proud tradition of safe, efficient signage installations.
We want to hear from you! Questions or comments about our Signage Installation Services? Contact us today:
Since 1947, our art department has featured some of the best graphic designers in the industry, and nothing is better than seeing their talent recognized and appreciated by others in the sign industry!
Most recently, this recognition includes the 2017 Alberta Sign Association Sign Design competition, and we are proud to announce that two displays we completed in 2016/17 were deemed most impressive in their respective categories, and one other received an honourable mention. Big congratulations to our design team!
Here are our latest award winning sign displays:
Empire Building – Winner (Illuminated Building Signage)
Kipling Realty was looking for a partner company to design, build and install two (2) signage displays that offered the greatest exposure within a specific budget for their high-profile downtown Edmonton location, and we were proud to have been chosen for our design of two reverse channel displays.
For the purpose of this design competition, we submitted the lower display; a 24″ tall set of Reverse Channel Letters mounted to a beam above the front entrance with an over-sized backer behind each letter to achieve the “halo” effect.
As a testament to our designer, Jeff Billey’s skill, take a look at the below design concept provided to the client, and note how similar it looks to the final award winning sign. Our goal is to provide renderings of every proposed display as accurately as possible to help clients realize our vision for their signage, and in this case, the drawing couldn’t have been much closer to the final result!
SK Business Centre – Winner (Non-Illuminated Signage)
As happy as we are to be recognized for this non-illuminated sign design, it is the project as a whole we are most proud of.
Starting with developing a new logo for the client, this complete signage program also included an exterior directory, individual channel letters and a freestanding pylon sign complete with an electronic message centre.
More on our comprehensive signage services.
Bee Bell Bakery – Honourable Mention (Historical Signage)
Refurbished in-house and installed at the Edmonton Downtown Neon Museum, this sign restoration project was a true labour of love. From re-painting the damaged cabinet to repairing and replacing the neon tubing, our team brought the classic display back to perfect condition to be enjoyed once again by visitors to the Neon Museum.
Read more about the restoration process of the Bee Bell Bakery retro sign.
Other Design Entries
Although these designs did not receive top honours at the 2017 ASA Design Competition, they are still winners to us! Here are a few other displays completed in 2016/17 that we entered in the competition:
City of Edmonton Signage (Illuminated Building Signage)
As the first completed tower in the new downtown Ice District, two (2) sets of RGB illuminated channel letters were manufactured and installed by our talented team for the Edmonton Tower. This was one of the most complex and largest projects that we completed over the past year.
Read more on Edmonton Skyline Signage.
Lynnwood Centre (Illuminated Freestanding Signage)
With custom cladding complimenting the renovated building facade, these two (2) illuminated pylon signs offer attention-grabbing exposure to the tenants of the centre.
Learn more about Pylon Signs.
Harvest Pointe (Illuminated Freestanding Signage)
As the fifth freestanding pylon sign we’ve completed for Harvest Pointe in South-East Edmonton, this double-sided pylon features decorative side and roof cladding along with individual channel letters with perforated film that results in the letters appearing black during the day and illuminate bright white at night.
BNL Retro Sign (Historical Signage)
Stay tuned for more details to come on this exciting new project!
We want to hear from you! Have questions or comments about our award winning sign designs? Use the form below to Contact Us:
Looking for a change in pace? We are looking for an electrical wiring technician to join our award-winning production team starting immediately.
Electrical Wiring / Signage Assembly
At Blanchett Neon, we are committed to providing custom signage displays of the highest quality to our clients, and our production team is essential to every successful project. A family owned and operated business, we are looking for an electrical wiring / assembly professional to join our industry-leading team in a full-time position beginning immediately.
Our wiring / assembly department is one of the final steps in the signage manufacturing process, and applicants will be responsible for working in a team environment to complete the wiring and final assembly of electrical components into our signage displays.
Duties & Responsibilities:
- Wiring signage displays with LED or fluorescent illumination.
- Testing and troubleshooting
- Ability to interpret blueprints to a high degree of accuracy
- Strong verbal and written communication skills.
- The ability to interact cooperatively and collaboratively with others as a team.
- Can work in a physical environment including bending, standing, sitting, all of which vary in duration.
- Capable of working in a safety-first environment, and working to uphold Blanchett Neon’s COR safety status.
- Experience in electrical wiring (preferably in a sign shop) required.
- Valid Driver’s License and vehicle.
Competitive wages and benefits available. For more information, please send an email with your resume to email@example.com
Blanchett Neon is excited to announce Jim Kosh will be joining our team beginning January 9, 2017 as Sales Manager. As we enter our 70th year in business, we can think of no better time to bring on board an experienced industry professional to help us kick off our next 70 years.
With over 30 years of sales and project management experience, Jim will work closely with our Sales team to build upon established relationships and partnerships to provide an industry leading, complete buying experience for our current customers, and continue our tradition of comprehensive project management services for businesses that may not know us yet.
Additionally, Jim’s role will include assistance in coordinating large-scale projects, streamlining production requirements and generally improving the purchasing experience.
Join us in welcoming Jim to the Blanchett family, and stay tuned to this blog and social media for more news and events as we celebrate 70 years of serving Western Canada’s business signage needs.
Since 1947 we have been proud to complete many Edmonton Sign Installations that have become landmarks throughout the City. From custom neon to freestanding pylons, how many of these displays do you recognize?
As one of the largest signage projects we have ever completed, the two monster 20′ x 47’-2″ custom oval-shaped logos were manufactured and installed by Blanchett Neon on the Northlands Coliseum here in Edmonton back in 2002. Although these displays were removed in 2016, with the opening of Rogers Place, they will not be quickly forgotten!
Read more about the Rexall Place signage project.
Located at the busy West-Edmonton intersection of Stony Plain Road and 170th Street, the Mayfield Common Rotating pylon sign featuring extensive custom neon illumination. In addition to the rotating entrance display, we also completed directory wayfinding and multi-tenant pylon signage at the centre.
More on Signage Solutions.
For those travelling North on the QEII into Edmonton, the Gateway Park entrance display is one of the first welcomes to the Edmonton region! Featuring unique elements of the Edmonton (and area) skyline, this Edmonton sign installation is constructed of layered metal illuminated with flood lighting for a halo-effect.
This classic Edmonton Sign Installation is a great throwback to our days of neon! The custom building treatment and individual letters feature hand-blown neon tubing details for a captivating look fitting for the West-Edmonton Casino.
South Edmonton Common
Just a ways past the Gateway Park display along Gateway Boulevard is South Edmonton Common, and these 40′ high freestanding pylon displays. We have continued to work extensively with South Edmonton Common and Cameron Developments over the last 10+ years, manufacturing numerous pylon, wayfinding and tenant building signage displays.
For more Sign Installations that we have completed in Edmonton and across Western Canada, check out our portfolio.
- Should a signage bylaw control the content shown on a specific display?
- Should a preference be given to local business over 3rd party billboard advertising agencies?
- If a digital display is located close to your business, will that effect your ability to have a similar electronic display?
After growing interest from local business and the Signage Industry, the City of St. Albert is planning on updating their land-use bylaw to formally allow digital displays (among other changes) within City Limits, with a public consultation taking place Monday, August 22nd from 2:00-9:00pm.
A previous hearing was held January 2016, and that feedback went into the proposed bylaw that is now expected to go before city council Q3 2016.
Local Business Impact
The updates to this signage bylaw will greatly effect new and existing local businesses, specifically along major routes in and out of the City. With these changes in mind, we are highly encouraging local business owners to educate themselves by viewing the updated bylaw, and attending the hearing to have your voices heard to administration and decision makers within the City of St Albert.
We will be at the hearing to answer any questions regarding specific signage or Electronic Message Centre terminology, as well as to support local business in the right for visible, effective and appropriate signage.
LED display we supplied to the City of Fort Saskatchewan
Digital displays, also known as electronic message centres (EMC’s) or LED signs, are a great tool for businesses of all sizes to advertise services and remain top of mind to clients through a cost-effective advertising medium.
Studies have proven time and time again that these displays are not a distraction to traffic (eliminating safety concerns), as well as that digital boards have the ability to increase sales immediately by up to 150%.
As one of the top re-sellers of digital signage in Western Canada, we have seen the impact that our clients (many of whom are independent, local businesses), have had in terms of success found through using the technology, and are proponents of encouraging every municipality to pass appropriate, effective digital signage legislation.
- We have provided our professional expertise to various municipalities throughout Alberta (including the City of Edmonton), to draft LED sign bylaws.
Make your voice heard August 22, and we hope you will join us.
For more information on the City of St. Albert Bylaw Changes, as well as our experience working with local municipalities on effective signage legislation, please contact us.
Sign at Original Location
The newest addition to the Edmonton Downtown Neon Museum may bee one of the sweetest! (Pun intended). Following our previously completed sign restorations for Canadian Furniture, Northern Alberta Railway, and Canadian National Railway, we were very excited when the opportunity came to restore the classic display for Bee-Bell Health Bakery.
Check out our previous post for more information and photos on the first round of Sign Restorations.
Sign Restoration Process
Sign Prior to Original Restoration in 2011
The Bee-Bell Sign was previously brought into our shop in 2011 for a full restoration process, so when the owners donated the sign to be installed at the Edmonton Neon Museum, only minor paint and final finishes touch-ups were required.
The small details on the Bee Wings needed to be repainted
Every signage display that goes through our shop (either as a sign restoration or a brand new display) is tested in the wiring phase of production to ensure all components are in perfect working condition prior to leaving for installation.
In the previous restoration process, we replaced approximately 10 units of custom neon tubing, so these replacement parts were re-tested, and the sign was (unsurprisingly), working as well 5 years later as the day it was re-installed in 2011.
Fully-Restored, Illuminated Sign in our Shop
The next step in the process was to re-install the completed, and fully functioning sign at the Edmonton Sign Museum at the Downtown Edmonton location on the side of the Telus Building on the corner of 104th Street and 104 Avenue.
Learn more about our installation services.
Completed Sign Restoration
It was our absolute pleasure to have the opportunity to complete even the smallest sign restoration details on this playful, classic neon display, and we are looking forward to the next sign restoration opportunity to add to the Edmonton Downtown Neon Museum!
About Blanchett Neon
Established in 1947, Blanchett Neon Ltd is one of Edmonton’s most diverse and innovative custom signage manufacturers.
Our services include comprehensive signage design through our award-winning design department, CSA approved manufacturing by trained and certified professionals, safe installations, and service & maintenance all based out of our 28,000 square foot Edmonton facility.
Rexall Place Signage
With the Edmonton Oilers holding their last home game at Rexall Place with the opening of Rogers Place, it is easy to feel nostalgic with all the memories of the building. For us, (as may be expected), the best of those memories focus on a very specific component of the building: the exterior Rexall Place Signage.
In 2004, we were honoured to be awarded the contract by the Katz Group to manufacture and install the two 20′ x 47’2″ custom oval-shaped logos and the two (2) sets of “Place” letters on the exterior of the former Northlands Colosseum.
Custom Engineered Display
Although the individual channel letters constructed for “Place” remain a specialty of Blanchett Neon, the oval logos were a unique project unlike any other we have ever completed.
Ladders, Catwalk and Other Internal Structural Supports
Along with our partners at Read Jones Engineering, the Rexall Place Signage displays were custom designed and engineered to feature not only the internal support structures (as are required in any oversized display), but a rear man door, ladders, and catwalks to enter the body of the sign for future maintenance and replacement of the metal halide illumination.
Application of Graphics
The graphics consisted of a flex face material stretched over the body of the sign with 3M Premium Vinyl graphics applied to the material. Due to the size of the displays, the vinyl graphics had to be applied by 40+ year Blanchett Neon employee Bohdan suspended over the sign on a forklift so as to not damage, rip or stretch the flex face surface.
Careful Application of Vinyl Graphics While Suspended Over The Sign
Prior to mounting the new displays, our installation & service crews spent a few days on site preparing the wall for the signage installation, including removing all previous electrical components, and cleaning the install location via swing-stage.
Signage Re-Assembly On Site
The displays were constructed in quarter sections to be transported from our shop on St. Albert Trail to Wayne Gretzky Drive, and were re-assembled on site.
To install these mammoth signs, we required the use of an equally mammoth crane, larger than any in our fleet to lift the assembled signs as one piece to mount and secure onto the building.
We are so proud to share our small part of Rexall Place’s history, and are looking forward to the future of the Edmonton Oilers and Rogers Place!
Production Staff Involved in the Display Construction
Established in 1947, Blanchett Neon is one of Edmonton’s most diverse and innovative custom signage manufacturers. Our services include comprehensive signage design through our award winning internal design department, CSA approved manufacturing by trained and certified professionals, safe installations, and service & maintenance all based in our 28,000 square foot Edmonton facility.
We are also proud season ticket holders with the Edmonton Oilers since 1974.
Contact Us for more information on our signage services.
We are very excited to announce our ongoing partnership with the Edmonton Public School Board through our recent awarding of two (2) new school sign projects: an Interior Directory wayfinding sign program for J. Percy Page school, and the supplier for exterior electronic signs for the school board.
Wayfinding School Sign
Winning Proposal Design for J. Percy Page Interior Wayfinding Displays
The wayfinding program for J. Percy Page consists of removing the existing wayfinding displays, and designing, manufacturing and installing seven new signs throughout the school.
Designed by our senior graphic artist, Jeff Billey, the displays consists of a brushed aluminum panel featuring the school’s unique branding and logos behind an illuminated section that assists with directing students and visitors throughout the school.
We brought our extensive experience working in active school environments to the design process, and incorporated rounded corners to the illuminated directory panels and internally contained all electrical elements to reduce chance of injury.
Electronic Message Centre School Sign
Winning Electronic Message Centre Display Design by Blanchett Neon
After previously being awarded the contract to supply electronic message centre displays for the Edmonton School Board back in 2013, (and installing displays for two Edmonton Schools,) we felt confident in putting our best foot forward for this latest contract.
The proposal required the sign design to be flexible enough to conform to the unique site conditions found at each school, while maintaining distinct branding for the Edmonton Public School board.
Completed School Signs for Kildare Elementary & Victoria School of the Arts
Our winning display design is flexible in both overall size and height to suit each individual school’s needs, while the electronic portion (electronic message centre or LED sign), is programmed remotely inside the school building for safety purposes.
As with the J. Percy Page proposal, our familiarity with school signage played a hand in the design process, and we chose screw piles in place of traditional concrete bases to eliminate the possibility of the base becoming a tripping hazard for kids playing near the sign.
We are proud to continue our rich history of successfully completing signage projects for educational institutions, schools, and school boards across Western Canada, and are excited to see the finished displays installed!
As proud members of the Canadian Sign Association, we are excited to be named SAC-ACE member of the month for February 2016!
We strongly believe in working with other Canadian sign companies at a local, provincial and national level to not only help grow recognition and knowledge of the industry, but also to share ideas, techniques and findings to help improve our own practices and create unity in education and safety legislation.
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