The Power of Neon Signs

04-05-2014

White Sands Thai BBQ & Bar Neon Sign in Downtown Ventura, CA by Dave's Signs

Over the next three weeks, we’re going to share some of our favorite neon sign work we’ve ever done. You may have already seen the Neon Signs section of our site, where we talk about how this type of custom sign is created. Beyond the process of creating these signs, the culture around them is also really interesting. 

While neon signs were first demonstrated in 1910 by Georges Claude at the Paris Motor Show, they were most popular in the United States from 1920 – 1960. Downtown city blocks were lined and lighted with bright, colorful neon invitations through the night. Because there are so few “glass benders” (neon sign designers) around today, cities have developed strong relationships with these shops as to maintain historic landmarks lit with these colorful lines. You may have noticed that Ventura blocks are still lit with many of these neon signs, and that is largely due to the fact that we still bend neon in-house, and we provide that option for so many of our customers.

Neon was brought to glory in the form of signs, but experienced resurgence in the last decade amongst artists and architects. As the art world turned their attention back to neon, business owners caught the glance. Rather than creating entire signs out of neon, the gas-filled colorful glass began to accent signs, bringing attention to the artwork from blocks away. The few businesses that choose neon signs light up the night with distinct primary colors, making the rest of their block practically transparent. 

However, this resurgence of neon is not an exact replica of the past. An all-neon “OPEN” sign is a symbol burned into minds and memories over several decades, and doesn’t catch the eye in the same way it did in the ‘60s. Today’s neon signs are bright and flashy, but they compete with the lights of bright white bill-boards and smart phone screens. Catching attention isn’t enough. 

Neon signs that work are carefully crafted. Their colors complement the existing colors of a business. They attract attention, and move that attention toward a message or artwork that appeals to the eye and emotions. 

Over the next three weeks we will show you three incredible neon signs in the Ventura area that do just this. We’ll explain how the design was chosen, and why it worked.

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Spencer Makenzies Neon Sign

Here we go into detail on some of the custom signs we've done. Including Spencer Makenzie’s Neon SignTopper’s Pizza Neon Signs in the Oxnard Harbor, and The Historic Ventura Pole Sign. Check back with us. We'll have more case studies of signs posted in the near future.


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Dave’s Signs has perfected the art of neon signs. We can handle all sizes of neon signage, from the small intricate signs to the eye-catching, large neon signs. Ask us for a personalized quote or contact us for any questions you may have about neon signage.

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Graphic design is not all about artistic skill; many outside factors influence how well the sign will work in its location. We are familiar with these outside influences, so we set out to develop each design to stand out in beauty and function, given each unique location. Whether you are purchasing a pylon sign, backlit channel letter sign, neon sign, or any custom sign, we use our creative graphic design talents to make it stand out. Contact us for questions about graphic design and signs.

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