Interior Identification Signage

 

The Art of Knowing You Have Arrived

Wayfinding signage is a critical component of all architectural signage systems and is a cornerstone of the work we do at Behrends Group. Often people think of wayfinding as simply helping people find their way and this can be done through a variety of methods, including directional modular signage, exterior directional signage, signage maps and so forth. However, a component of wayfinding that is just as important as helping people find their way is the art of letting them know that they have arrived at their desired destination. This is where interior identification signage is critical.

It is simply not enough to have signs pointing to where a public washroom is if the room itself is not then properly labelled. This issue becomes readily apparent in places that do not have adequate identification signage inside their built spaces and environments, particularly when you have patrons walking around, following directions but then having to double-back on the route they came from to make sure they followed the directions properly. Why and how does this happen? Mainly, it is an issue of not having the proper markings for an end-point of a wayfinding. However, it can also be an issue of visibility or even inconsistent branding narratives. For example, if directional signage uses a certain typeface, colour, material and style, but the identification signage associated with a location does not match those qualities, it might disorient a patron in the space.

For this reason, it is critical to work with signage manufacturers like Behrends Group who know the importance of consistent signage messaging and how to best develop that messaging into a cohesive and coherent system. It is simply not enough to get someone where they need to go, they also have to know they have arrived when they get there. And going even further beyond that basic truth, the system that assists them in moving their bodies through your built environment should also reflect the values and principles that your company or organization seeks to embody.

It is really only when this works properly that excellent wayfinding techniques fade from patron consciousness – facilitating their experience but not interfering with it in any way – and lend themselves to creating a seamless encounter with your brand that they will come away from in a positive light. This cultivation of powerful emotive memories is the dream of every successful brand and it starts with professional signage.

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Herb Belcourt Plaque and Park Unveiling

A Lifetime of Leadership and Service: Plaque and park unveiled in honour of Metis businessman and philanthropist Herb Belcourt

On May 10, Herb Belcourt Park was unveiled at Sherwood Drive and Oak Street in Sherwood Park. The park is named in honour of local businessman, community leader, and philanthropist Herb Belcourt. Belcourt is a founder of Belcourt Construction, Canative Housing Corporation and the Belcourt Brosseau Metis Award Fund, which supports Metis students furthering their education. To honour Belcourt’s years of service and contributions to the community, Sherwood Park and Strathcona County commissioned a plaque from Behrends to adorn the newly renamed park.

The cast aluminum plaque is mounted on a stone fixture and features an image of Herb with his two young great-grandsons, Liam and Jackson. The detailed and lifelike rendering of Belcourt and his great-grandsons was achieved using PhotoSculpt – a technology that allows us to translate photographs into cast metal. This combining of a traditional medium and craftsmanship with cutting edge technology to produce a timeless memorial exemplifies the quality work Behrends is known for.

The unveiling was attended by Herb Belcourt, his wife Lesley, family, friends, and supporters including representatives from the Alberta RCMP and the Edmonton Police Service who paid their respects to Belcourt for his service as Aboriginal Advisor to the Commanding Officer at “K” Division of the RCMP.  Belcourt also recently received the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award in January 2017.

 

 

Original Picture
Original Picture

 

 

Completed plaque source: http://www.albertanativenews.com
Completed plaque
source: http://www.albertanativenews.com

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