Front and Centre
Qualico is one of the largest development companies in western Canada. Their commercial division manages over three million square feet of commercial space and is developing over four million more. They built and manage 17 commercial properties in the Edmonton area, including EPCOR Tower and Energy Square.
One of Qualico’s newest developments is the three-story Allendale Professional Centre, a high-end medical and business centre.
We’d successfully done a smaller project for Qualico before. Now they wanted to see what we could do with something a little bigger. We were tasked with creating directories and tenant suite signs that matched the rest of the Allendale building, looked like part of a cohesive plan, and could be easily updated.
Design and create tenant signs and directories that match the Allendale building.
We were brought in early and given floor plans, finish codes, renderings, and concept drawings so we could understand Qualico’s vision for the space. Qualico was also going for LEED® certification, so our work needed to help them meet that goal. Our recommendations also included ways to make the system faster, easier, and less expensive to update.
One of these suggestions was a simple vinyl backer for tenant suite signage instead of the specced painted glass, which is difficult and expensive to swap out. We keep inventory in stock so Qualico doesn’t have to wait months for hardware and custom glass. By having those materials available, we can update the directory and suite signage shortly after a new tenant moves in.
Secondary signs (like staircase level, fire extinguisher, evacuation, and so on) weren’t a primary focus at first. But once Qualico started thinking about these sub-signs, we gave them a full list of signs to consider. At that point they asked us to develop signage for the entire building. This expanded into window glazings, door IDs, regulatory signage, and more.
We were also asked to create a concept for the underground parkade, including the elevator lobby and stairwells. Our design was based on the finished building logo, which used angular shapes and a teal-and-black colour palette to communicate a sleek, modern feel. We brought those elements into the signage design and used them to develop a set of custom icons.
Our favourite part of this project was the cycle park. Dirty bikes can embed dirt in unfinished concrete, which makes it hard to clean. We designed a logo, embedded it in the concrete, and applied an epoxy floor coating to keep the area easy to clean. We also designed digital murals for the cinderblock walls. The result was a safe, dedicated space for cyclists and their bikes.
We phased out the project to meet completion schedules and ensure there was signage at every step along the way. Because Allendale was a new building, we could only predict how traffic would flow. We had to wait until people started using the space before we could see how the system worked.
In this case, we found that the directory wasn’t getting people where they needed to go because signage was being moved around to accommodate construction. So we introduced a sub-directory to help with navigation until construction was complete.
Qualico was so impressed with our work that they asked us to provide the same level of signage to the five-story Allendale Centre East. We love that they trusted us to come up with the best possible answer and partnered with us to get people moving in the right direction.