By Sonia Yooshing
A family-owned sign business, Spectra Advertising was founded by Robert and Tony Ascenzi in the early 1990s, who started out by handpainting billboards. Ever since, this sign shop has established itself as a premier signmaking company, and today, nearly three decades later, the business has grown to a 836-m2 (9000-sf) large manufacturing facility, which creates almost everything in-house—from interior to exterior. The shop specializes in a range of signage items from wayfinding to Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) signs, pylons, and light-emitting diode (LED) displays. Within a short span, the sign shop has worked with architectural firms such as MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects (MJMA), ARK, and Entro, just to name a few.
Sign Media Canada recently spoke with Ontario Sign Association’s (OSA’s) president and 2018 sign professional of the year, Robert Ascenzi Jr.; and Young Professionals Network’s (YPN’s) director and 2018 International Sign Association (ISA) Elite, Matthew Lavery to learn more about Spectra Advertising, the shop’s philosophy, and what the future holds for the business.
Sign Media Canada (SMC): What is the history of your shop and how has it grown over the years?
Spectra Advertising (SA): Founded in June 1993 by Robert and Tony Ascenzi in Concord, Ont., Spectra has come a long way in the past 26 years. With great values, it has grown into a successful and reputable sign company. Today, Spectra has 16 employees including, but not exclusive to, three project managers, two graphic designers, an installation foreman and manager, an administrative assistant, and a talented installation team.
We are dedicated to innovation and use contemporary automation and technology to provide exceptional products and delivery times for our clients. Our slogan, “A sign is an identity, identify with us,” motivates us to provide our customers with value for their money.
SMC: What type of signage does your shop primarily make? What are some of the projects you have been working on recently?
SA: What started as a mom and pop store has grown by leaps and bounds over the years and, today, we handle nearly 85 per cent of the signmaking process in-house. We specialize in creating signage for various industries, from new community centres to hospitals, university, and colleges. We love projects where we can fabricate and install exterior pylons, interior wayfinding signs, AODA signage, and donor feature walls.
In the past, we have worked with institutions such as the University of Toronto, York University, Humber College, and Peel Region School Board. Most recently, we created signage for two Ontario-based projects—the Laurentian University in Sudbury and Bernie Morelli Recreation Centre in Hamilton.
We pride ourselves on the quality of our products and services and paying close detail to the client’s needs. We value every project and treat each contract as a priority.