I don’t think we can talk about neon (or the absence of it at least) without looking at some of Rizon Parein‘s work. In particular, his personal project Lights Off. Lights off is a surprisingly sexy what is really just tubes and wires when you remove the neon. And believe it or not, these posters are 3D digital models, not physical signs. Parein was originally contracted to make these neon signs for an Eristoff Vodka campaign called “Bring On The Night” but while working on the campaign’s 20 headlines, he fell in love with unlit signage. Parein thought turning the lights on killed the esthetics of what he was making so he decided to make a series of his own posters.
I was poking around Dribble a few weeks ago when I first started thinking about a neon Theme Week, and I came across this sweet neon animated GIF by Nick Kumbari. In the shot he says he created the image for a website he’s working on, which I’m pretty stoked to see when he’s done. What I love about this piece is all the bold colors, the really interesting fonts created, and the perfectly subtle use of animation. So awesome!
Searching the internet in hopes of finding some neon for our “Theme Friday” this week, I stumbled across this fantastic little nugget of animated neon by Swedish director Daniele Manoli. ‘L is for Luminous’ is part of a series of 26 short videos which Daniele made during 2009-2010. Each one corresponds to a letter of the alphabet and it’s a great collection of playful little clips.
Based in Hong Kong, Daniele created this video by cutting out various signs from around the city. The resulting clip is a kaleidoscopic celebration of light, patterns and color. The music is provided by Josh Furey. Enjoy!
As I began to explore the facets of neon it started to occur to me that neon is rarely used for high-end purposes, save perhaps for the work of Bruce Nauman. This interesting project by Lorenzo Vitturi uses neon to highlight the differences between the old and what’s new.
When you think of typography in neon signage you might think you probably don’t think of complex calligraphy. But that’s exactly what Ale Paul did with his absolutely stunning typeface Rolling Pen. To promote his new font Ale created the beautiful poster you see below which I’m totally nuts over.
You can learn more about the font and the poster by clicking here.
In today’s culture, a substance like neon has a number of different meanings and interpretations. The original meaning of neon is the scientific one, that it’s a chemical element (a noble gas to be specific) which is number 10 on the periodic table. It’s creation is quite dramatic if you read it straight from it’s Wikipedia page.
During cosmic nucleogenesis of the elements, large amounts of neon are built up from the alpha-capture fusion process in stars. Although neon is a very common element in the universe and solar system (it is fifth in cosmic abundance after hydrogen, helium, oxygen and carbon), it is very rare on Earth.
In a more modern sense we often think of neon as the signs you see hanging in dive bars or liquor stores. Technically, the neon only glows red in color (the sign above is not neon, ha!) so the different colors you see are other gasses like krypton, argon, or xenon. But you’ll probably never hear anyone say, “wow, look at that rad xenon sign!”
In the most contemporary sense of the word, neon is often thought of as a super bright color which is most frequently seen applied to sports and athletic apparel. But it certainly hasn’t stopped there. You now see neon colors on literally everything (and this Pinterest search for neon scientifically proves it). I’m not a hater though, I’m actually a big fan of neon when it’s worn in the appropriate doses.
With all this complexity we thought it’d make for a great Theme Friday, so prepare for a thorough exploration of this word with so many interesting and exciting possibilities.
I spent a bunch of time falling down the rabbit hole that is Flickr last night, finding a bunch of great artists to write about. One of my favorites was Nelio, a French graffiti artist who’s work uses tons of bright colors all laid out int he most interesting, geometric ways. When I see work like Nelio’s it truly solidifies the idea that graffiti can be art. I would love to see his pieces around Los Angeles, I think they would liven up the neighborhoods.
You can see lots more of his work on his Flickr and I’ve picked up some of my favorites which you can see below.
Randy P. Martin takes the photos you wish you took. He might be based in Chicago but he’s an avid traveller who documents his journeys with an impressive eye for landscapes and scenery. Somehow he manages to capture that idealized version of scenic views, places that seem to amazing to be real. I also love the fact he tends to include people in his photos which give a sense of scale to the grandeur of his photos. I definitely recommend taking time to browse through his Flickr, and you can see a collection of some of my favorites of his photos below.