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: Uwajimaya’s Kai Market

In 1928, Fujimatsu Moriguchi of Yawatahama, Japan sold homemade fishcakes from the back of his truck in the Puget Sound area while his wife, Sadako, operated their Uwajimaya store in downtown Tacoma. Today, Uwajimaya has locations in Seattle, Bellevue, and Renton, and as far away as Beaverton, Oregon, with over 400 employees, nine of whom are Moriguchi family members, active in daily business and management for the company.

Uwajimaya’s very first Kai Market recently opened at 400 Fairview: 5,500 square feet of ground floor space in the shiny and ever-developing South Lake Union neighborhood. Naturally, the market will focus on authentic Asian flavors in the fresh seafood realm, while offering a wide variety of ready-made meals for the lunch crowd, to live seafood for the brave home chefs.

Western Neon fabricated and installed three signs for Uwajimaya’s Kai Market. The first is a north vestibule elevation sign above the main doorway measuring 11’x10′ with 1/4″ acrylic letters painted white sitting on a dibond backer painted black. The second is a west vestibule elevation made of aluminum channel letters with LED illumination and metal backing. This sign measures at a colossal 50’x2′ facing the street under an awning giving the letters a floating illusion. The final custom sign is a circular single-sided interior blade sign with their friendly fish logo facing the ceiling. This fun sign is 3’4″x3’9″ and showcases 10 and 15mm ruby red exposed neon. Two opaque black vinyl graphic details with the words, “Kai Market” also featured along the wall in the new market for exceptional branding presence.

Project of the Month: W Hotel/Seattle

“Where Urban Energy Meets Nature”
Located in the center of downtown Seattle’s high-rise building district, W Seattle offers breathtaking water and city skyline views, while embracing city nightlife with their popularTRACE Restaurant and Bar and their glowing pink and blue “Living Room Bar”, featuring the “W Live Music Series“. Hotel guests are delightfully spoiled by W Seattle‘s “Whatever/Whenever” concierge service and the remodeled W space provides for an excellent event space and wedding venue.
With a newly renovated interior, W Seattle decided to finish the look by adding exterior signage to help guests find their way to the new and improved W Seattle. “One complaint we get is guests being dropped off by a Taxi and still not knowing where we are. I love that after 18 years, our guests will finally know exactly where to go.” explains Harvey Palmer, W Seattle’s Director of Engineering.
Western Neon, which also made W Seattle’s TRACE restaurant signs in 2012, fabricated and installed their two new signs. The first is an exterior sign facing 4th Ave that is a double-sided “W” with double stroke neon measuring 11’6″x8’3″, strikingly visible from the interior windows along the upper level mezzanine. The second is a single-sided “W” facing Seneca St. and is 10’x7’2″.
Both W Seattle signs feature matte “fire breathing red” paint, stylish aluminum perforated faces with 1/4″ holes, and 176 linear ft. of 15mm coated ruby red neon, making it an instant eye-catcher. The 4th Ave double-sided “W” was designed with the mounts coinciding with the building mullions to provide a mesmerizing floating effect.
​​​​​​​Western Neon is not only extremely pleased with the design details of this project, but are proud to provide long-time W Seattle’s first ever signage! “Western Neon nailed every moving part of this project. Every person we worked with was professional, helpful, and the information provided was straight forward.” says Harvey.

Topic of the Month: Construction Projects ft. Troy Block

“Embrace the old, invent the new.”


The original Troy building in South Lake Union, designed in 1927 by architect Victor W. Voorhees, was home to a wide range of businesses, most memorably the Troy Laundry Company. The developers of Troy Block Seattle are keeping the original look alive by incorporating most of the brickwork and terra cotta details from the initial building’s design.

Western Neon was chosen by Doty & Associates to refurbish the 75 sq ft. sign. While preserving the characteristics of the old sign, Western Neon removed loose paint, properly cleaned the surface, remade the neon, repaired the mounting, refurbished the electrical wiring, and added a clear coat. In order to mount the approximately 16’x5′ sign, 4 stainless steel aircraft cables were used at a 50.7 degree angle and 974 lbs of tension!

The new Troy Block Seattle has 50% more square footage per floor than any other building in South Lake Union. The two Troy Block buildings, the North and South Tower, will include 5k sq. ft. of retail space, a 5k sq. ft. conference room, a high-end fitness center, and an upper story deck. This two-phase construction project was developed by Touchstone with the help of USAA Real Estate, Colliers International, Perkins+Will, and Lease Crutcher Lewis.

As a Seattle-based company with 30 years history in the community, Western Neon loves any chance to help sustain Seattle’s many stories through signage and artwork.​​​​​