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How To Select the Right Neon Color For Your Business Sign

Jan 23, 2022 | Business Signs, Neon Signs

By Matt Baker

By Matt Baker

Matt Baker, oldest son of company founder Roberta Baker, has literally grown up in the sign business. Roberta Baker founded the company back in 1985 and Matt Baker stepped into the CEO role in 2010. It comes as no surprise that he has taken the company his mother created to new heights. New heights figuratively as well as literally considering the Hi-Rise Rappelling Services added in recent years.

Bright, glowing signs of electrifying colors light up storefronts everywhere day and night. Most people recognize these attractive neon colors the moment they see them. Many businesses have one or more of these bright-colored signs. They use them to attract, inform, persuade and entertain in a simple, yet very effective way. Neon sign fabrication and implementation requires careful thought and skill for each different business situation. Use the following information and suggestions to get the right signs and neon colors for your business.

Neon Colors and Signs Materials

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Neon signs consist of glass tubing full of various gaseous mixtures. One interesting, yet often unknown, fact is that the glass tubing sometimes contains more than just neon gas. In fact, to get the different neon colors, sign makers regularly use different gases. Manufacturers pump the gas into the tubing to gather it into higher concentrations. 

At room temperature, the gas does not move around and looks and smells as though it is not even there. Add an electric current to it though, and the gas changes. With the application of the electric current, the gas moves around and starts to glow with enticing, bright colors.

The Sign Fabrication Process

One awesome quality of neon signage is that they are fully customizable. You can create any size, shape, and look that you want, thanks to the sign fabrication process. Fabricating neon signs requires significant amounts of heat and technical expertise

First, manufacturers have to select the proper size of hollow glass tubing. Some designs can even contain multiple sizes of tubing. Once they select the glass tubes, manufacturers heat the tubes to make them malleable. Next, they bend and manipulate them into the exact shape they want.

Uses for Neon Signs in Business

Since neon signage is completely customizable, the possibilities for its use are endless. Most businesses use neon signs in four main ways. They use them to get people’s attention, to tell people something, to promote or sponsor a product or service, and to amuse people.

Attention

You want to grab people’s attention as they walk by your store. Vibrant neon colors are a great way to do so. One way to use these specially colored signs is to place them at the front of your store or in the front window will help entice people to stop and enter your establishment.

Information

Some businesses also use neon-colored signs to give information to their potential customers. One of the most iconic neon designs, the red or white “OPEN” sign, is a great example of an informative use. Other common examples include those that tell people the location of something. The design might also include an arrow to show what direction to go or where to look. These types of signs might indicate the location of:

  • Restrooms and other essential facilities
  • Exits and entrances
  • Check out areas
  • Ordering counters

Advertisement

Advertising is the bread and butter of every successful business. Neon signs are an excellent, simple, long-lasting, and relatively inexpensive way to advertise. They work as promotions for either your business in general or a specific product or service that your business provides. Placing your business name, logo, or primary product or service in neon lights can be a fantastic way to subtly persuade and encourage people to make certain decisions.

Entertainment

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Neon lights are mesmerizing. They are often enjoyable to look at and can make a place feel more fun and inviting. Strategically placing neon signs with appropriate coloration can give your business a lively, amusing atmosphere that people want to spend more time in.

Neon Colors Possibilities

Neon signs come in dozens of different colors. They can contain more than one color in each design as well. Different sections of the glass tubing can contain different gases that react to create various hues. All neon sign shades glow relatively bright; however, some neon colors seem to shine brighter than others. By combining neon gas with other gases, using only other gases, and starting with either clear or colored glass tubing, you can make virtually any color you desire.

Neon Colors Creation

Creating each different color requires certain knowledge and understanding about how the gases interact and shine through the glass tubing. To get the right sign type and color, you should find a well-established and experienced supplier who can tailor the design as you want and need it. Here is a list of some of the most common neon sign colors, along with a brief description of how to create them:

  • Red: Neon in its most basic form inside clear glass tubing
  • Orange: Neon combined with yellow or orange-colored glass tubing or helium
  • Yellow: Krypton combined with various shades of glass tubing
  • Green: Krypton in varying amounts with clear glass tubing
  • Light Blue: Mercury vapor with clear glass tubing
  • Blue: Xenon in varying amounts with clear glass tubing
  • Purple: Argon along with varying levels of blue or purple-tinted glass tubing
  • Pink: Helium in clear glass tubing or neon in white or pink shaded glass tubing
  • White: Carbon dioxide in varying amounts with clear glass tubing

The science behind neon sign fabrication and the creation of a specific color is not always exact. To get closest to the shade you want, you should seek out and employ a seasoned professional to do the job. Generally speaking, higher concentrations of each specific gas create the richest colors. Additionally, using tinted glass or mixing different gases together significantly expands your neon sign color choices.

Choosing Neon Colors for Your Business Sign

Deciding what colors you want to use in your neon business signs depends on a variety of factors.

Size

What size sign you want may determine what colors you choose. If you want a very large sign, you may want to stay away from trying to create too specific a hue in it. In these cases, sticking with a core color may be better because it might be less expensive to create and less difficult to replicate in the future.

Location

You might want to invest in a brighter design if you plan to put it outdoors. Generally, brighter is better for outdoor uses as people are much more likely to see it, especially at a distance. In contrast, having a dimmer indoor sign might be a better option. Using cloudy glass tubing might help you tone down the brightness while still maintaining the color that you desire for indoor signage. If your neon sign is in a small room or a darker area, then it may hurt your customers’ eyes if it is excessively glaring.

Height

Think about whether you want to place your sign at eye level, above your patrons’ heads, or down along the ground. What color and how bright you make your design will play a part in getting it noticed, while also keeping it from being annoying, frustrating, or hurtful to people’s eyes. For example, you can use more muted colors in eye-level signage, as it usually does not need to physically draw focus to its position.

Background

The colors and lighting behind your sign will also help you determine the ideal hues and how bright to make them. Avoid blending colors like an orange neon on a red background. Blending colors will lessen the chance that your customers notice the sign. Similar colors may even make your sign hard to read or see at all.

Brand

If you have specific business colors, you may want to exhibit them in your sign. As an example, if your business logo contains green and orange, you may want to place a green restroom text on an orange wall. Using brand-related colors can help customers remember you and connect the sight of the signs with your business.

Sign Fabrication Considerations

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Choose a reputable company that can help you with the entire neon sign process from beginning to end.

Options

You want to have choices in what your sign looks like and how it fits your business. Fully customizable neon signs are often the best way to ensure you get the finished look you want. Find a manufacturer that offers completely original sign designs.

Installation

Broken or mishandled neon signs will not function correctly. Glass is fragile, and the gas inside can escape if someone mishandles or breaks the sign. Without the gas, the sign will not work at all. Have an accomplished professional install your sign and show you how to handle, operate, and clean it properly.

Repair or Replacement

Though these signs often last a long time, they do at times need repair or replacement. Make sure to contract with a company that offers these services as a part of the design package. Search for a manufacturer experienced in all the stages of fabrication to fix old neon signs that you have as well.
Contact a qualified signage company today to help you through the whole neon sign fabrication process, from choosing the right neon colors to properly installing and caring for your sign as it lights your future.

How To Select the Right Color Neon Business Sign