Our house is generally off limits to our customers, but they do drive by the front door on the way to the shop at the back of our driveway. All take notice of the routed trim on the house. The theme of the house is hearts (or love), and we have incorporated tens of thousands of hearts in the trim.
Our house features rounded-top windows. The trim is routed to accentuate the rounded shapes. And the colorful hearts at the intersections of the horizontal and vertical trim add some extra bling for good measure.
We’ve used these same ideas on commercial projects as well. A few years ago we added dimensional logo/IDs in more than 120 places throughout a small office building/showroom. Most of these were corner blocks on the windows and doors.
We also used this technique in a pub project a while back. The name of the pub was the Fox and Hounds. The locals refer to it as “The Fox” which allowed for a simple fox head profile on the corner blocks of the windows and doors throughout.
The inside of the house is decked out much like the outside, just as it would be for a commercial project. We chose a butterfly theme for the interior trim as it is a favorite of Janis’s. The bridge which spans the living room is the largest feature in the house. The butterflies abound on every piece of trim.
We designed and fabricated wainscot through three main areas of the building. Each features a different pattern and color of paneling and the same M throughout.
Each room in our home features butterflies on the corner blocks of the doors and windows, and they are painted to match the room in which they live.
Becke, our daughter, is into bird watching in a big way. So when we were designing the trim on her home, the bird theme was a natural. Peter designed the simple silhouette of a bird on a branch. This was layered onto a wood-grained texture and then routed into 30-lb. Precision Board HDU [www. precisionboard.com] panels. These were mounted to the corner columns and surrounded with the brightly painted faux stonework.

Sell the subtle aspects of branding

By Dan Sawatzky

Posted on Monday, October 29th, 2018

One of many lessons I’ve learned from visiting Disney theme parks is the importance of branding, which is the way a business creates an image of their company in their customers’ minds. Disney is very good at it! If you are observant, you will notice corporate emblems incorporated everywhere, often in places not expected. I suspect most people don’t really see this branding but the impression is there none the less.

We have incorporated these same types of ideas into what we offer to our customers. It offers a way for our customers to brand their businesses in a classy fashion. It is also a way we can upsell a project. We believe it to be a better business model to do more, and better quality work for fewer discriminating customers. That allows us to be more selective in what we take on.

The best way to sell this kind of service is to do it well on our own projects first. It sells itself to the customers who take notice.


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Dan Sawatzky

Dan Sawatzky's shop, Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation, is in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada. Dan shares his experience in his Sign Magic Workshops on 3-D sign making, and his Sculpting Workshop.