There’s just something cool about vintage neon signs. If you are lucky enough to find one in good condition with an eye catching message, it can bring an element of fun and wit to the design of your space. With roots int he 1940′s and 50′s, the creation of a neon sign embraces a hand-made process, and each sign is unique. Like many things, handcrafted neon signage is becoming something of a lost art with few craftsman still building, designing and creating these one of a kind works.
Thankfully, Todd Sander’s studio Roadhouse Relics, creates these beauties, the old fashioned way, one by one, by hand. In an interview with Fast Company, he reveals a bit of the process he respects and honors in the development of his work.
“Everything is done by hand, from scratch,” he says. “Exactly the way they were in the 1940s.” Each creation follows a pretty standard process, honed with decades of experience.First, a concept is sketched on grid vellum–“a lot of grid vellum”–and the motif is made into a transparency which is projected full-size onto a wall. Next comes the patterns: master, print, neon, metal, and mounting. In the end, sheet steel is spot-welded together and enhanced with touches of sign painters’ paint. Authentic neon hardware–made the same way it has been for some 70 years–holds the finished product together, and vinegars, scuffing pads, and a matte finish clear coat are applied to weather each piece.”
So, when that wall in your living room is screaming ‘Neon’, a vintage find, or a custom weathered vintage sign might be just the call.
Images and excerpts sourced at Fast Company Design