Western Neon Seattle Custom Sign Builders: Blog Posts Read Western Seattle Custom Sign Builders blog posts for our Project and Topic of the Month where we talk you behind the scenes on our favorite projects!<<

Project of The Month: Alki Homestead

Image by Western Neon © 2018

Western Neon is delighted to collaborate with Alki Homestead building owner Dennis Schilling and the Southwest Seattle Historical Society on the restoration of the iconic Alki Homestead neon sign. After two years of decommission, the sign has been restored to its former glory and can be found atop the historic Alki Homestead in West Seattle.

Image by Western Neon © 2018

Built in 1904, the former Fir Lodge has been through many changes in its lifespan. Notably, it was awarded Landmark Status by the City of Seattle in 1995. A fire in 2009 caused extensive damage to the already weak building, and efforts to get restoration approval proved to be difficult. Dennis Schilling took ownership of the historic property in March 2015 and created an approved restoration plan. Now, three and a half years later, Dennis and his son Matt are nearing completion of the project with help from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

Image by Western Neon © 2018

The original 1950s Alki Homestead restaurant sign came down in July 2016 after being vandalized. Western Neon was approached with the opportunity to fully restore the sign in February of 2018 by Dennis Schilling. The project was extensive, and many steps were taken to restore the sign to its original glory. The team at Western Neon began by sanding and reshaping the metal body of the sign. Next, the body was given a fresh coat of paint. Finally, the glass team bent all new lettering for the sign in red and green neon. The sign was installed early this month and now glows in its rightful place atop the Alki Homestead.

 

The space in the ground floor of the renovated building now has new tenants – Mike and Victoria Easton, owners of the restaurant Il Corvo. Mike plans to open a new Italian restaurant, Il Nido, as a home base accompaniment to the Pioneer Square eatery. Keep an eye out for restoration updates and the future restaurant opening! If you’d like to learn more about the history of the Alki Homestead, visit the Southwest Seattle Historical Society website and their Log House Museum.

Project of The Month: TRACE Seattle

Image by Western Neon © 2018

Western Neon is delighted to collaborate with W Seattle and their in-house bar and restaurant, TRACE, to create a new hanging canopy sign and update existing exterior wall sconces. Opened in 2012, TRACE is an establishment committed to creating an enriching culinary experience by combining the vibrant tastes of Hawaii with fresh flavors of the Pacific Northwest.

Image by Western Neon © 2018

The W Seattle is part of a luxury hotel chain owned by Marriott International and finds itself nestled in the heart of downtown. TRACE, a stylish “foodie paradise”, certainly represents the high-end W Seattle well. TRACE’s executive chef Steven Ariel hails from Hawaii and worked in some of Seattle’s top restaurants including Canlis, Café Juanita, and Luc before bringing his unique tastes and experiences to TRACE. Growing up on the Big Island, Ariel developed an appreciation for simple, fresh ingredients and this is reflected in selections at TRACE. Dishes offered at the restaurant contain traceable, regional, identifiable products from local producers in the Pacific Northwest and capture the character of the area.

Image by Western Neon © 2018

For this project, we replaced an existing hanging canopy sign Western Neon manufactured several years ago for something with a sleeker look that tied in better to the restaurant and adjacent hotel’s aesthetic. The double-sided sign features an internally illuminated mirrorlike polished steel cabinet with ruby red push-through laser cut letters for “TRACE” and white push-through acrylic for the rest of the lettering. In addition to this sign, we also updated the exterior wall sconces by replacing each of the formerly yellow letters in “TRACE” with new red ones to match the red in the cabinet sign.On vacation in Seattle and looking for a place to stay, or a Seattle local looking for a stay-cation? Look no further than W Seattle, an exquisite hotel experience. If you find yourself hungry, swing by TRACE and see what delicacies Executive Chef Steven Ariel and his crew have to offer. Check out their menu and more here.

Project of The Month: PCC Community Markets Unveils New Chapter

Image by Western Neon © 2018

Western Neon is pleased to collaborate with Seattle-based grocer PCC Community Markets on an interior and exterior sign package for a comprehensive rebrand of their established and emerging regional locations. What began as PCC, a food-buying club for fifteen Seattle Families in 1953, now has nearly 60,000 members in eleven locations throughout the Seattle area, making it the nation’s largest community-owned market. When thinking about the changes, PCC Community Markets wanted to articulate who they are and what they believe in a way that would resonate with new and existing members and shoppers.

Image by Western Neon © 2018

They partnered with now-retired experiential Seattle marketing agency Wexley School for Girls to initiate their re-branding efforts from the outside to the inside and included the co-op’s most comprehensive consumer research to understand Seattle shoppers and PCC members. The result was a clean, classic brand identity – across logo, color palette, signage, advertising, illustration, and photography — that made food and community the heroes. The resulting campaign included a comprehensive logo change, addressed exterior store signage, interiors, and all direct-to-client communications.

To translate the brand identity to exterior signage and interior spaces, PCC partnered with Studio Matthews, and this relationship ultimately inspired the trajectory. We drew from these core concepts to refine, and custom build elements for the newest PCC Community Markets location in Burien, Washington – just south of downtown Seattle.

Image by Western Neon © 2018

The new location features a large-scale, façade-mounted marquee sign and illuminated canopy-attached channel letters. We then created a cohesive interior sign package utilizing a sturdy yet elegant combination of FSC wood and blackened carbon steel. FSC wood is a self-sustainable material that carries a certification from the Forest Stewardship Council ensuring “that products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.” Our Fabrication Team married these two industrial materials to generate a series of directory signage, aisle guides, wayfinding, and regulatory elements. Collectively, these components work together to forge a welcoming environment – emphasizing a community-driven atmosphere.

Whether you’re in south Seattle near the new location in Burien or start to see changes at your local neighborhood PCC Community Market, pop in for a new food-based experience and relish where you shop. Supporting a co-operative like PCC means you also support every single supplier down the line with a socially responsible, positive impact. As a similar, community-minded small business, we at Western Neon couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this unfolding story.