Signs of the Times - February 2013 - (Page 8)

ST UPDATE By Steve Aus t News for a broader perspective Help Write Neon’s History The history of the U.S. neon-sign industry hasn’t yet been written. What’s been documented to date has been relatively brief, and has mostly focused on Times Square and Las Vegas. This has overlooked the breadth of the neon industry in other places. Because neon was introduced in the U.S. in the relatively recent past (the 1920s), it’s still possible to collect stories from people whose families have been involved in the industry, possibly even since neon’s introduction.  Would you like to contribute your personal stories, or histories from family members or your business, to a book about neon’s brilliant legacy? How long has your signshop fabricated neon signage or sculptures? How long have there been tubebenders in your family? How has your shop managed through the sign industry’s numerous changes?  I’m a historical geographer, and I’m working – with the support of the American Sign Museum – on a book that will detail neon’s rich history in cities and towns of all sizes across the country. The book will trace the spread of neon across the U.S., along with the parallel growth of tourism, automobile travel and highways, to show how neon has transformed the American landscape. The book will follow the industry from its first bloom in the 1920s and the end of Prohibition, through its early years that witnessed the Great Depression and the WPA’s Storefront Modernization program. Since then, there have been good times (the Baby Boom and peak of consumer culture during the prosperous 1950s, and the renaissance of retro-style neon signage during the 1980s and ’90s) and lean times (WWII-era blackouts, 1960s urban renewal that led to the destruction of many historic signs, and the 1970’s energy crisis, when industry representatives had to dissuade politicians from restricting sign illumination). The book will outline the challenges and trends the industry has faced with competing technologies – fluorescents and LEDs, plastic signs and electronic message centers – that have been viewed as threats to neon’s survival (but, in many cases, they’ve provided collaborative solutions).   We’re nearing the 90th anniversary of Georges Claude’s introduction of neon to the U.S. Will it live to see 100? Let your voice be heard. If you or someone you know has a long tradition in the neon industry, I’m interested in interviewing you. Please contact me by email (preferred) at dydia@lsu.edu, or by phone at 225-937-9371. – Dydia DeLyser, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Geography, Louisiana State Univ. (Baton Rouge) 2013 SEGD Conference: Above the Fog The Society for Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD) is announcing its 2013 conference and tradeshow, June 6-8, at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. The conference will feature speakers, who work in diverse, visual-communication disciplines, as well as educational and hands-on seminars, site tours and the NEXPO, where vendors can display signrelated products and services. For more information, visit abovethefog.segd.org. 8 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / FEBRUARY 2013 / www.signweb.com http://abovethefog.segd.org http://www.signweb.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - February 2013

Signs of the Times - February 2013
Contents
ST Update
Technology Update
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Electric
LED Update
Software Update
Technology Review
Technology Review
Sign Museum News
New Products
Dressed to Impress
Uniqlo’s In-store Digital Signage
Pursuing a Different Rout
Word on the Street Signs
Industry News
Advertising Index
Editorially Speaking

Signs of the Times - February 2013

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