Est. 1988 - Over 35 Years of Experience - Family Owned and Operated

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of signs does Permel produce?

Permel has a unique selection of in house capabilities, including rotary engraving, laser engraving and cutting, routering, wide format printing, and plotting technology that allows us to meet a variety of client needs in one shop. 

We produce the following types of signs: 

3D Lettering Signs 
ADA Signage 
Business Signs 
Control + Instrument Panels 
Development Project Signage 
Directional + Wayfinding Signage 
Laser Engraved Signs 
Movie Set Signs + Props 
Name Tags + Passes 
Reception Signs 
Rotary Engraved Signs 
Routered Signs 
Storefront Signage 

Our custom signage, such as reception signage, outdoor signs, office plaques, memorial plaques, industrial stencils, control & instrument panel labels, awards, three dimensional signs and storefront signs are displayed with pride by businesses across British Columbia and beyond. 

How long will it take for Permel to complete our job?

That depends on what type of sign and technology we are using to produce your sign. Small jobs usually take three to four days. Larger, more complex jobs can take up to three weeks. For a more accurate answer, please email your project details to so that we can review and get back to you with a timeline to meet your deadline. 

How much will it cost to produce our custom signage?

That depends on the quantities, materials, and complexity of the signage Permel is producing for you. Please email your project details to so that we came prepare a FREE quotation for your next project. 

We are not sure how to take the measurements for our sign; will Permel come to my facility to take measurements?

Yes, we can include that in our quotation. First, we will need you to describe to us what you need, please email your project details to so that we came prepare a FREE quotation for your next project. Once you have reviewed and provided feedback on our quotation, we’ll make arrangements to come to your premises to take measurements, if required. 

Will Permel provide installation for the signage they manufacture for us?

Yes, let us know you need us to install your custom sign, and we will include the cost of installation in our quotation. When your sign is ready, we’ll make arrangements to come to your premises and install it. 

What payment terms does Permel offer?

We request a 50% deposit to get started on your job. The full balance is due upon completion. We accept VISA, MasterCard, AMEX and cheques for payment. For long-term clients we are happy to perform a credit check and extend credit terms. 

Will Permel design our sign?

Based on your description of the sign you’d like, and once you have accepted our quotation, we can take care of designing your custom sign. This includes helping you decide what materials to use, the method of construction, and the layout (dimensions, front and side shot, pin mounts etc.) In most cases we will need files from you, such as your logo and/or graphics in high resolutions (vector format eps or native ai files). It is also helpful if you have brand standard guidelines you can share, so we use the right fonts and colours in your sign. We always provide a detailed layout drawing for your approval before going to production. 

For more complex design projects, we work with a number of talented creative designers who will work with us to create your custom signage. 

What materials does Permel use to build custom signage?

We use a wide range of materials to build custom signs including: acrylic, aluminum, PVC Sintra, Styrene, brass, foam, stainless steel, wood,  Coraplast (corrugated plastic), paper, vinyl, and glass

Our range of material options include solid metals that will deliver a sophisticated, high end finished product, as well as materials that are less costly but will convey a high end look. E.g., we can produce 3D letters with solid half-inch aluminum, or in foam with a thin aluminum face. 

If you are not sure which material to choose, please email your project details to so that we came prepare a FREE quotation for your next project.

What type of files will Permel need from us to build our sign?

We will require vector based high resolution PDF files or native .eps or .ai files (but PDF file format is preferred).

Please check with us when you placing your order. 

Can I send files to Permel prepared in 3D programs, like SolidWorks or AutoCAD (ie .dxf or dwg files? 

In most cases we cannot work with files produced in 3D programs. But depending on the version of AutoCAD that the art files are exported from there could be a chance that Permel could use them. Please email your project details to so that we came prepare a FREE quotation for your next project.

Can Permel build our sign using an image or file downloaded from the internet?

In almost all cases, images or files downloaded from the internet will be a low resolution .jpeg or bitmap file type and they are usually low resolution and poor quality. They may look fine on your screen, but when we put them into our art department for review and file setup, these low resolution images and files are unsuitable for us to use to build your sign. 

Some high resolution images are available on the internet. If you need help finding out if your image or file is suitable for your sign, please call us and we can check it for you. 

We cannot work with images that are pasted into a Word document or Powerpoint document. 

Will Permel show us a proof of our sign before producing it?

Yes, after you have reviewed and approved your quotation from our Permel team member, we will move your project to our In Design queue to have PDF artwork proofs created and emailed to you for final artwork approval prior to production.  On the artwork proofs you will receive we will have detailed drawings (including dimensions, front and side shot, pin mounts etc.) of your sign or production for you to approve. After your APPROVE your PDF drawings in your personal client portal, your project will move into out In Production queue.  Note, your project will not move into production until we received your approved artwork proofs, so to speed up the process, please get back to us as quickly as possible and approve the layout or ask for changes.

Can Permel match the colours of our logo and corporate identity?

Yes, we have a full sign industry paint system that allows us to match pantone and corporate colours. We would need the complete Pantone number requested in order for us to match as close as possible to your specified colour. We also can colour match paint colours for Sherwin Williams Paint and Benjamin Moore paint colours if required. Note, projects that require our paint mixing services and since we are using a sign industry paint mixing station, we can not match RGB or CYMK values. We encourage our client to specific a Pantone colour, Sherwin Williams Paint colour, or Benjamin Moore paint colour for colour specific project.

For digitally printed projects, yes we can colour match as close as possible using Pantone colours, RGB values and CYMK values. Please note when specifying digital Pantone, RGB, and CYMK colours that final digital output colour from production may vary slightly as end client computer monitors may or may not be colour calibrated, so the your monitor colour may look slightly different than the produced production colour. If a project is colour sensitive, please contact Permel for a actual colour sample on the material you require for your project and we can assist you with that.  There is an extra billable charge for actual colour samples, but if colour is important it is a good investment to ensure success on the project.

What does ADA stand for? and What is ADA signage?

ADA is an abbreviation for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA as it is referred to). It was a law that was passed in 1990 in the United States, to encourage inclusivity and prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities. In Canada, the Accessible Canada Act (ACA) was passed into law 2019 with a similar focus to promote inclusivity in public and private sectors for people with disabilities. 

ADA signage, or frequently called tactile ADA signage means the copy and graphics on a sign is raised on the surface of the sign face so a visual impaired person can identify / read the copy on the sign. The standard thickness of standard ADA is 1/32” raised tactile copy but 1/16” thickness is also available. ADA signage is usually manufactured in conjunction with braille copy at the same time, on the same sign.  So when the term for ADA signage is requested by the end client,  please request “raised ADA tactile with braille” on your next Permel quotation request. 

What is the difference between Grade 1 Braille and Grade 2 Braille?

Grade 1 braille is non-condensed braille, meaning every letter in each word has a braille character to represent the letter.

Grade 2 braille is a condensed version of braille (short-hand) , meaning Grade 2 braille includes contractions and abbreviations to reduce the number of characters and save space.

Permel can produce raised ADA  tactile and braille signs with either Grade 1 braille or Grade 2 braille. See our ADA tactile and braille signage under products for more details.

What is the difference between laser engraved and laser etched?

While the terms laser engraved and laser etched are used interchangeable at times, they are different processes with different end results.

Laser engraving is the  process where we uses our laser technology to physically remove material and create a permanent marking when engraved copy and graphics. The laser engraving process makes the copy and graphics “recessed” into the surface if the material. You would be able to feel the recessed copy and graphics if you ran you fingers across the laser engraved area. Permel can laser engrave products like lamacoids, nametags, acrylic, some plastics, and some coated metal products to leave a clean, crisp, and permanent client copy.

Laser etching is when we use our laser technology to alter the surface of the material and the laser beam “marks” the the copy and graphics on the surface without removing any material. Laser etching can change the colour of the area where the copy and graphics are “marked”. After laser etching the area is smooth and does not have a recess feel to the copy and graphics. Permel can laser etched items like acrylic, awards, glassware, stainless steel cable tags, Yeti Tumblers, and even wood products.  Laser etching is creates a clean, crisp, easily to read copy and graphics and is idea for industrial markings applications like adding serial numbers to client supplied items and great promotional items like Yeti Laser Etched Tumblers.

In summary, laser engraving involves the removal of material to create a deep, permanent mark, while laser etching alters the surface without significant material removal, resulting in a shallower and often less tactile mark. The choice between engraving and etching depends on the specific application, material, and desired appearance of the marking.

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