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: Hugo House

Image by Western Neon © 2019

Western Neon is incredibly proud to unveil our commemorative contribution to the new Hugo House space in Capitol Hill. Founded in 1996 by Seattle writers Linda Breneman, Andrea Lewis, and Frances McCue, Hugo House is “a place where you can read words, hear words, and make your own words better.” After the demolition of the century-old building that previously housed the organization, Hugo House reopened in September 2018 in a sleek, airy space designed by global architecture firm NBBJ with an acute focus on writing in mind. The Raynier Institute & Foundation granted $650,000 to Hugo House in support of their mission to provide a home for writing; in consideration of this, the in-house performance space Lapis Theater is dedicated in honor of the Raynier Foundation’s namesake, James W. Ray. We worked closely with Hugo House, NBBJ, and the Raynier Foundation to bring an exceptional, ornate marquee for the theater to life.

Image by Western Neon © 2019

James Ray was well known around Seattle as a passionate, eccentric individual who supported arts, education, and culture. He was a fan of the mystic and ornate, which is reflected in the design of the theater marquee. We made design choices in conjunction with the Raynier Foundation to best reflect James Ray’s vision and passions. Every element, from the silicon bronze, lapis-colored glass and geometric reveals to the font and Fibonacci spirals, incorporate visual cues from early 20th century Egyptian theater design and Art Deco iconography.

The metal component of the sign is made of silicon bronze, chosen for its luminous finish quality. While it might have been easier to use painted aluminum for nearly the same effect, we chose to use the silicon bronze we’d never worked with before in order to have the authenticity shine through. It was a difficult material to work with and handle, but well worth extra efforts. The face is backed with a contrasting lapis glass and bookended by illuminated argon-filled tubes evoking Fibonacci spirals. The “Lapis Theater” text is comprised of acrylic “push-through” type letter forms internally lit by LEDs, color matched to the glass. We also fabricated a large illuminated bronze clock placed above the theater entrance as an addition to the theater sign, further referencing Art Deco design and early 20th century Egyptian theater interiors. Lastly, we made and installed a bronze plaque dedicating the space to James Ray that evokes his unique impact and vision.

Image by Western Neon © 2019

We are proud to have collaborated with such great partners to create a truly monumental installation in memory of such a pivotal Seattle figure. It’s both a fitting addition to Hugo House’s elegantly designed communal space and an inspiring beacon for the local writing community – stop by some time to check it out. You can learn more about Hugo House here, and about James Ray and the Raynier Institute & Foundation here.

 

Project of The Month: McBride Construction

Image by Western Neon © 2019

Western Neon is pleased to reveal the signs we recently fabricated and installed for McBride Construction. After 34 years in their Fremont office, the locally-owned business relocated to a former fire station in downtown Burien last year. A new location called for new signage, and McBride approached us to create interior and exterior signs for their office.

Image by Western Neon © 2019

McBride Construction has been constructing and renovating buildings across the Pacific Northwest since 1984. For over thirty years, the family business has been committed to excellence in their craft and conduct imbued with a sense of quality, expertise and safety. Maintaining these values have helped continue their success – with over twenty thousand completed jobs, they’re doing things right. As a similarly-minded local business, we were delighted to create unique signage for McBride.

Image by Western Neon © 2019

We created two signs, one interior and one exterior. The exterior logo sign is made of aluminum and backlit with LEDs to create a blue halo effect. The interior sign is the more unusual of the two: we fabricated a dimensional projecting cabinet out of aluminum and affixed EGL 6500 Snowhite glass bent three-dimensionally around the shape. Below this, the company’s name shines in a vibrant cobalt blue from Ablon Technologies. The unusual glass design was especially technical – it required lots of prototyping with cardboard and a to-scale model to bend the glass around for the precise angles.

 

Just like us, McBride has been in the business since the mid-eighties and has built up a quality company by remaining true to their roots. More information about McBride Construction can be found on their website – go check out some of their impressive projects!

Project of The Month: Graduate Seattle

Image by Western Neon © 2018

Western Neon is delighted to unveil the exterior sign package we fabricated for the newest Graduate Hotels location in Seattle’s University District. With thirteen locations in college towns and seven more opening in the next year, Graduate Hotels is the perfect stay on the cusp of college life. Graduate Seattle is located mere blocks from the University of Washington campus, and its glowing signs are beacons that can be seen up and down 45th Street.

Image by Western Neon © 2018

Each Graduate location is designed to reflect the vibe of the locale, and Graduate Seattle does the job well. A 1930s Art Deco aesthetic calls back to a more nostalgic Seattle, and the rooftop bar provides stunning views of the beautiful mountain landscape. A cozy, richly decorated lobby channels the inviting warmth of the Pacific Northwest, complete with a fireplace that beckons guests to curl up next to it. With this nostalgic atmosphere, it’s no wonder they chose to go the classic path when thinking about their signs.

Image by Western Neon © 2018

We fabricated several signs for the project. One is a large blade sign with acrylic push-through lettering attached to the side of the building (pictured to the left). The eye-catchers, though, are the two identical neon channel letter signs reading “Graduate” in cursive. These are both mounted fifteen stories up on the side of the building, one facing south and one facing west. For the neon components in these signs, we used entirely EGL Lighting materials. We used the EGL C.L. Designer 65 glass paired with our favorite EGL electrodes within the channel lettering, creating a beautiful frosty white glow.

 

If you need somewhere to stay in the city, Graduate Seattle is the place to choose. Situated perfectly in the heart of the U District, there’s always something fun to do nearby. Make sure to check out the signs when you’re there!