The Return of Neon: How This Old School Trend Made a Comeback

It has almost been a century since the first neon sign was imported in the U.S. from Paris, where the first neon sign was lit up. Neon signs became popular from 1920-1960. They were often associated with billboard lights that we see at night. They were usually used to advertise hotels, bars, casinos, and other places of entertainment. Now, they are also used in restaurants and other establishments as part of their indoor setups. A Brief History of Neon Signs The first neon sign was created by French engineer and inventor Georges Claude. Claude was the first person to apply an electrical discharge to a tube of neon gas, which became the first neon lamp. The first neon lamp was displayed in Paris in 1910. It was eventually brought here in the United States by Georges Claude and his company in 1923, by selling two neon signs to Packard. It became a popular method for outdoor advertising, and people would call them “liquid fire” back then. Neon signs are very versatile. The tubes are bent to form words or pictures. Endless possibilities are possible with neon signs, and lively, attractive, and colorful images can be created. Neon signs are effective signage because of their visual appeal. They are easily recognizable during nighttime, in fiery lights and colors. The Fall of Neon Signs However, the spread of poorly designed neon signs started its decline. Large corporations gradually withdrew support and neon shops prioritized efficiency of production over quality designs. Maintenance of existing neon signs suffered because of the economy. Emergence of cheaper plastic and LED signs in the market also added to the blow. The surviving neon signs however, show how durable they are. A neon tube can live for 40 years before it will need re-pumping. After that, it is good to go for another 40 years. Across the country, old neon lights still light up the streets at night and are considered American folk art. And now, it is making a bright comeback. The Return of an old American Folk Art Neon signs are making a comeback with the current retro trend in advertising. New low energy neon transformers also help. The look and feel of a neon sign is authentic and different, something that LED signs cannot copy. Neon signs can be as safe as LED products with proper installation and using only quality transformers. Neon restaurant signs are increasingly growing in number. Modern neon restaurant signs go beyond the utilitarian block text of Open, Closed, or Bar. They now come in witty or inspirational words, oftentimes rendered in handwritten typeface. These intricately designed signs can be found in casual restaurants, to upscale destinations. The warmth and nostalgia that neon signs bring also give the feeling that the establishment has been around for a while. Neon Signs and Social Media As it turns out, neon signs photograph beautifully than their other lighted signs counterparts. In this Instagram generation, that says a lot. The degree to which an establishment is photogenic contributes to its appeal. When an establishment has sweet-looking elements that are perfect to photograph, guests, and customers can easily share their experiences on social media with friends and families. Your customers become your instant marketers on social media. A neon image can easily stand out in hundreds of thousands of Instagram images, enough to generate awareness of the brand. Neon Signs across the Country From upscale New York to Las Vegas to other states, new and newly-restored neon signs are lighting up businesses, hotels, and restaurants. People are falling in love with it all over again. Now, they are not only lighting up streets, they can also be found indoors as well. The future of neon signs is looking bright and colorful, you would not want your business to get left behind. Gone are the days when neon signs are considered gaudy. Neon signs invoke a certain retro vibe, and many establishments are embracing it. Businesses are exploiting it in ways they never imagined before. Neon connotes nightlife, excitement, and action. Get Inspiration or Simply Walk Down Memory Lane at Las Vegas’ Neon Museum The most famous neon signs may no longer be up and running but they are not gone. The Neon Museum in Las Vegas has provided for a resting place for old neon signs that once lit up the streets and skylines of Las Vegas. The “boneyard” displays the old neon signs are front-lit at night though they do not flicker nor are they run by power generators. With the help of advanced technology, the most iconic of the neon signs are exhibited and re-illuminated using projection mapping. The result is an augmented reality experience for the visitors. Visit the Neon Museum’s North Gallery while the exhibit called “Brilliant!” is still on-going. Get a Neon Sign for Your Business Neon artisans do not just treat your neon signs as signage; it is more of an art for them. Put your business out there with a sign that beckons. A creative neon signage can become a landmark, and who doesn’t want that for their business? You can contact Neonific at 1-888-530-6366 to talk about your next neon sign project!