Sign, sign everywhere a sign and usually in the city of Barrie it’s Imagineers behind that sign.
Imagineers specializes in creative design solutions for your home or business, combining their two departments of advertising and a sign shop. The downtown Barrie business has been the quiet company behind the scenes on many projects around the city and beyond. Owner Jason Ouellette has been running the company since 2012 and has enjoyed the success he believes the company has had.
“I took over Imagineers in 2012 having worked there previously and I feel it’s really grown into a go-to place for people to come for their promotional needs,” said Ouellette. “We’ve had many big projects in the last five years and it’s only getting busier with all the requests coming in every week.”
Imagineers takes on all sorts of assignments and has work throughout Barrie that you see every day but didn’t know was them. The Barrie Molson Centre is home to the OHL’s Barrie Colts but is also home to one of the company’s earlier projects which are the huge lettering on the front of the building. Their custom lettering is everywhere and is just one service they provide to expand your business.
“The lettering is a big one for us despite the amount of work that goes into it,” said Ouellette. “The way you can make certain aspects of a company name stand out is really cool once its completed and the client can see that and loves it; making the customer happy with the final project is obviously important but when they are proud to put the work on the building it is really special.”
As a small business owner himself, Ouellette understands how crucial maintaining clients can be. The 41-year-old has had his share of people trying to get him to lower his fee, give out a freebie and all the other favours that get asked during business. While Imagineers prices are fair, Ouellette says they are what they are for one main reason.
“Clients want quality above all else,” said Ouellette. “If they can get it cheaper, it usually means that the service was cheaper too. I’ve been involved in graphic design and signage for many years, I know that it’s a lot better to take the time and effort in doing the job right the first time so I don’t have to go back and do it over. We do vehicle wraps for example, if you cut corners there you can’t just push a corner back down that comes unravelled, you have to tear it all off and do it over; that’s costly and time-consuming.”
Ouellette’s work has become popular and well-respected so much that Imagineers is the company that Georgian College trusts and uses for the work they need done. Nearly all the work done on the college’s seven campuses been done by Ouellette, including the soon-to-be-unveiled sign on the sports field, and it’s a fact he’s extremely proud of.
“Being a graduate of the college and being asked to be their graphics and sign guy was great financially obviously, but also a real sense of pride for me,” said Ouellette. “It's really cool as well because all the work at the new campus going in downtown beside The Ranch will be done by us and I feel that’s a huge step for the college with regards to growing their design program; as an alumni I’m very honoured to help with that.”
Not just vinyl on a billboard, Imagineers uses all types of materials to boost your advertising. Aluminum, plastics, boards and other hard material can be made into a great way to attract new clientele. Ouellette assures that its isn’t just an email-in process as he likes to get to know what he’s designing and who he’s designing for with a meeting to go over the vision.
“I have people usually come in and we sit down while they tell me all about the vision, the name, colour scheme and who they are trying to reach,” said Ouellette. “I can better understand the process having understood the client.”
Business is usually first and foremost with clients and deadlines, but the father of two admits Imagineers can also assist in home decor.
“From time to time we do home murals and kids rooms,” said Ouellette. “Jungle themes and sci-fi is very popular and it’s something as a dad that I get; seeing the kid’s faces light up when they open the door to their new room.”