The designs for each location were done by Mint’s own designer, Howa Architecture of Twin Falls, Idaho. Through their design-assist process, Knight Signs provided material suggestions with budget pricing and created the fabrication designs for each sign type. All types of tools and craftsmanship were used to build the signs, such as channel benders, sheet metal breaks, steel and aluminum welding, computer numerical control (CNC) routers, pain booths, and ultraviolet (UV) printers. The sign pieces varied in size, from 304.8 mm
(12 in.) to 9.4 m (31 ft) high. The materials used during the building process included aluminum, steel, acrylic, diabond, vinyl, paint, and light-emitting diode (LED) lights.
All signs were transported to their respective locations using Knight Signs’ flatbed trailers and were installed using cranes and bucket trucks. The general contractor for all Mint Smartwash locations was Fillmore Construction Management of Edmonton. Knight Signs co-ordinated their installations with them, along with the Mint group, before they sent their crews out to begin the installation process. The installations were nothing out of the ordinary for the highly successful sign company, and did not require any lane or sidewalk closures, which would have created delays. Plenty of space was available to accommodate the tools and machines for the install, including the cranes. The installation process for all the signs took roughly two weeks to complete for each location.
A unique structural aspect of the car wash building is the blue and green blades running down the sides and surrounding the entrance and exit. The smaller blades have also been designed to illuminate with matching green LED border tubing used as accent lighting. Knight Signs was asked to build these unique giant blades; however, they initially served as a structural challenge, as they were not in the company’s wheelhouse. They had past experience with designing and building gas station canopies, but these particular blades required a manufacturing solution to make them feasible, as they were at risk of falling over. Several revisions needed to be made to Knight Signs’ engineered shop drawings before they arrived at the ideal way to manufacture them. The proper base and mounting details had to be provided and ultimately stamped by an engineer. This was important for installation purposes, to ensure the blades were properly fastened and had properly sized bases to hold them in place.
Ultimately, the combination of signs, graphics, lighting, and colours all worked together in the design and execution processes, to present each Mint Smartwash building as one giant, uniform logo. The amount and size of the signs, as well as the consistency in design between locations, successfully brings the brand to life and makes the car washes easily identifiable.
Through its sharp, attractive signage design, Mint Smartwash has created an inviting, clean, and fun atmosphere, which helps show off the personality of the brand. Plus, the well-planned wayfinding signage at each location allows for clear navigation through the car wash—facilitating a smooth customer experience.