Neon and gold: signage trends beyond the screen

Think about the storefronts of a 20th century metropolis or a 19th century frontier main street, and even if you’re a branding fanatic like us, it’s probably not a sea of typefaces that comes to mind – rather, it is the physical presence of the signage, whether in steel, paint or light. Just have a look at these old neon fixtures for a nostalgic rush:

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It seems to be a rule of spectacle culture that what goes around comes back around. Neon experienced a vogue in the mid 20th century, followed by a decline in which it was considered vulgar, and now is making a major comeback as a chic branding statement. Gold leaf window lettering tells a similar story.

Here is what the trendier storefronts are looking like today – something to keep in mind as you devise branding for restaurants, coffee shops, bars, clothing stores, barbers and other such trappings of the modern yuppie:

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What do you think – are these trends here to stay?

The author

Alex Bigman
Alex Bigman

Alex contributes from New York City on topics ranging from branding and typography to the history of design.

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