Channel Letters: Creating the key to celebrate Lock’s heritage

To commemorate the history of the pharmacy and its status as a community institution, TDH fabricated a sign that incorporates the store’s founding year into the logo.

To commemorate the history of the pharmacy and its status as a community institution, TDH fabricated a sign that incorporates the store’s founding year into the logo.

Success in business is never guaranteed. Offering something of value and building lasting trust with clients may sound simple in theory, but is not necessarily easy when put into practice.

Amidst the surge of industrial innovation, brutally competitive marketplaces, and the shifting uncertainty of economic climates, it takes something extraordinary to stand the test of time. Moreover, longevity in business is one of the true markers of success.

Coming up with a concept

When Lock’s Pharmacy, located in Chilliwack, B.C., was approaching its 70th anniversary, the owner, David Lock, decided to pay homage to the history of the pharmacy and its status as a community institution.

“My parents started this pharmacy in 1949, when the roads were dirt out front, and there was a barn next door,” recalls Lock. “I wanted to celebrate and honour them for building this drugstore by throwing a big community party, and by putting up a brand new sign.”

For many years, Lock Drugs, as it was known at the time, had a freestanding neon sign installed in front of the store—a stylized prescription bottle that made the store instantly recognizable.

The sign, although iconic for its time, had long since been lost to the development of the area. As a result, when Lock approached TDH Experiential Fabricators with some hand-sketched ideas for a new sign that was as visually striking as the original, the Surrey, B.C.-based sign shop immediately rose to the challenge and embarked on a creative journey to fabricate a product that could capture the history and nostalgia of the pharmacy.

The owner’s initial thought was to mount a three-dimensional sign to the parapet wall over the pharmacy’s entrance. However, after discussing the structural concerns as well as some bylaw limitations with TDH, Lock realized the solution was even better than what he had hoped for. The sign team proposed a freestanding pylon sign rising above the canopy—visible from 180 degrees—with a unique wedge-shaped design and, of course, neon.

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