laser cutting toronto

Every year The Stop Night Market fundraiser brings together talent from Toronto’s culinary and design scenes including over 70 chefs, 20 beverage providers and 35 locally designed food carts. As designers who have been involved in cart design and building in previous years, we love how the event brings food and design together in a way that the entire city can enjoy. So much creativity and hard work goes into the delicious food and innovative designs. Here are some of our top tips for making stunning displays that will stand out in the crowd and last all season long. 

Go 3 Dimensional

With rapid prototyping tools, designers can really get creative with 3D form. The two food carts above by Dialogue 38 and Ingrain are excellent examples of using depth and volume to add character to a display. It not just a table or a food cart, it’s a whale to present sea food or a topographical landscape to focus on a geographical place.

stop-night-market-final-3Carts by Chanel Dehond, Encounters of the Human Kind and Outsider Spatial

Get Graphic

Planning for a pop of colour or a head-turning pattern are both great ways of making your display stand out. If you have a precise pattern or like to plan out your designs digitally, direct to board colour printing might be a good way to go. Try digitally printing  CMYK colours directly onto the materials like wood and acrylic, and then laser cutting design components or branded elements ready to install. It’s the perfect way to give your display a polished and festive look.

stop-night-market-final-2Carts by MarkUp and TANK

Think setup and teardown

Items that flatten, slats that slide, and hinges that fold will all make for an easy setup and teardown. The displays each year always turn out so beautiful, so making sure they can be used again is really worth the effort.

laser cut display car

We’re so excited to see what everyone will come up with for this year’s Night Market!

Since everyone involved is donating their time and resources to the cause, we would like to do our part to support the talented individuals who are likely paying for their projects out of pocket. All participating teams can get 10% off laser cutting, laser engraving and 3d printing to help them make really awesome displays. Ready to get started?

laser engraving toronto


Images via: The Festographer/ The Stop Community Food Centre, Mark Simmons Design 

event laser cutting toronto


There are so many exciting local art and design events coming up this season. Here are some of our favourites:

1. Luminato (June 10 – 26)

For the past ten years Luminato has been one of the largest art and performance events of its kind featuring over 11,000 artists from all around the world. The event takes place at the Hearn, an abandoned generating station. The massive industrial space will be full of art installations and one of a kind performances. Check some of the event gifts we made for them over the years.

2. NXNE (June 13 – 19)

North by Northeast is a seven day summer music festival and conference that covers everything from music to visual art, comedy and film. The festival takes over the city to include some of the most interesting downtown venues such as clubs, parks, boats and Dundas square for screenings, live shows and art installations. Check out the lineup for NXNE.

3. The Stop Night Market (June 14 – 15)

Every year The Stop Night Market fundraiser brings together talent from Toronto’s culinary and design scenes including over 70 chefs, 20 beverage providers and 35 locally designed food carts. This two night event combines stunning designs with great food, what could be better?! See some of the great designs from previous years. 

4. Maker Festival Month of Making  (June 15 – 17)

Maker Festival is one of Toronto’s craftiest events that combines art, tech, and everything in between. This year the event is going to be a full month long. The main exhibition featuring over 100 makers will be at the Toronto Reference Library, but there will also be over 80 satellite events to attend!

5. Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (July 8 – 10)

The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibit is Canada’s largest juried outdoor art exhibition featuring the work of over 350 artists. The entire event happens at Nathan Phillips Square and brings in over 100,000 visitors.

6. Made in Canada Etsy (September 24)

Made in Canada Etsy day will be happening in Toronto at OCAD University. The pop-up event is a great way to check out the work of local artisans and designers 

Are you an etsy seller? List up to 20 items on Etsy for Free by going to this link by using promo code “HOTPOPFACTORY”


Luminato event gifts

As the weather warms up, event season sizzles! For some great guest engagement ideas in the summer ahead, we’re taking you backstage to one of our favourite annual events — Luminato Festival’s Big Bang Bash.
For the past ten years Luminato has been one of the largest art and performance events of its kind featuring over 11,000 artists from all around the world. Every year before the festival begins, the donor’s gala celebrates the many people who support festival. Here’s a sneak peek behind how we conceptualized, designed and created the guest engagement experiences for the event.

Laser Engraving Toronto

Start with research

A great place to start when designing something fresh for an event theme is to build a collage of visual influences. For the 2014 Luminato donor’s gala festival art director Jorn Weisbrodt developed the theme of Berlin subculture throughout the decades. To design the event gifts we researched Berlin design in everything from cultural to architectural references from the early 1920s to 80s. We mixed influences from art deco, bauhaus and Berlin punk rock to come up with gritty leather and reflective acrylic designs that were really elegant but also matched the industrial feel of the Hearn.

Luminato Event Gifts Sketches

Laser Engraving Toronto

Make it custom

For your special guests, upgrade your  VIP swag by adding a personal touch such as a custom engraving. Nothing wows event guests more than finding out that something was made specially just for them. For Luminato we topped off the beautiful leather designs with custom monograms. The customization was done for guests before the event and so required some coordination with the event team on guest lists and confirmed attendees, but the results really pay off.

Luminato laser cutting Toronto

Luminato Laser Cut Toronto

Luminato Laser Cut Toronto

Make it interactive

It really adds to the fun when guests can build and customize their own gifts. The theme for the 2015 gala was industry vs nature so we combined them to make DIY flower presses with laser cutting. Each guest got to make their own unique flower press by picking the flowers and greenery to make their own piece of green art, and finally tightening the plates together. Adding in that element of customization and DIY was a huge hit and our station was packed all night.

Luminato laser cut toronto

Luminato laser cut toronto

Stay true to the cause

A great place to look for gift inspiration is to remember what you are celebrating in the first place. For the 2015 Big Bang Bash,we wanted to focus on what Luminato is all about — the performances! Each flower press gift had one of ten quotes from plays in the festival’s lineup. After putting it together guests were able to take home a little memento from the festival and their favourite plays.

Luminato laser cut toronto

Luminato laser cut toronto

This year we’re planning for another exciting round of the donor’s gala which precedes the Luminato from June 10th to 26th. You’ll have to wait until after the gala to find out more, but in the meantime check out the exciting lineup of artists and performers they have for this year.
Images via: George Pimental and Hot Pop Factory

laser engraved wood scrabble

We love when clients come up with crafty gift ideas! Mark Simmons is a talented local designer whose work has been influenced by his time abroad. After doing a Master’s in sustainable design in Sweden and then spending some time working in Berlin, he moved to Canada to start Lumbürr Co – a lifestyle brand of handcrafted wooden products built for a day out in nature. The brand combines the natural woodsy aesthetics of Canadiana with a hint of Swedishness. Recently, he created a fun self-directed project where he redesigned a Scrabble board game with a nautical theme – perfect for a weekend at the cottage.

laser cut board game

Originally the nautical board game was meant to be a one-off for a family member, but after a photography studio in Brooklyn saw some images of it online, Mark was asked to make 100 custom sets as a holiday present for their clients. As a result, Mark changed the theme from nautical to photography, and also redesign the game board to suit the laser cutting manufacturing process through little alterations such as making custom tile holders. For this second version, Mark also added a bit of colour to the designs. To make that happen we printed the colours directly onto the wood using digital colour printing. After the CMYK colour was done we laser cut the wood, Mark put the finished packaging and handmade details together.

laser cut board game

The cool part was how easily production was scaled– whether he was making 1 or 100 sets the process stayed the same. Also in terms of aesthetic, laser cutting was a great way of making a custom project that balanced the DIY made-by-hand look with the quick turnaround time of mass production. The clients got a very novel gift with costs that were comparable to less interesting corporate gifts. The kits were such a hit that Mark told us he will be making even more redesigned games this year. To see more of Mark’s unique projects check out his awesome design portfolio.

laser engraved wood

Images Via: Mark Simmons


Before the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum opened in 2015, the museum hired the talented team at Reich+Petch Design to do everything from the museum planning and exhibition design to the graphic design and promotional campaigns. To create a unique and wow-worthy campaign for the museum the team at Reich+Petch focused on the area’s unique paleontology history. 

3d printed dinosaur

The Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum in little Wembley, Alberta is located five minutes away from one of the most historic paleontology sites in Canada – Pipestone Creek. Way back in 1974 Pipestone Creek became an important dinosaur site when a local school teacher went out for a nature walk and ended up coming across the remains of the yet to be discovered dinosaur species Pachyrhinosaurus. To come up with their promotional campaign Reich+Petch wondered how they could help visitors re-experience that exciting historical discovery. What if each visitor could have their own Pachyrhinosaurus?

dinosaur 3d process

3d printed dinosaurs

To make it happen they had experts create mini 3D models of what the Pachyrhinosaurus would have looked like and then we 3D printed them out at Hot Pop. The coolest part of 3D printing for exhibitions is that it can really bring the museum to life! Along with the 3D printed Pachyrhinosaurus, we also printed out some touchable fossils. Most fossils and bones are too fragile or sensitive to touch since they need to be kept safe from moisture on our hands. With 3D models you can replicate the sensitive remains and then print them out in more durable materials. For the museum this turned the typical “do not touch” exhibition into a “please touch” interaction. 



The beautiful Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum is now open for visits, and also just recently won a Canadian Museums Association Award of Outstanding Achievement is Exhibitions for Science! Find out more about visiting the Museum

Philip J Currie Museum

Museum Planning, Exhibition Design, Graphic Design and Promotional Campaign: Reich+Petch Design International
Multimedia Design and Digital Model: The Design Foundation
Client: Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative
Museum Photography: Tom Arban Photography Inc.

Jose Navarrete

Studio Lulo Fusion Chair
Studio Lulo’s founder Jose Navarrete is a creative self-starter. After moving to Canada in 2006, he started working as a draftsman in a furniture factory, sneaking into the frame shop and upholstery room to observe workers take raw materials, process them, and watch what he had drafted a few days ago materialize into a finished product. In 2014, Jose decided that he wanted to make his own designs so he drew some sketches, prepared the 3D CAD models, made a cardboard model for visualization, and had the parts of the frame cut in a CNC machine. After completing his first chair, he enjoyed the process so much that it became motivation to keep making more and more, that’s when he started Studio Lulo.

Studio Lulo Fusion Chair

For one of his more recent creations, the Fusion Stool, Jose used layers of laser cut plywood to build out the form instead of milling a block of solid wood to reduce material waste. Each section of the stool is precision cut, and once all the pieces were stacked into a cascading shapes, the stool was then sanded down and smoothed into one organic, fluid form.

During production Jose enjoys getting everything done locally: “You get to see and be involved in the manufacturing process, which is crucial for us so we can make sure the quality is beyond our client’s expectations. You also speed up your project timelines since you don’t have to wait too long for items to be shipped.” By jumping into new fabrication processes it has improved not only production but also how the business runs from marketing materials to design research. To see more of Jose’s beautiful work visit the Studio Lulo website.


Studio Lulo Fusion Chair

Studio Lulo Fusion Chair

Images Via: Studio Lulo – photographer Jose Navarrete

Uncuffed Leather Olga

uncuffed laser cut leather

UNCUFFED is a beautiful line of leather accessories created by Olga Barsky, a stylist with over a decade of experience in fashion. Olga turned to leather for it’s long-lasting quality, and her collections are  made using hides from local distributors that are by-products of the food industry. Even the offcuts are used again for other accessory projects in the UNCUFFED line like her edgy handmade flower crowns and cage harnesses. Her business, housed in her studio in Church Street Village, also works with local garment engineers and suppliers for each unique look.

uncuffed laser cut leather

Our favourite pieces in her collection are where Olga combined her handmaking skills with cutting edge technology. To create her beautiful patterned leather scarves, she turned to laser cutting to achieve the fine details and precision cuts. The smooth lambskin leather lies flat on the machine and each cut comes out with perfect accuracy. By using laser cutting Olga is able to make designs that would otherwise be impossible. Also, by automating some of the production processes it means she has more time to grow the brand and create new designs.
Last week, Olga made a splash at Toronto Fashion Week in collaboration with Helder Diego. Check out the backstage pics here. To see more of Olga’s innovative accessory line visit the UNCUFFED Leather website.

Uncuffed leather lookbook

uncuffed laser cut leather

Images Via: UNCUFFED – Olga Barsky and She Does the City

Laser Engraving Sign Toronto

The Village Juicery is a local company that provides organic plant-based food and cold pressed juices that are all made in house. When the owners decided to open their new retail location at Yonge and Eglinton they wanted to create a serene and minimal environment that demonstrated their dedication to wellness.  

Laser Engraving Tags Toronto

Planning  a new business is always an exciting adventure. During the design of their retail locations, done by Toronto design firm MASON Studio, they turned to laser cutting for both their indoor and outdoor signage for an elegant and natural look. This allowed them to use beautiful unfinished woods for everything from their main signage, to bar menus and refrigerator tags. Because of the rapid nature of laser cutting, they were able to test out loads of options before finding the exact look that was right for them. This also allows for flexibility if any product descriptions or pricing needs to be replaced or updated in the future.

Laser Cut Fridge Tags

When you first walk into the new shop the first thing you notice is how calm and relaxed the place feels. The design is so cohesive that the location was recently featured on Azure Magazine for its elegant interior, but the team’s favourite part of opening the new shop is seeing how customers react to their innovative products. The nutritionist team loves serving up hot superfood elixirs, organic grab-and-go salads and bar specialties like kombucha blends and hot chaga cider. And there’s clearly a desire for it! For many neighborhoods in Toronto, even having access to organic, cold pressed juices is an exciting new experience.

Village Juicery Interior Laser Cut Signage

Like many of our clients, Village Juicery is all about supporting the local community. From the local organic farms supplying their produce to the passionate local makers showcased in their stores, and the 50+ small businesses around the city that purvey their products, everything about them is local. Laser cutting is also a great way to support local by using urban wood from Toronto. Nearly 200,000 Toronto trees die of natural causes in a year, and the city saves this material for designers and artists to repurpose. It’s an innovative way to get beautiful designs while using readily available materials.

The Village Juicery’s newest shop is now open at 2409 Yonge Street, so if you love good, healthy food, support local and check it out!

Village Juicery Store Front

Images Via: Village Juicery


Presentation is everything when it comes to retail. For many of our customers who sell their products in stores or at tradeshows, generic stands and podiums just don’t do their products justice.


For the premium flavoured toothpick brand Daneson, the solution was custom designed and laser cut displays made of blinging acrylic. The advantage – perfect product accessibility, ubiquitous brand messaging, and display longevity.



Check out Canadian brand Daneson and their beautiful Northern White Birch toothpicks infused with natural flavours. 1% of sales goes to forestry conservation!

Heading to a tradeshow or exhibition soon? Try laser cutting a custom display.

Apotheca Laser cut window display

Late last year, we worked with stylist Renee Elliott of Re:Creative to produce some beautiful window displays for Apotheca, a full service pharmacy in Forest Hill Village. Renee is a Toronto based creative with a focus on real estate, interior styling, prop styling and window displays. For this project she wanted to design Apotheca’s window display with a simple brand aesthetic using laser cutting and plywood.

Apotheca laser cut window display

To build the display, Renee started off with an Adobe Illustrator file with Apotheca’s logo. Then she went through the variety of materials available including acrylic, leather, metal and wood. Finally, the designs went through our laser cutter machine and voila! Beautiful and elegant designs for Apotheca’s window display.

Read Renee’s blog post about the experience on her blog Re:Creative. 

Images Via: Re:Creative