Author Archives: 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.

Building a landmark: Sprocket the Robot

It doesn’t happen often, but occasionally we partner with another sign designer to come up with something truly special. A while back we… Read More

Sample signs help you reach into new markets

I’ve written recently about some new markets we’re currently trying to break into by creating some preliminary concepts and shopping them around. Our… Read More

Another sign for the Far North

With the opening of a new all-season road in Canada’s Northwest Territories we again got the call for a suitable sign. The road… Read More

Designing on spec: Breaking into a new market

Before we begin, it is important that I first give my definition of a sign: At our shop, we define a sign as… Read More

A door to opportunity

In our book, a sign is anything that draws attention to our customer’s business, products or service. An obvious place to start is… Read More

Creative sign brackets add appeal

Iʼve long advocated that sign designs should encompass a lot more than just the board they are made on. While a few of… Read More

Creating a landmark sign bound for the Arctic Circle

We recently received an enquiry from a new client from the far northern reaches of Canada. They were enquiring about a “landmark sign”… Read More

The key to pricing your work accurately

Two of the most difficult things about owning your own sign shop is how to determine your true shop costs and handle pricing…. Read More

Save those good ideas for later

About fifteen years ago we first came up with the idea to create a submersible-shaped feature like the famed Okanagan Lake monster named… Read More

A sign-making family builds an inn

The Hazelnut Inn project has now been underway for four long years. The inn is on the grounds of our shop and will… Read More

Glazes bring textures to life

A SignCraft reader recently asked about faux finishing, which is something we employ on almost every sign that leaves our shop—albeit not necessarily… Read More

Making the most of slow times

We are definitely heading into a time of uncertainty. Putting aside the health concerns and the potential effects of the virus that is… Read More

Photo opportunities deliver powerful advertising

As I began this article I wondered if I had enough material, but when I went through my archived photos I realized there… Read More

Signs can tell a powerful story

At our shop we consider ourselves, above all else, visual storytellers. When a new client approaches us for a sign we listen carefully… Read More

Themed signage down on the farm

We’ve long wanted to do farm signs. But even though we live in a farming community, we have done only a handful of… Read More

Combining traditional skills and today’s technology

I turned 65 this past year—an age when most think seriously about retiring. Not me! I enjoy what I do far too much…. Read More

My dimensional sign making roots

Sign makers I meet often comment about how they would love to do the kind of work we do in our shop instead… Read More

Creating a theme and a package for an ice cream parlor

We have an extremely fun job currently in progress in our shop. A regular client of ours recently asked us to work up… Read More

The challenges of concept design

I often get asked if we charge for design. The answer is always “Yes!”—with one caveat. We do charge upfront for design, but… Read More

A landmark sign for a pet hospital

Not long ago, a veterinarian from a neighboring town dropped by our shop. She wanted to rebrand her business with one of our… Read More