Neon Archives - Indigo Signworks

Andria Theatre


Reviving the Historical Landscape of Downtown Alexandria The Andria Theatre (Alexandria Area Arts Association) has been a part of the Alexandria’s downtown scenery since 1936.  A spire was part of the original building back in 1936.  However, a storm blew Read more

Building Relationships and Signs with Contractors


Building Relationships with Contractors Developing genuine trust and providing a value beyond the products and services we provide our customers, has always been a foundational block of our relationships at Indigo Signworks. Not only do we work directly with the Read more

Animated Signage Ignites Attention


One of a Kind Interior Signage for SMOKE BARBEQUE & BREW Shooting Star Casino has asked us to be a part of a fun new project at their Mahnomen location.  SMOKE Barbeque & Brew was conceived to replace Whispering Winds Restaurant.  Read more

Restoring the Iconic Star at a Minot Landmark

Posted on by Indigo Signworks, Inc. in Articles, Customer Spotlight, Featured Jobs Leave a comment

The “Ape-a-thon,” giant pickles and old memories.

An old Minot, ND landmark, the Oak Park Theater was resuscitated back to life just this month. From what I am told, this facility was first open for business in 1961. Sadly it was all but destroyed in the 2011 flood. The business owner, Al Schaan, set sail on a restoration mission about 8 months ago. Mission accomplished!

This place has been a mecca of entertainment for decades. It is doubtful that there is a single person who has lived in this city for any period of time who does not have memories of it. One that comes to mind for me was the “Ape-a-thon”: Five Planet of the Apes movies back-to-back for eleven straight hours of ape enjoyment. What more could a band of 13 year old hooligans want? Well a 30oz root beer and one of those giant pickles that could be made to last through a “moviethon” of almost any kind. That’s what! Those were the days!

The Nervous Sign

Indigo Signworks was given the opportunity to restore an iconic beacon that has stood watch over the theater from the beginning. It is a six point 3-D star with flashing neon that has been coined “The Nervous Sign.” Originally designed by a man named Bill Reynolds from Bacon Signs. It is now in pristine, like-new condition. It is bright, and it is fast. It is also all the rage on local Facebook banter. It has been all over local television and print news as well. Everybody that I have spoken to about it is happy that it has returned.

The project was in and out of our shop in short order. A shout out to Nick Tibbits,  who was able to map out and wire the flasher system to what we think was the original sequence. The crew installed it and had it running just hours before the grand re-opening of Oak Park Theater. I took a trip to the theater that night to see it in the dark, and found 3 people in the parking lot making videos of it with their phones. This thing is super-cool and a big win for the theater, for Indigo Signworks, and for the city as a whole.

  1. Fabrication Shop: The Nervous Sign
  2. Post Installation: The Nervous Sign


Written by Bob Smesrud
Production Manager
 Bob is our Production Manager out of or Minot, ND division at Indigo Signworks. He’s been working the sign industry for the past 35 years. 

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Neon Signage – A Unique Solution for Your Unique Business


Neon Signage – A Unique Solution for Your Unique Business

Posted on by Indigo Signworks, Inc. in Articles, Products, Services 1 Comment

Neon Signage – A Unique Solution for Your Unique Business

There’s just something about neon…  Neon lighting provides an unlikely marriage of delicate lines, intense light, and bright colors, surrounded by a familiar gentle glow. The result is a combination of eye catching contrast and gentle nostalgia that is sure to get noticed. 100 years after its introduction in the sign industry, neon still has the ability to make an impression like no other sign medium.

The Creative Process

The process by which neon tubes are created has gone largely unchanged since neon lamps were first invented. A specially trained glass blower, or neon tube bender, starts the process with a straight piece of glass tubing. To give the glass its unique shape, the tube bender uses a variety of torches, and considerable skill to heat the glass and carefully manipulate it one bend at a time. This process is not easy to learn, and can take a decade to master.

To date, there is no other way to shape a neon tube but by hand, and realistically there never will be. In fact, the single biggest technological advancement in the tube bending process over the last 100 years is the availability of computer generated patterns.  Once printed, the tube bender uses the paper pattern as a map to carefully plan the series of bends which will be needed to achieve the desired form. Think of it like attempting to complete a maze using a ballpoint pen.  If you don’t plan ahead, the finished product is sure to be a mess.

While the process of creating the neon tubes hasn’t changed, the industry that made it famous has. The advancement of LED technologies has largely replaced neon as a light form in a number of situations such as architectural borders and channel letters, as well as in products such as electronic message centers. As a result, neon production as an industry, has been reduced to a small fraction of what it once was. 

 

Neon’s Enchantment

Fortunately, exposed neon still has an impact that is hard to beat. If you are looking to make an impression on your customers and stand out from your neighbors, neon is the way to go. Custom window units feature energy efficient transformers, a large variety of color options, and long lasting reliability. Exterior and vintage neon signage is also available, ensuring your business’s unique identity will shine all the way down the block.

Indigo Signworks is one of the only full-service sign shops able to provide and service these glass gems in our region. If you would like to hear how neon can be incorporated into your business, contact your local Indigo Signworks office today!

View the Neon Gallery

 

 

Written by Chris Orth
Neon Technician
Chris is our resident neon aficionado at Indigo Signworks. He’s been working in the art of neon bending for the past 17 years. He has also pursued other artisan trades including stained glass and sheet metal shaping.