Best Electric Building Signs of 2015

Some pies have all the luck


Gordon Sign
(303) 629-6121
Lucky Pie
This hipster pizza place in Denver’s Lower Downtown neighborhood serves up a gourmet mixture of pizzas, salads and hors d’oeuvres. A sign that places a modern twist on the classic, neon pizza-place sign is certainly appropriate. Gordon Sign’s Kreg Lyles designed the program using CorelDRAW X6 and Trimble SketchUp software. The 3-D sign, which Marc Sund fabricated, comprises an aluminum skin, illuminated with reverse-pan channel letters, that’s brightened by SloanLED single-line LED modules set to pivot from side to side to create a shape-shifting illusion as the viewer passes by. The shop cut metal and plastic components on its Computerized Cutters Accu-Cut XPS router, and painted them with Matthews fire-red and gloss-black, acrylic-polyurethane coatings.


Blackout Signs
San Marcos, TX
(512) 738-6715
Jacoby’s Mercantile
According to its website, Jacoby’s Mercantile in Austin, TX – which is co-located with Jacoby’s Restaurant, which serves upscale versions of shrimp and grits, chicken-fried steak, mac and cheese and other comfort food – “We pride ourselves on being a community –focused, constantly evolving collection of Artisan Food, Vintage and Modern Goods, and Unique one of a kind finds.”
The sign and metalwork Blackout’s Jay Gordon and his crew fabricated reflects that unique mission. Using an unearthed 1940s-era tractor-dealership sign from Melvin, TX, he merged old and new with a three-stroke-neon logo outlined with novial-gold border tubing. One of the curved bands on the sign’s nose features the brand the Jacoby family used to mark its cattle. The Blackout team installed new wiring, glass PK housings and France 15,000V transformers. Big Dog Neon’s (Lockhart, TX) Kirk Tunningsley bent the tubing.


Western Neon
(206) 682-7738
Octopus Bar
According to the Octopus Bar website, its story centers around a mythical octopus who drank regularly there, hoarded underwater treasure, lived in a sunken houseboat, and opined “for the good old days with Jacques Cousteau making movies.” The Octopus bar’s proprietor, Liza Danger, sketched her vision on a napkin.
Western Neon’s president, Andre Lucero, and his team took inspiration from this theme and designed a sign that features an octopus’ tentacle grabbing a ship’s anchor, with a scarlet arrow that beckons “any land lover or seasoned sailor inside,” he said. Using a Gerber Sabre CNC router, the fabrication team fashioned the components to create smooth angles and sharp edges from 0.090-in.-thick aluminum, and then MIG-welded the pieces together. Angle clips (4 x 2 in.), 3-in.-diameter square tube, “C” channel, ½-in. lag bolts and ¼-in. mounting plate comprise its hardware. Teconlux 12mm citrus orange, horizon blue and CL3500 white neon brighten the sign; ceramic white G8 globes help the arrow make its point. Traffic-grey and atomic-red 3M vinyl decorate the tentacle and anchor. To enliven the tentacle, the shop used a two-color, sponge-finish technique to add a patina with Matthews paint.
Honorable Mention

Creative Sign Designs
Tampa, FL
(813) 749-2452
Ruth Eckerd Hall/City of Clearwater