Dedication Signage: Adding to the Experience of Remembering

Dedication signage is a growing area of the signage industry as more and more organizations place importance on the experience of remembering our shared past. Dedication signage can be oriented around the significance of a specific site, the history of a community, the contributions of an individual to society or can take on the appearance of an outdoor, interpretive museum. Whatever the purpose, dedication signage is all about reconstructing the past and making it present and alive to people now.

Dedication plaques and signage which commemorate the significance of a specific site or honor a person who contributed to a certain community provide a permanent and lasting way to mark these important historical points of memory. These can be as simple as plaques on park benches or in front of a memorial tree which was planted to mark the occasion of commemoration. Or these sites can be more elaborate structures which memorialize multiple characters or widely-significant historical events.

The history of a community can also appear in dedication signage with a particular community group or institution being honoured for its impact on the lasting culture of that area. Groups such as community leagues, post-secondary institutions or other agencies may have been instrumental in developing a neighbourhood’s identity and that should not go unnoticed. Founding members or boards might be named in public spaces constructed for this explicit purpose, or plaques which offer identifying information about place significance to these groups might govern one’s navigation through an area.

Outdoor interpretive museums which are dedicated by municipal or even provincial authorities are another use for dedication signage. Places that are not readily obvious as being important for the community to remember can honour significant people, dedicate buildings or parks, and can create a lasting tribute through the creation of a multiple-plaque narrative that instructs visitors about these places and how to move through them. This shaping of the environment to be socially significant directly affects how people will use a space and the respect imparted to it. Reflection is often encouraged in these places and, as such, the act of remembering creates its own memories in turn. Invoking emotion or nostalgia are very real outcomes of well-designed dedication signs and areas.

There are a wide variety of materials that can be used to fill the purposes of dedication signage. Most often, bronze plaques seem to be the main choice for patrons because of their durability and the tone of legacy that this medium seems to impart. Modern dedication signage, particularly larger memorials, tend to combine a number of material elements and can also include imagery such as etchings, relief portraits and more.


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Why People Need Wayfinding: Our Sense of Direction

Over one hundred years ago, Charles Darwin noted something exceptional about human beings in scientific literature: our sense of direction. Believe it or not, our sense of direction sets us apart from other mammals and comes from our ability to sift through fine-grain environmental details to create an imaginary frame of reference in the spaces we inhabit. A lot of this has to do with our incredible sensory tools like sight, smell, hearing and so forth. However, it is the human capacity to imagine and remember (both concepts which also set us apart from other mammals) that helps us find our way.

An interesting component of the human sense of direction is our need to create wayfinding solutions to redirect ourselves and other humans back to points of interest, whether it be places to find food, water, shelter or some other basic necessities. Human beings have always created systems of symbols and markers to remind ourselves where things are and this art has evolved into the practice of wayfinding over time.

While industry jargon might make this process seem complex and there are ever-more evolving possibilities when it comes to generating wayfinding solutions to spatial problems, the reality is that wayfinding is one of the most basic tools that sets human beings apart in the animal world. We have always shaped our environment in imaginative ways to jog memory and signify to others where they are going. We have just gotten better and better at it with time.

Over the centuries, wayfinding has become more sophisticated and today, there are entire consultancy teams devoted to coming up with brilliant systems that effortlessly move people through built environments while created a branded experience at the same time. No longer is wayfinding only about our sense of direction, but now, it has grown to include the creation of experiences within that movement. Through proper signage and architectural design, we can actually develop human emotions in certain spaces and these emotions are more likely to lead to the creation of memories than anything else.

What does this mean? For businesses or organizations looking to develop memories with their brand, products, or services in their clients, these emotional responses mean a stronger connectivity to your space. Effective wayfinding solutions can also contribute to an individual’s sense of safety, security and well-being: characteristics which are priceless in what some perceive to be an increasingly chaotic world.

At Behrends Group, our design team takes these principles to heart. We recognize what is possible by developing creative solutions to directional problems with tools that resonate at the most basic human level. Let us play to your sense of direction and that of your clients to design perfect wayfinding strategies in your business or institutional environments.

Custom Metal Letters for Address Signs

Our homes are the centerpieces of our lives and we spend a lot of time, energy and money making sure that we invest quality materials in them so they last as long as possible while remaining stylish and expressive of who we are. As homeowners, we want to ensure that our dollar goes as far as possible but one point that we may overlook is the quality of our metal address signs. We might make sure we get high quality siding or brick work for our homes, but then only invest in cookie cutter letters to display our home numbers. More often than not, these generic numbers are only masquerading as solid metal and are more likely to peel after a single wet weather season.

Solid metal address letters or numbers withstand the test of time and all variants of extreme weather. They are made for wear and tear, exhibiting a durability that impostors simply cannot mimic. Rather than replace cheaper versions year after year and let their poor quality take down the visual appeal of your home, why not invest in quality custom metal address letters only once?

Even if you’ve owned your own home for a while, custom house numbers can be a quick and efficient way to add a little flair to the appearance of your home without the high cost of outdoor renovations or touch-ups. It’s amazing how quickly the curb appeal of a home increases with the simple addition of unique address plates or number design.

The beauty of making this investment with Behrends Group is that you benefit from individual consultation with our design team to take your vision to the next level – your address letters will not simply display your house number but will be an integral part of its overall look and can set an example for the culture of your neighbourhood and community. Different typographies, materials, finishes, sizes and methods of installation ensure that your final product will be uniquely yours: elegant and fresh, graceful and lasting.

Since your actual address is unlikely to change anytime soon, why should your address letters change year after year? Pick something permanent and lasting, and with custom metal letters, let our team put the finishing touches on your house that will make it feel like you are coming home every time you see them.

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Custom Award Plaques & Statues Cultivate an Organization’s Culture

Custom award statues and plaques from Behrends Group communicate the sincerity and value of the award through their high quality and unique design. Every organization, whether it is a business, a non-profit group, an athletic team, or a public institution, succeeds because of the individuals it is made of. The best work, commitment, and innovation comes from a team of motivated people who feel recognized, appreciated, and inspired by their organization and leaders.


An official system of recognition and awards is a great way to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of outstanding employees, volunteers, and teammates, fostering an environment in which individuals feel valued and motivated to succeed. External expressions of recognition and gratitude are also important. Presenting official tokens of recognition and gratitude to donors and leaders highlights and honours your organization’s relationship with its community.


Recognition and award systems are an investment in your organization that will pay off in increased motivation, productivity, and commitment. Team members who feel recognized and valued for their contributions, who feel like their organization is invested in their fulfillment and emotional wellbeing at work, will respond with a reciprocal sense of responsibility for the organization’s wellbeing and success, and investment in their work.


For non-profit organizations and public institutions, recognition tools such as donor walls, demonstrate your organization’s ties to the community, fostering a mutual appreciation and promoting community involvement. While certificates of recognition and verbal or written praise and commendation are great ways to show appreciation on a regular basis, some contributions deserve the special recognition communicated by a more solid object: as such, award statues and plaques are lasting and personal reminders of the recipients’ accomplishments and contributions.


High quality, custom award statues and plaques add substance and weight to an award presentation, making the recognition especially meaningful. Displaying awards and recognition plaques is also a great way to showcase your team’s talents to the public. Whether you need a one off special award, or are developing an entire recognition system, Behrends Group’s design team will create a unique object that expresses your gratitude and appreciation, and communicates your brand’s image and values. Our manufacturing expertise and commitment to high quality materials and techniques are reflected in the quality of our products, ensuring that our custom award statues and plaques are truly meaningful objects.


PCL Award

PCL Award

6th place Claude Alston Award Awards Wall Client Care Award

Interior and Exterior Modular Signage Systems

If your company or organization is looking for flexibility and sustainability in terms of sign purchasing, it is possible that modular signage systems could be an ideal solution for your signage needs. Modular signs are comprised of both directional and identification elements and are most recognizable as the company “directory” – though their application goes far beyond a simple list of a building’s offices or individuals.

Modular signs consist of highly-visible, easy to understand visual components that are meant to produce wayfinding solutions. In other words, these systems get people where they need to go and let them know when they have arrived there.

Modular signs are a smart choice because of their uniformity but also because of our ability to customize them according to your branding needs. People have come to expect modular signage when they enter professional buildings, seeking out their destination and information about how to get there. Popular in hospitals, clinics, universities, airports and similar public institutions, modular signage systems offer a functional, lasting impression that changes with the fast pace of these environments.

Each component of a modular system can be changed out to enable users to update or change signs with great ease, minimizing the amount of waste a company produces by making it so that only small parts of signs will be recycled as changes inevitably happen.

While the nature of a modular signage system is unlikely to change, the custom components of it can subtly alter a space’s mood to reflect an organizations brand and values. As in all things “custom,” this is where Behrends really shines. Combining carefully chosen signage components and materials, we can produce truly unique systems that fill your needs in a way that cookie-cutter systems simply cannot. Available in a variety of styles  including curved faced signs, slim flat face signs, and a design-friendly grid system sign, modular signage systems can be adapted to your brand by way of typefaces, materials and by incorporating logos. Your signs then have the freedom to evolve as your corporate or professional environment evolves too.

If your clients or patrons are navigating a much larger built environment such as a campus or multiple buildings or pedways, exterior modular signage may also be a necessary part of your signage needs. Designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions, modular signage gives facility managers an easy method of communicating important wayfinding and identification information to patrons as well as helping to reinforce branding and develop an environment’s culture. Available in full colour and brilliant resolution, exterior modular signage comes equipped with similar flexibility as its interior varieties: each component of the signage can easily be switched out as entities require that they be changed with an organization’s evolution. Every step of the way, Behrends’ modular signage systems are ready to grow with you.

Mixed-Medium Custom Subdivision Signage



Subdivisions are growing at an incredibly fast rate and each suburban space is actively cultivating a sense of small community within the large municipal area. One such way this is being done is through carefully executed subdivision signage which “brands” a neighbourhood, sets its boundaries, and establishes a sense of place from the get-go. These are just some of the ways that signage contributes to that neighbourhood feeling of community:

Subdivision Monuments:

The philosophy of subdivision signage is that the “There’s no place like home” feeling should start the minute you pull into your neighbourhood. Beautiful, mixed-medium and custom signage can trigger the feeling of returning to one’s community after a long day of working hard elsewhere. There should be a sense of relief and happiness that is felt by seeing a beautiful entrance monument, whether it’s the first time or the thousandth time. It’s remarkable how easily a sense of immediate familiarity can be cultivated by creating a logo around the name of a community and representing it on an elegant monument at the entrance of one’s area. Often such signs rarely stand alone and are accompanied by landscaping elements and mixed materials including high-pressure laminate, metal signage and lighting. At Behrends Group, we have years of experience devising the perfect combination of elements to make people feel like a neighbourhood has always been home, whether it’s a brand new development or being freshened up as a historic character zone.

Directional Signage:

Elements from the subdivision monuments can easily be incorporated in all directional signage that is used to help visitors and residents navigate their neighbours accurately and efficiently. Successful strategies for guiding the way will reflect the branded culture of the area they inhabit while being functional as well. The sense of unity felt contributes to the organized feel of a neighbourhood, as well as one’s sense of belonging.

Home Addresses:

Another area that can easily be standardized to reflect the values and unity of a neighbourhood is in home address plaques or signage. Using consistent designs and materials at every residence gives these identification signs the added benefit of contributing the sense of place as well. Your address is one of the most crucial indicators for visitors, service people, postal workers and many others in identifying where you live, so why leave your address numbers up to chance by going with a generic look? Putting the finishing touches on your home means getting the details right and part of that is going with custom-designed house numbers to set your beautiful home apart while still fitting in with and reflecting the feel of the rest of your community.
As we can see, subdivision signage includes elements of experiential design as visitors and residents navigate neighbourhoods alike. Systems are then put in place to make travel within certain areas not only seamless, but also timeless, branded experiences where directional signage, subdivision signage, standardized home addresses and other elements all contribute to the overall “streetscape.” A neighbourhood should reflect the values and pride one places in where they live and one way to do this is through custom, consistent signage that upholds a brand and experience throughout the environment. By providing beautiful signage for highly visible entities, Behrends continues to be the most trusted name for architectural signage in our community.


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