How A Neon Sign is Made – Alluring Sci Fi Lighting from the 80’s

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Did you know that neon signs are making a comeback? That’s right, with so many years of safe corporate signage to bore us, neon is coming back as an art form for indoor signs. This is no longer your typical pizza or “Open” sign, but images, symbols, statements in all different colours and shapes, popularized by science fiction movies and the cyberpunk subgenre.

image/text credit: Stereokroma

In this video, we are with The Boss from the Neon Family, Gérald Collard, who has been making neon signs for several decades. He is a hidden gem in the Saint Henri neighbourhood of Montreal. Historically, neon was a secret craft, so it is a special opportunity to be able to learn about it.

He will be showing us the process of making a pink neon sign of a hand making what is considered an “Okay” symbol, a symbol of confirmation or satisfaction in the Western world.Neon is actually a very durable and efficient form of “lightbulb”. It is comparable to fluorescent and can last up to 50 years!

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Unlike consumer-grade lightbulbs, it is designed to last so as to require less maintenance, as you can image it would get fairly expensive if you have a complex image. Neon signs are making a comeback indoors because they are easier to maintain without weather as a factor to deterioration. The colours of neon are produced by different gases and different coatings. The main gases used by Gérald are neon and argon gas.

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