Our Latest Blogs

Our Solutions News Blog was envisioned to gather and share information from the very best to help you and your business to become more effective.

One key part of being a great marketer is understanding how people think and knowing why they act the way they do. 10 principals.
Which Social Network Should You Advertise On? Social media advertising is a great tactic to use to supplement your print advertising.
Dominion Blue Reprographics

Dominion Blue Reprographics

Monday, 20 February 2012 15:44

2nd C.P.R. Station

Here's the newly completed CPR station in about 1900. Not T C Sorby's first station that lasted a very short time just over 10 years. This one sat right at the foot of Granville Street, and despite its grandeur it only lasted fifteen years before being replaced by the one still standing today.

The designer was a German immigrant, Edward Colonna (who had changed his name from Klonne when he became a US citizen). Colonna came to CP from designing the interior of rail coaches, and before that working in New York for Louis Comfort Tiffany. On leaving CP in the early 1890s as the railway boom was ending he designed for Maison de l'Art Nouveau in Paris, both jewellery and furniture. He then moved to Toronto, where he worked for 20 years before retiring to Nice where he died, aged 86, having been paralyzed and bedridden for over 20 years.

Colonna's station design was only partly complete when a severe down turn in the economy saw construction halted. The building's final appearance was completed in 1899 by Montreal based (and born) architect Edward Maxwell, who reworked Calonna's design but stayed true to its Gothic style. Indeed for the now demolished Ottawa station he adopted a similar chateau style, and for an economy sized version head to The Keg in New Westminster where Maxwell's $35,000 1899 station can still be found.

Today the site consists of a parkade that's associated with the offices in the replacement station and the office tower at Granville Square built in the 1970s as one of the few completed parts of Project 200, a huge urban renewal scheme that would have seen Gastown swept away.

Source: Changing Vancouver

Monday, 20 February 2012 15:36

Pacific National Exhibition

Appropriately enough for a part of the city that was founded on tourism and hotels, the former Hastings Townsite became home to one of the city's biggest attractions.

In 1908, a group of East End realtors got together to plan an exhibition, the precursor to the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE). They wanted to put on a show as impressive as the Royal Agricultural Show in New Westminsterbut that would be within the reach of a five-cent [street]car fare.

With an eye on the 160-acre Hastings Park, used for little more that horse racing since the province had granted it to the city in 1889, they asked both the City of Vancouver and the provincial government for startup funds. The city put a bylaw before voters, asking ratepayers to approve a $25,000 grant, but the voters said no. So did the province.

The premier, Mr. Richard McBride, candidly and frankly told the deputation who waited upon him that the government opposed the movement which it calculated would be destructive to the established Royal Agricultural Society at New Westminster, and that no assistance could be looked for from that quarter, recalled Vancouver Exhibition Association co-founder John James (J.J._ Miller, writing in the 1930s).

Instead the founders turned to private funds to raise the capital they needed to mount their show. Miller, who served as president of the exhibition from 1908 to 1921, bought the first $100 life membership, and co-founders Professor Edward Odlum and George McSpanddenboth East End realtorsbought life memberships numbers two and three. Eventually the co-founderswho also included realtor Thomas Duke and newspaper writer J. Field-Johnsonmanaged to raise $20,000.

A few months later, the city again asked voters to contribute the exhibition, and a bylaw for a $50,000 grant passed.

Money in hand, the exhibition's first board of managementwhich included Charles Woodward, founder of the department storebuilt a handsome show building on 60 acres of parkland leased from the city. Originally called the Exhibition Building, it was later renamed the Industrial Hall, and eventually the Women's Building. Located at what today is the corner of Oxford and Renfrew streets (it was demolished in 1938), it was an impressive looking building with columns, turrets and a half-dome ceiling over the front entrance.

The Exhibition Building opened in September 1910 with so many exhibits entered, organizers had to scramble to get pens for livestock and housed the poultry in a large tent.

Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier opened the fair with a gracious speech of goodwill and good wishes on a beautiful sunny day. A trotting race followed the opening ceremonies, after which Laurier took a walking tour of the exhibit and attended an afternoon tea, presided over by Miller's wife, in a large marquee on the grounds.

Some 68,000 people paid 50 cents each to attend that first exhibition, which tallied up a net profit of $8,825.

This far exceeded the wildest expectations of the promoters, and gave them renewed vigor, hope and encouragement, wrote Miller.

The provincial government did an about-face, with McBride sending a letter conveying his best wishes to the exhibition on its opening daytogether with a cheque for a $10,000 grant.

The Vancouver Exhibition soon rivaled those in Victoria and New Westminster. The latter, contrary to predictions, did not go out of business right away, but lingered until 1930.

Source: Vancouver, Stories of a City by Lisa Smedman

Monday, 20 February 2012 15:23

150 Block of West Hastings

One of the early shop locations for the Dominion Blue Print & Drafting Co. was in the Ormidal Block 151 West Hastings. The 1912 image above shows the back breaking labour it took to install new sewage and roads back then.

A number of buildings on this block were built in the late 1890s, and an original Woodwards store was one of them. The building has been used as an art gallery for many years, but it started life in 1898 as the offices of the Province Newspaper, Walter Nichol's Victoria newspaper that moved into Vancouver and eventually took out Francis Carter-Cotton's rival News-Advertiser in 1924, moving to his smarter offices in the process. In 1926 'The Arcade' a retail centre that may have replaced one of the same name that had been built on Hastings at Cambie in 1894 by Harvey Haddon, originally from Nottingham in England. The Arcade took in the main floor of the Stock Exchange Building next door as well, and was designed by Townley and Matheson. Later it became the National Furniture Store.

Massive changes have occurred on the block in the past few years at one time almost everything was abandoned or so run down that it looked like it would be demolished or converted to housing. However, recent demand for character office space and the impact of the Woodwards redevelopment project have seen clean up and refurbishment of many of the buildings.

Source: Changing Vancouver

Monday, 23 January 2012 12:49

The Marine Building

In terms of financial supervision, it may not have helped that the owners, G A Stimson and Co, were based in Toronto when the Marine Building was being built in the extraordinary time of only 16 months from start to finish. The design was local, McCarter and Nairne letting their imaginations run riot on this Mayan influenced deep-sea fantasy, with seahorses, pufferfish (and the odd zeppelin for contemporary reference) in the details. But the budget was blown wide open the cost was over $2.3 million, fifty percent over the original estimate, and if the economy was looking shaky in 1929 when building started it looked positively terrible in 1930 when it opened. So despite the lavish gala when it opened and the beautiful uniformed young women in front of the handmade solid brass elevator doors, nobody was heading upstairs. By 1931 the owners were willing to let the building go at less than half price as a new City Hall.

In 1933 it was knocked down to British Pacific Building Co for $900,000. Fred Taylor, the prime mover of the deal, moved into the penthouse at the top of the building and persuaded the Guinness family to back the investment. Taylor didn't live there much as the elevators closed in the evening, stranding Taylor and his wife on the 19th floor. In the 1940s it became another office space in a consistently popular building for tenants, and the most significant Art Deco masterpiece in the city, and among the best in North America.

When it opened it stood alone on the escarpment, away from the city (which may have contributed to the difficult of leasing it initially). Now its surrounded on all sides by commercial towers, and an even taller one is just being built immediately behind it by Oxford Properties, who own the Marine Building today.

Source: Changing Vancouver

Monday, 23 January 2012 12:30

Merchants Bank ΓÇô Pender and Granville

At first glance there's virtually no change between this 1922 shot of a 1915 building, and how it looked in the Vancouver rain. But looking closer, there are differences, and they reflect an evolving role for the building. In 1916 this was the new Merchants Bank, designed by Somervell and Putnam, both Americans who worked in Seattle before Vancouver. For young, recently arrived architects they picked up a remarkable set of important commissions in a very short time, and in turn delivered a set of buildings that are among the best that were built in a fiercely competitive period of growth.

The Merchants Bank was one of many trying to tempt new clients, so the building had to show style while implying solidity. The architects went with a classical theme a temple bank of three storeys (pretending to be two). By 1923 the Bank of Montreal had subsumed the Merchants Bank, and Kenneth Guscotte Rea, their architect, was given the job of doubling the size of the bank, which he achieved almost seamlessly. That's when the doorway disappears the older picture shows the entire building, the contemporary image only half the building.

By the 1990s the Bank of Montreal had no future use for the building, and it sat unwanted, and with an uncertain future. In the early 1990s Joe Segal, Vancouver businessman and property developer bought the building, donated it to Simon Fraser University, and kick-started a restoration fund that raised nearly $20 million to convert the building into the the Segal Graduate School of Business. Extensive and sensitive renovations and restoration, designed by Merrick Architecture, now see the building with a solid future to match its architectural integrity.

Source: Changing Vancouver

Friday, 20 January 2012 16:35

Wright Brothers Blueprint

Now of course we didn't print the Wright Brothers blueprints, but it does give you an idea of how long we've been around. As we all know, the Wright brothers were two Americans credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903. In the two years afterward, the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.

The brothers' fundamental breakthrough was their invention of three-axis control, which enabled the pilot to steer the aircraft effectively and to maintain its equilibrium. This method became standard and remains standard on fixed-wing aircraft of all kinds. From the beginning of their aeronautical work, the Wright brothers focused on developing a reliable method of pilot control as the key to solving "the flying problem". This approach differed significantly from other experimenters of the time who put more emphasis on developing powerful engines. Using a small home built wind tunnel, the Wrights also collected more accurate data than any before, enabling them to design and build wings and propellers that were more efficient than any before. Their first U.S. patent, 821,393, did not claim invention of a flying machine, but rather, the invention of a system of aerodynamic control that manipulated a flying machine's surfaces.

They gained the mechanical skills essential for their success by working for years in their shop with printing presses, bicycles, motors, and other machinery. Their work with bicycles in particular influenced their belief that an unstable vehicle like a flying machine could be controlled and balanced with practice. From 1900 until their first powered flights in late 1903, they conducted extensive glider tests that also developed their skills as pilots. Their bicycle shop employee Charlie Taylor became an important part of the team, building their first aircraft engine in close collaboration with the brothers.

The Wright brothers' status as inventors of the airplane has been subject to counter-claims by various parties. Much controversy persists over the many competing claims of early aviators.

Source: Wikipedia

When we made the decision that 50% recycled premium bond would become our standard paper for all plotting and copy centre work we had no idea about how much we'd be reducing the environmental impact from the printing our customers do! What we found was that just one medium sized construction project alone was enough to make it all worthwhile. Now you can include this value added information in reports and proposals with your existing and prospective clients. Click Here to order a customized Eco-Friendly Report. To find out more about the Environment Paper Network click Here. Share &/or CommentΓû║
Thursday, 15 December 2011 10:46

Colour CAD.. Affordable & Easy

Colour CAD printing has now evolved to the point where it's affordable and high quality ColourWave printing adds amazing warmth and contrast to just about any of your drawings. Essentially what you see on your computer is what you'll get. Plus you can also plot onto Tyvek or Copy Tuff paper for waterproof drawings. Share &/or CommentΓû║
Since an estimated 70% of purchase decisions are made within the retail store itself, effective point-of-purchase displays can have a dramatic impact on sales for a particular product, especially when introducing a new product to existing customers.

One marketing technique, point-of-purchase (POP) advertising for consumers, can be a useful source of pre-purchase information for the existing customer, and the customer is more receptive to POP promotions when making a purchase. For example, apparel shoppers found that of eight product information sources, POP information was rated third most useful. POP is useful because it has the ability to reach potential buyers at the time and place of the potential purchase displays are more productive than media advertising as they offer precise target marketing.

POP such as displays, signs, bins, floor stands, and devices that are promotional, are used to advertise and merchandise a service or product at a specific location. It can be advertising that is built around impulse purchasing and that utilizes display designed to catch a shopper's eye particularly at the place where payment is made, such as a checkout counter.

POP advertising has a definite impact of in-store displays, with over a 500 percent average increase in unit sales of selected supermarket products. Also, end-of-aisle displays have a much greater impact on unit sales than did expanded shelf space, even when the product is not on sale.

POP can elevate the status or visibility of a product in-store through the use of large signs, banners and cut-out style displays. This is the most commonly used form of POP. By setting off a brand, age group, or even an entire product category, POP can be used to create a more effective selling environment.

POP is often used to house and dispense a product, sometimes in areas of the store that are separate from the product's category.

Some elaborate displays provide automated sales demonstration, often with the use of videos.

POP can guide shoppers to the location of a product, convey price or product information, and promote contests or other tie-ins.

Research... The best sources of information are the retailers themselves. Collect data from existing surveys and find out all you can about what your competition is doing. Survey retailers to obtain customer information on a store-by- store basis. Test your POP in sample retail environments that represent your market conditions.

Establishing goals... The principle objectives should be set before any specific POP options are considered.

Partnering with retailers... Critical to the success of any POP strategy is the cooperation you receive from the location they will be implemented. There can be tremendous competition for floor space, so if you are placing POP in a secondary location, obtain permission from local management.

Maintaining POP... Do not neglect your POP. A poor looking display will surely drive away any potential consumer.

Measuring results... It is very difficult to test the effectiveness of a POP campaign. To get an accurate test, barcoding and scanners make it possible to monitor sales of items purchased anywhere in the store. QR codes can also be used to validate interest.

Term of campaign... The length of a POP campaign is based on your marketing objectives, the retail environment, and the extent of competitive activity. Establishing a timetable is critical, because this will determine everything from the type of POP to be created to materials and costs.

Budget... POP budgets are usually calculated on a per-placement basis. For temporary POP, spend an amount equal to 5 percent of the merchandise displayed. In other words, if the display holds $100 worth of goods, you'd spend $5 per display. For permanent displays, the accepted range is 15 to 20 percent. Of course, many factors can push these percentages up or down.

Distribution and setup... Once finished POP is produced, the next step is to assemble the various elements, get them to the stores, and set them up. That can be harder than it sounds. You need to decide the best way of ensuring that everything is done according t plan. Make it a point to educate at the point-of-purchase. Educational materials are essential for the success of the product or service being targeted at the the consumer.

Share &/or CommentΓû║

Aug. 4, 2011 - Talk about a light bulb moment. A professor of engineering at Edinburgh University recently demonstrated for the first time to a wide audience his technology that uses common every day lights to transmit data.

Harald Haas streamed a video through a desk lamp at Ted Global 2011 at Scotland's Edinburgh International Conference Center in July.

If commercialized, the technology not only creates a vast new application for light, but also dramatically expands our now limited wireless capacity. Imagine downloading your email from any of the14 billion light bulbs installed in the world.

Haas' technology swaps out our current way of transmitting data - through radio frequency - with a new approach using visible light from LED light bulbs. This is significant because we are running out of radio frequency spectrum as our appetite for wireless communication grows, Haas says. The visible light spectrum, on the other hand, is enormous, with about 10,000 times more capacity than radio frequency. Using light instead of radio frequency would give us a lot more capacity for our cell phones, wireless computers and other devices.

The energy implications are even more interesting.? Click Here to read the full story. Share &/or CommentΓû║

Page 12 of 15