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Signs of the Times

Blanchett celebrates 75 years of providing innovative signage across the province

Blanchett Team | Edmonton Neon Sign Museum, Edmonton. Photo by Rebecca Lippiatt.

Since 1947, Blanchett has created some of the most unique signage seen in the province. Blanchett’s custom building, digital and freestanding pylon signs are part of 18,000+ projects for over 12,000+ clients. The award-winning sign that welcomes you to the City of Red Deer? That’s one of Blanchett’s. The namesake signs on the EPCOR and City of Edmonton towers? That’s Blanchett too. The local branding for Servus Credit Union, TD Bank and ATB are also from Blanchett. The portfolio of what has been crafted over 75 years is impressive – and the first 75 years were just the warmup.

It all began when George W. Blanchett saw an opportunity to service the business boom following WWII. George came from an entrepreneurial family, which is why, at 15 years old, he jumped at the chance to intern for Clyde Hook (of Hook Signs). Here he learned the basics of commercial signs, bulletins and pictorials.
George brought these newfound skills back to Edmonton to service the large demand for signage, thus leading to the birth of Blanchett Neon Ltd. at 11448 Jasper Ave.

“George was a fierce believer in the highest quality products that stood the test of time – often personally walking the production floor to ensure the finished products met his extremely high standards,” says Taylor Blanchett, vice president.

The business continued to expand over the years that followed, with George’s values of supplying clients with the highest quality goods and services produced by the most skilled, professional craftsmen leading the company every step of the way. A third move took place in 1969 to the current location, which George played a large role in designing. After passing the helm of Blanchett down to his son and son-in-law, the founder retired in 1979.

“Today, Blanchett is an Edmonton-based, fourth-generation family owned and operated signage provider passionately servicing the Western Canadian Region. We work with organizations of all sizes to provide turnkey solutions to ensure complete customer satisfaction. Blanchett is proud to employ a team of specialised individuals passionately delivering high quality, thoughtful solutions,” says Taylor.
Tammy Porter, sales and marketing manager, is one of those specialised individuals on the team.

“When George opened Blanchett, there were four employees. Now there are over 40,” says Tammy. “It is our 75 years of excellence in the industry, it is our professionals in their respective fields, knowledge of our target audience and understanding of our customers’ needs that allows us to provide signage that truly stands out,” she says.

“Standing behind our workmanship, quality and integrity to guide and support our customers on their signage journey from stem to stern, we work collaboratively with cross-functional partners so our clients can rest assured that Blanchett is fully immersed in their projects to achieve success,” adds Daryl Blanchett, president.

Blanchett continues to grow despite stiff competition locally and from overseas. Manufacturing and standing behind reliable, superior, custom products designed and built in Canada helps Blanchett remain a preferred, local choice.

“There are many choices and paths to execute the same signage display, from electrical, mounting, permits, to considerations of future serviceability and it is important to partner with an organization who has the experience to support your critical success factors,” notes Tammy. “We understand the complexity of these projects and how to consider permitting, design, fabrication, construction, installation and service to produce a safe and successful result.”

Those results can be seen across the province, including in many local projects in Edmonton. For example, the Currents at Windermere (Cameron Developments) sign features a 48’ high double sided illuminated pylon with a hand painted gradient header. Special permission was needed from Alberta Transportation to approve this unique design and oversized height. The Amii (Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute) project features two elevations of skyline signage. Each 8’ high magenta letter is individually controlled and operated to display a range of colours.

Blanchett has always been about honouring and recognizing the legacy of the past while looking to the future. Taylor explains, “For our 70th Anniversary in 2017, we re-created our exterior entrance sign from our second location, utilizing the same traditional fabrication methods as the sign would have originally been built with, including hand-painting and neon illumination. We were honoured to donate the sign to the Edmonton Neon Sign Museum to be enjoyed for generations to come.”

“The most rewarding thing for me,” Taylor continues, “is the opportunity to continue the legacy that George, my great-grandfather, founded this company with. Fourth-generation, home-grown family businesses are few and far between these days and the honour I have to carry on that history is something I do not take lightly. Our people are the heart and soul of what we do. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing the final product we have produced, and knowing the thoughtfulness and hard work that went into seeing it through to completion – from planning to design, from drafting to fabrication, to the final installation and the many hands that touched it along the way.”

Blanchett lights up locations with unique signage and they enhance the community by giving back in other ways too.

“Blanchett is proud to support The Mustard Seed as they do critical work in downtown Edmonton to feed some of our most vulnerable population,” says Taylor. “For the past two years we have partnered with Nova Hotels to provide over 1,000 meals during the holiday season to those that would have otherwise would have gone without. We have also supported Homes for Hope through Youth With A Mission in Ensenada, Mexico by donating time and manpower (including multiple staff members) to build a house in just over two days. Most recently, we have partnered with Mamas for Mamas as they expand into the region, and we are excited to support their continued growth at their brand new Edmonton location.”

The dedication to quality, customer service and giving back has not gone unnoticed. In 2017 Daryl was named Sign Professional of the Year by the Sign Association of Canada. In 2019, Taylor was named as a volunteer of the year. Blanchett’s City of Red Deer project was named both Best in Show and Top Freestanding Sign of the Year in 2019, in addition to countless other awards and recognitions over the years. These are just a few recognitions for a lifetime of service as a company and for individuals on the team.

On behalf of Blanchett, Taylor, Daryl and Tammy thank the Alberta Sign Association and the Sign Association of Canada, the communities that provide opportunities to give back, the vendors, suppliers and of course the many clients past, present and future.

“Blanchett will continue to elevate the standards for the sign industry as a whole. Our goal is to model safe and innovative signage displays that stand the test of time; to expand on our legacy of excellence; execute plans for a new facility and achieve our goals of growth, creativity and innovation,” Taylor concludes.

12850 St. Albert Trail, Edmonton, AB T5L 4H6
780-453-2441 | 1-800-226-6366 (Toll Free)


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