E V E RYDAY H E R O
wayfinding boards. The company also
completed signs for the Calgary Airport,
a large-scale complex job, and was
awarded Edmonton’s Transit LRT proj-ect
in February of 2020.
Hi Signs’ 50 employees work year-round
from its 55,000-square-foot fac-tory
on the south side of the city.
“We are consistently busy,” said
Brennan. “In the winter, we flip to
interior work like wayfinding sys-tems.
Our goal is to efficiently navigate
people through their surroundings. A
lot of strategic placement goes into
mapping a facility and making sure
we’re not obstructing viewing paths or
He takes pride in saying that Hi Signs
“builds them like they used to,” con-structing
high quality signs that stand
up to Canada’s harsh climate and last
“We are creating signs that save lives
and are trying to get people home safe-ly,”
continued Brennan. “Our whole
staff has adopted that thought process.
I found my greatest purpose was on the
safety side, but also helping people navi-gate
their surroundings. We kind of take
it for granted; we pass by signs every
day and don’t really think about how
they are made or who makes them.”
Regardless of the job size, Hi Signs
offers full-service project management
from beginning to end. Some pylon-type
signs require permits and foundation
work, which is all completed in-house.
Hi Signs will also work with commer-cial
developers to create signage for an
entire retail complex, from the parking
lot to menu boards inside restaurants.
Its design team is trained to help cus-tomers
capture important messages in
fewer words, while the entire staff is
focused on continuous improvement.
“We have invested in lifelong learn-ing,”
said Brennan. “The credit goes to
Tom Fath at The Fath Group. They’ve
spent $100,000 over the last 12 months
in education for our people. It’s a com-mitment
to investing in the staff.”
Some employees are pursuing
Lean Six Sigma training while oth-ers
are doing Project Management
Professional (PMP) and MBA courses.
Still others take part in internal lunch
and learn programs.
At Hi Signs, excellence is carefully
cultivated. Staff proudly wear branded
T-shirts and focus on the little extras
that make the company a Western
Canadian leader in its field. Its products
are built to last even though quality
costs more, “but cutting corners is not
an alternative,” said Brennan, who has
big plans for the future.
“We’d like to continue elevating the
status of Hi Signs. We are Edmonton-focused
now, but within five years,
I’d like to expand to a 500-kilometre
radius and maybe multi-province. The
world has changed, especially through
COVID-19. I think Hi Signs will have
a presence from B.C. to Saskatchewan,
with its home in Edmonton.”
Impressively, Hi Signs has tripled its
revenue over the last three years.
“I refuse to take part in the reces-sion.
There are always opportunities
everywhere. We are in control of our
own destiny, and we focus on what
we can control,” concluded Brennan.
“We are largely unheralded. We oper-ate
in the background every day. You’ll
never know who made that sign or
where it came from, but we take it
very seriously.” n
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