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Neon/Font: A Torrid Typographic Affair

While neon signs traditionally use custom lettering, not fonts, tube-bent letters have inspired new typeface designs for over fifty years. And, vice versa, as desktop publishing began to replace lettering skills in the 1980s, typefaces became a common ingredient in sign-making of all kinds, including neon. This talk will present a brief survey of this cross-pollination, with examples that succeed and those that don’t, and some ideas for how neon and type can coexist harmoniously in an era when handmade signs are back in vogue.


Stephen Coles