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As a Vancouver sign company that lives and breathes signage, we've taken a few trips down Vancouver signage memory lane on our blog, but you can't write about old Vancouver, BC signage without looking at neon. Although we don't create neon signs, these vibrant signs were a salient feature of Vancouver street scenes of yesteryear and neglecting to mention them would be sign history sacrilege. Neon sign making is a dying art, for a variety of reasons: it's expensive and it's being replaced by new modes of lighting and signage. In the heyday of neon (the 1940s and 50s) Vancouver was aglow with neon signs, making the downtown streets of the then smallish coastal city seem metropolitan, especially at night. Neon became synonymous with “downtowns” worldwide — an icon of the hustling, bustling urban nighttime landscape. This beautiful sign included some fantastical creative touches including lit steam rising from a cup and...

It's been awhile since we've posted old Vancouver signs, so here's another tour down sign memory lane. It's funny that, depending on your perspective, certain things stand out in old photos. Though we also notice the dirt roads, old brick and stone buildings, horses and horse-drawn buggies, being a Vancouver sign company we can't help but admire the signage. Vancouver was, after all, a coastal frontier. The first permanent non-aboriginal settlement was a trading post on the Fraser River that was established in 1832 by the Hudson's Bay Company. The first incarnation of what would eventually become Vancouver sprung from the community created around Gassy Jack Deighton's saloon, where his potables quenched the thirst of the ever-dry mouths of mostly loggers and other labourers. In 1870, this community became the first incorporated settlement in Vancouver — known then as Granville. It's always remarkable to see what Vancouver was — and as it...

We often tell our Vancouver sign clients that sign making is equal parts art and communication. Skillful sign making is a balancing act between the two, and, if one discipline is lacking, your sign becomes a waste of materials and labour. The following sign makers need a little more practice at finding that balance. 1. On SLAE now! While the origin of this window signage is unknown, it is purportedly a real sign. Who doesn't love a good SLAE? We've never seen such a blatant mistake in Vancouver signage, but they likely happen once in a while. 2. Lifejackets. Your life depends on wearing one. Or not. Hey, Army Corps of Engineers! What is it that a life jacket is supposed to save you from? We know what they mean, but this outdoor sign is a little confusing and not exactly persuasive. Wear one…don't wear one. Maybe it doesn't matter at Lake Cumberland, since one...

Though interpretation design (or heritage interpretation) is used to bring educational installations to life, the interpretation principals — engaging an audience through stories, facts, and images — also has broad application in the business world. Heritage interpretation defined: "… to improve and enrich the visitor experience by helping site visitors understand the significance of the place they are visiting, and connecting those meanings to visitors' own personal lives." - Wikipedia Including "Experience" in your Marketing Mix The term "4 Ps of Marketing" — Product/Service, Place, Price, and Promotion — was first expressed by noted marketing professor and author E.J. McCarthy in 1960, and is still used widely today. The second and fourth Ps, Place and Promotion, both include aspects of interpretation design to communicate a marketing message to customers at a specific location of interest or activity. Although top-tier creative teams often include story telling as a means of provoking an emotional connection in...

The benefits of environment design (sometimes referred to as "environmental graphic design") are not new to us at Sandbox Signs + Graphics, but the concept has become more important as businesses and organizations gain a better understanding of the benefits of a space that works holistically. So what does that mean? Environment design takes into account not only the main function of the each installation (signage, wayfinding signs, exterior and interior signs, office layout etc.), but also how these elements work together, affect clients, employees, and reflect the organization's values and personality. When working this way, a company's environment works as a whole rather than as a disparate mishmash of its constituent parts. Good environment design benefits clients, employees, and the company. Benefits to Client or Customer Experience From the standpoint of people who use your office (or your building), environmental design benefits clients as they interact with your space. Whether they are attempting...

If you are considering a vehicle wrap for your Vancouver or Lower Mainland company, you're not alone. More and more, companies are opting for vehicle advertising for their fleet vehicles, company cars and trucks. Why? Consider these impressive vehicle wrap statistics from the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA): A vehicle driven only 15,000 miles per year will pass 9,000,000 other vehicles. Vehicle wraps give you between 30,000-70,000 "ad impressions" (number of people who potentially see your ad) per day. Vehicle graphics increase brand recognition more than other modes of advertising. This makes sense because other forms of advertising are static and depend on the visitor finding them, whether in print, upon a billboard, or on the radio. Vehicle ads bring your message to the consumer. 80% of consumers could recall relevant details about a vehicle wrap after seeing it only once, and 91% of consumers could recall significant detail when the...

Vehicle graphics are not new. From the first days of company owned vehicles, vehicle signage was an obvious way to advertise your business. Of course, things were much simpler and often the hand-painted lettering simply displayed the company name upon a van or truck. Now we have vehicle wraps and vibrant full-color, large scale graphics, but, the intent was the same then as now: be seen. The photo below shows the simple beauty of hand-crafted vehicle signs on Vancouver delivery trucks of yesteryear. There is something elegant in the obviously hand-painted lines and lettering. Vehicle signage doesn't get much simpler than this. The goal? Same as today, really. Brand the vehicle with at least your company's name, address, and phone number. It's likely that this delivery truck has the company name and address on its right side just as we see upon its sister vehicle on the right of the photo (below)....

History of Vehicle Wraps Vehicle wraps are not new, but they are gaining in popularity for businesses looking to increase brand awareness and lead generation, particularly in their own communities. Even in the early day of auto racing, race car manufacturers knew the power of advertising on a moving vehicle watched by thousands of spectators. When race driving became a popular TV sports event, sponsorship exploded. Now, race cars advertise not only the car manufacturer, auto parts or oil, but are also emblazoned with everything from Canon cameras to GoDaddy web hosting ads. The first bus wraps were made by SuperGraphics, a U.S. company, back in in 1993 to advertise Crystal Pepsi. It didn't take long for other companies to see the value of these eye-catching rolling ads. Nowadays, you'd be hard pressed to find a bus without some kind of large-scale graphic. They advertise shops, concerts, plays, and other special events. The...

The art of creating store signs has been with us for some time. As long as there have been stores in Vancouver, or anywhere for that matter, there have been signs. Even in small-town outdoor central marketplaces of old, the table or plot of grass from which people sold fruits, vegetables, raw wool, and medicinal herbs was adorned with signs so people knew who you were, what you were selling and at what price. Those were, and still are, the basic elements of store signage. “Basic” because concepts like branding and leading with benefits were probably not foremost in the minds of hawkers. They just wanted to be seen and found amongst all the other sellers who journeyed from rural or farming communities to larger towns weekly or monthly to sell their products. In this photo taken in the Yukon around 1890, a young retailing couple is standing outside their store...

Have you heard the old saying that a picture speaks a thousand words? This phrase is derived from advertising executive Fred Barnard in 1927. The actual quote he said is “One picture is worth ten thousand words”. When is come to exhibiting in a trade show this couldn’t be more true. Regardless of what type of trade show display you have it is the graphics that you have on that signage and display that matters the most. You only have a few short seconds to capture attendee’s attention before they pass you by for the next booth. What are you going to do persuade them to stop at your booth? Yes it is true that some exhibitors pull out all the stops and incorporate a fun game to attract people (i.e. spinning wheel, putting green etc.). This method can help attract visitors to your booth but are they really interested in...