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: 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.

Project of The Month: Avalara

Image by Western Neon © 2018

Western Neon is pleased to collaborate with designer Rob Murray and tax automation company Avalara on the graphics for their new headquarters. Located on the top six floors of the new Avalara Hawk Tower in Pioneer Square, the workspace boasts incredible views of downtown. Designer Rob Murray created the graphics concept for Avalara and approached us with the opportunity to create unique neon signs for the brand-new office.Avalara’s beach-themed graphics have been their signature since their first trade show booth, which was set up as a tiki bar to set them apart from competitors. According to Murray, “the tiki theme, surfboards and signature orange color has remained Avalara’s brand ever since”. It’s certainly an eye-catching design – contrast in colors and shapes attract the eye, and collage imagery on each floor plays into the fun side of the company.

Image by Western Neon © 2018

For this project, we created four customized neon signs for the new headquarters. Behind the main reception desk is a six-and-a-half-foot long, three-foot-tall neon Avalara logo mounted on a nineteen-foot long fabricated metal cabinet (pictured above). Because of the sheer size of the cabinet, it was created and installed in three separate pieces. The neon reads Avalara in their signature orange (Ablon Technologies Citrus Orange glass), with the check mark illuminated in the complementary aquamarine (Ablon Technologies Aquamarine coated glass). Below the logo lies Avalara’s slogan in backlit acrylic push through lettering.

Image by Western Neon © 2018

 In addition to the logo sign, we fabricated three aluminum cabinet signs to be displayed around the office. A beautiful, warm white glass called Candlelight from Ablon Technologies makes up the neon tiki head found in the employee cafeteria, also known as the tiki lounge. Another sign reads “It’s time.” in the same aquamarine as the checkmark in the logo. The final sign says “G-ing the J. D.”, or, “Getting the Job Done” in Ablon Technologies Clear Gold. Each of the neon pieces is mounted on an aluminum cabinet painted to match each sign. The transformers and cables are housed inside the cabinet for a clean look, and a clear standoff cover is mounted over the neon to protect it.

We’d like to thank Rob Murray for inviting us to collaborate on this project. We’d also like to congratulate him on his beautiful graphics package and Avalara for the opening of their new headquarters. Check out more of Rob’s work on his website and learn more about Avalara’s tax services on their website.

Project of The Month: Jazz Night School

Concept Rendering by Jazz Night School © 2018

Western Neon is excited to collaborate with local nonprofit organization, Jazz Night School, to make a marquee style sign for their new Hillman City location. Founded in 2008 by current Executive Director Erik Hanson, Jazz Night School has grown in the Seattle music community and prides itself in being the largest all-ages jazz program in the Pacific Northwest. Their new illuminated sign signifies not only their continuous growth but is a beacon for impactful programming that includes “a small performance space, more opportunities for lessons, ensembles, and classes.”

Image by Western Neon © 2018

For this project, Western Neon took direct inspiration from Jazz Night School. We created a vintage style aluminum marquee sign that features their signature turquoise, dark blue, and lime green coloring wrapped around a distinct bull nose form. The sign incorporates white LED lighting with bi-color acrylic push-through lettering taken directly from their logo. In addition, puck lights on the underside of the awning serve as both aesthetic and safety illumination for the entryway. This iconic South Seattle project was managed by Western Neon’s own Peter Muller in collaboration with our entire Production Team and the dedicated efforts of Jazz Night School’s Erik Hanson.

Image by Western Neon © 2018

Jazz Night School sees the potential for anyone to get involved in the Seattle jazz community and strives to provide a fitting environment where students can receive a finely tuned music-based education. They “envision a vibrant jazz community that fosters artistic development and creative empowerment”, and work hard to extend this mission. Student-focused programming supports every participant’s learning style and individuals are placed in classes that ensure a quality education. In addition, community performances have become a key part of programming and draw from a multitude of instructional offerings including Big Bands to Small Ensembles and an array of diverse classes.
 More information about the school, currently open classes, and upcoming performances can be found at Jazz Night School and on their Facebook Page. Don’t forget to consider supporting this wonderful program by volunteering or donating – Seattle’s jazz community is expanding and you can be an energetic part of it!