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It is a question we hear quite often from both established and new businesses: why should my business make the investment in quality signage when what appears to be a similar product is available at a significantly lower price point?
In an increasingly cost-driven society, spending more for what visually looks similar might seem unnecessary, but after 70+ years of sign industry experience we have found quality signage is ALWAYS worth the investment. Here are are the top reasons why:
1.) First Impressions Are Important
What impression are you hoping to make on potential new customers?
Recent studies have found 40% of shoppers make quality assumptions about a business based on whether that company has clear and attractive signage, and 54% have failed to find a business due to unclear or undersized signage. So what impression is your business signage making on potential new customers?
Although a less expensive product might look just as good as a superior display when first installed, signage is a long-term investment and new clients will still be passing by your storefront for years after the signage has been installed. Quality signage helps make a positive first impression as well as:
- Brands your location 24/7.
- Increases impulse purchases.
- Builds continual top-of-mind awareness.
2.) Respect Your Brand Image
JACOBS letters feature specialty 3M Vinyl Film designed for LED illumination.
A budget-conscious supplier and a luxury car dealership don’t have much in common when it comes to target audiences and brand image, but the individual elements of each brand are equally as important. From choice of colour to correct spacing of letters to clear, easy readability at night; first-impressions are vital, but ensuring your unique brand image stands the test of time is equally important:
- Paint or vinyl film reflecting your specific brand colours that doesn’t easily chip or fade.
- Bright and even illumination without any hot-spots or shadows.
- Experienced installation technicians that mount the display evenly, correctly, and with proper spacing.
3.) Reduced Service Costs
Although we are grateful for the work keeping our Service & Maintenance department busy, we would much rather focus on manufacturing and updating new displays for our clients, not repairing faulty signage completed by others. By investing in quality signage from the start, rest easy knowing you have invested in your future:
- Peace of mind knowing storefront signage is advertising your business 24/7.
- Quality internal components often have extensive product warranties, in addition to the standard manufacturers warranty offered from the sign shop.
- Signage components most likely needing to be replaced are designed to be easily accessible through access hatches and hinge-frames without the use of oversized (expensive) equipment.
4.) Quality Breeds Quality
Quality signage can’t be faked or imitated; the skills, knowledge and background required to design, manufacture, install and support signage displays is bred from years of experience. When purchasing a quality signage display, have confidence the sign shop has the necessary training and tools to complete the job right the first time:
- Trained staff that follow (or exceed!) industry standards and don’t void product warranties in the manufacturing process.
- Assurance that the company will be around to support their display for the full life of the sign.
- Knowledge on local signage legislation to ensure signage is legal and all required permits are in place.
5.) Safety First
They say no press is bad press, but your business in the news for a safety violation, accident or fine is not what you want to be known for. As important as the visual advantages of quality signage are, ensuring your signage doesn’t pose a danger to staff, customers or passerby is just as vital:
- Internal electrical components have been correctly and safely wired.
- Signage materials are correct for the application, and don’t pose a fire or shock risk as it ages.
- Use of correct fasteners based on sign type and mounting surface.
COR status is a great indication a signage supplier is dedicated to safe work practices.
6.) If You Don’t, Your Competition Will
From your direct competition to the business next store, the goal for storefront signage is to make your business the most memorable and top-of-mind for passerby. Open or closed, quality sign design is essential to keep interest in your storefront; if potential customers aren’t focused specifically on your products and services, their focus will just go elsewhere:
- Creative, effective design stands out from the crowd.
- Bright illumination that is easily viewed day and night.
- The appropriate signage type for the location, average viewing distance, and target audience.
Check out our tips to effective sign design.
7.) Built for Canadian Weather
Quality Signage stands up to tough Canadian weather
With 80+ degree temperature swings to 100km winds to heavy snow for long stretches of time, Canadian signage requires specific design elements to last through our constantly changing weather conditions. In your search for quality signage, ask the sign shop where their quality signage is manufactured – often displays produced elsewhere are designed for a different climate and may not have the right features to last in Canada:
- Hang-strips for lexan panels to protect from blowing out of the frame in heavy winds.
- Concrete bases extend below the frost line to prevent heaving or shifting as seasons change.
- Automotive grade paint products stand up to snow and the salts / rocks used to clear roads.
- Snow-sheds and drainage holes reduce build-up of snow, ice and water.
As Western Canada’s premium signage supplier, Blanchett Neon is proud to have been designing, manufacturing, installing and servicing quality signage since 1947. Ready to make the leap and invest in your business’s future? Contact us today:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
From couples promotions to ads targeting singles, Valentines Day is a great opportunity to attract attention to your business through creative and unique exterior signage advertising.
The use of puns, subliminal messaging and plays on words unique to your business and industry are sure to catch the eye of potential customers, and hopefully their business!
Here are a few of our favourite Valentines Day Funny Signs:
We want to hear from you: found a creative or unique sign in your area? Connect with us on Social Media or send us a message.
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.
For anyone looking to contact us during the holiday season, our office hours are as follows:
Hours Of Operation
Friday, December 23: CLOSED at 12:00pm for Staff Christmas Lunch
Monday, December 26: Stat Holiday, CLOSED.
Tuesday, December 27: Stat Holiday, CLOSED.
Wednesday, December 28: Open Regular Hours (Emergency Support Only.)
Thursday, December 29: Open Regular Hours (Emergency Support Only.)
Friday, December 30: Open Regular Hours (Emergency Support Only.)
Monday, January 2: Stat Holiday, CLOSED.
Tuesday, January 3: Open Regular Hours.
From our family here at Blanchett Neon to yours, we hope you have a restful holiday season!
For any questions or concerns about our hours of operation, please Contact Us or call 1-800-226-6366 during regular operating hours (7:30am – 4:00pm Monday – Friday).
As signage is your brand’s visual identity (often for years at a time), purchasing signs of any kind can be a major investment and choosing a sign company capable of producing a display of a high enough quality to last through the seasons could not be more important.
Here are a few tips to help your business choose a sign company partner:
1. Years in Business
Will this company be around to support my display for the full life of the signage?
When a signage display is the visual face of your brand, your best bet is to put your trust in a company with a proven history of success, and years in business is a great measuring tool. A company that has been around for 25+ years is always more likely to be in business for the life of the signage than a company only in the industry for a few years.
Signage displays are built (on average) to last 10-15 years, and even with using only the highest quality materials, all will require service or maintenance within their life-span.
Ensure the sign provider you choose will be able to support the parts and components in your display throughout the warranty period and after.
2. Professional Associations
Are they active in the sign industry?
In any industry there are professional associations in which businesses belong to, and the sign industry is no exception. From local to national associations, membership is a great indication that the sign company is not only credible, but also active and involved in the industry; dedicated to growing their business.
Specifically here in Alberta, these are a few professional associations your Sign Company partner should be a member of:
3. Experience – Manufacturing
Does this company have the experience to manufacture my display?
When a proposal sounds too good to be true… it usually is. Although the manufacturing of exterior signage is not rocket science, it does require industry-specific knowledge regarding best-practices, and current product offerings along with unique trade skills in order to produce displays that will last the test of time.
For example, the manufacturing process of a standard Freestanding Pylon Sign includes sheet metal, plastic, painting, CNC routering, vinyl application, wiring, and installation among other job-specific trades. All of these departments / processes require specific training, formal certifications and most importantly, experience to produce a quality sign.
4. Project Management
Will they work well with other trades on site?
Signage projects often coincide with new construction or renovation projects where multiple trades will be on site working alongside one another. Does the company you are researching work effectively and efficiently when dealing with the challenges that arise from working on a shared job site?
5. Tour Their Shop
Do they manufacture or import their signs?
The absolute best way to get a feel for a company is to visit their shop, tour their facility, and meet the staff you will be dealing with. Reputable signage companies would be more than happy to (safely) show you around their manufacturing facility and explain the processes and techniques at work, and it will give you a great opportunity to observe at how they operate on a day-to-day basis.
6. Online Presence
Is this company legitimate?
The very first place you should look when searching for a sign company partner is online; reading reviews, researching affiliations, and viewing their own website. A professionally designed and maintained site can be a great indication of a company that is with the times, just as an out-dated site suggests a business that is stuck in the past.
In addition to their own website, trusted organizations such as the BBB offer a fair overview of a company’s reputation, and are a great point of reference.
7. Check Their References
Do they complete work as described?
You would never hire an employee without first checking their references, so why would it be different when choosing a sign shop? In addition to checking a company’s reputation online and through organizations such as the BBB, contacting past customers is a great way to get a feel for the company you are looking at:
- Do they complete work when promised?
- What is their customer service like; are they responsive to questions and inquiries?
- Was the project completed on budget (as quoted), or were additional costs added at the end of the process?
8. Safe Work Practices
Will my signs be completed safely?
Exterior signage is located primarily above a storefront’s entrance, and installation of these signs requires working in close proximity with customers and staff coming and going from your business.
Any reputable sign company will take the safety of your customers and staff (not to mention themselves!) extremely seriously, so ask or check out their website for information on their commitment to safe work practices.
When searching for a Sign Company’s safe work practices look for COR or a Certificate of Recognition from Alberta Labour. As an un-biased system, COR is a great tool to gauge a business’s practices and safety:
“A COR shows that the employer’s health and safety management system has been evaluated by a certified auditor and meets provincial standards. These standards are established by Occupational Health and Safety (OHS).”
9. Capability / Capacity
Will this company meet my needs?
In any relationship, you and your partner (in this case your Sign Company,) need to be a good fit. Sign companies exist in all shapes and sizes, with some specializing in window graphics and vehicle wraps, whereas others only manufacture displays, and don’t have the resources to install their signs.
Before beginning the search for a company, sit down with your team and determine your unique signage needs to effectively research sign companies that will best meet those needs:
- What is the typical type of signage we will require? (exterior illuminated displays, pylon signage, interior wayfinding, POS, menu boards, ext.)
- Will we need installation or maintenance services?
- Do we require design assistance?
10. Local Market Knowledge
Do they know the trends and regulations of my area?
Market conditions vary greatly even between towns and cities only kilometers apart; from signage legislation to local trends, a company local or familiar with your area and with past experience will always be a better option than a supplier from another area.
Finally most importantly, don’t forget to take a look at their previously completed signage displays; if the paint is fading or the vinyl peeling after only a few years of use, the company may “talk-the-talk,” but the quality is not there.
Established in 1947, Blanchett Neon has the experience, capability and capacity to install all types of signage, and our comprehensive project management solutions have made us the trusted supplier for businesses big and small! Contact Us today to learn more about how the most cost effective form of advertising, exterior signage, will increase sales for your business immediately.
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.
Freestanding Pylon Upgrade – Oliver Place
Freestanding Pylon signage is a must-have for any shopping centre, strip-mall or commercial development; Landlords generate revenue by renting panels to their tenants, and tenants easily attract customers to their business from the street.
However, in a lot of cases as a development grows, so does the pylon signage. New panels are added, existing panels revised, and the display becomes too visually busy to be effective. Such was the case for Oliver Place in downtown Edmonton.
We manufactured the original Oliver Place pylon structure back in 1991, and earlier this year when the property underwent a facade improvement, we were approached to assist with the freestanding pylon upgrade.
The Design Process
When designing a pylon upgrade, a few major questions come into play:
- Has anything changed in the City’s bylaws or area plans that might effect or limit our design capabilities?
- Checking the zoning for a specific area is always our first step in the design process.
Learn more about Signage Permitting.
It is ideal to have enough space for all tenants in the development to rent space on the display, but you need to balance the need for the sign to be easy to read:
- Do you have any anchor tenants that require top or large panels?
- Have the number of tenants increased or decreased? Do you expect the number of tenants to change in the future?
- If the property is undergoing an upgrade or change, should the new pylon sign compliment the building?
- Should the name of the property be featured on the display? It will reduce the available space for tenant panels, but might be a landmark visitors are looking for.
Our Pylon Upgrade Design
With these questions answered, our talented design department created the above pylon design that complied with local permit requirements, complimented the building, and featured the name of the display for reference.
To help keep the project on budget, we reused the internal structure (steel support poles, concrete bases and anchor bolts,) and only manufactured a new tenant cabinet, header structure, non-illuminated individual letters, and pole cladding to be installed on the refurbished poles.
Pylon Upgrade Signage Installation
As part of our comprehensive project management services, in addition to achieving the signage permits, removing the existing display and manufacturing the new, we also supplied graphics to a number of the tenants.
For more information on upgrading existing pylon displays, please Contact Us.
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