In August 2017, Adidas Originals in Toronto’s trendy Queen Street West neighbourhood re-opened its doors following a significant renovation project. The location was the brand’s first ‘neighbourhood concept’ store to open in Canada—a boutique with a design containing distinct elements reminiscent of the area it is located in.
While neon illumination is still part of today’s sign industry, LEDs have largely replaced it, both for skeletal ‘script’ designs and inside channel letters. These so-called ‘faux’ neon applications have become increasingly popular because they better meet clients’ requirements in terms of energy consumption and safety.
Premium Outlet Collection EIA needed larger-than-life signage to capture consumers’ attention. PM Signs, with offices in Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatoon, was hired for the job, which entailed more than 300 signs in total.
After True North Sports and Entertainment acquired Winnipeg’s Burton Cummings Theatre, it commissioned a new marquee sign, both to modernize the venue and to pay homage to the history of what is affectionately referred to as ‘the Burt.’ The changeover meant a chance to benefit from modern materials, including lightweight acrylic and aluminum, and LED illumination.
In recent years, many incredible innovations have reshaped the sign industry, but some of these changes have produced new challenges that need to be addressed. Lighting, in particular, is among the key areas where technological developments have caused their own difficulties. Lighting is the foundation of the modern sign industry. When the first major trade organization, the National Electric Sign Association (NESA), was established in 1944, it was built around a relatively small group of lighting suppliers that kept tight control over manufacturing standards. Over time, as NESA expanded in scope and became the International Sign Association (ISA), there was a concurrent expansion in signmaking materials and technologies, which made it more difficult to maintain consistency. The replacement of neon lighting with LEDs posed the greatest challenge of all.
In recent years, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have replaced neon as the dominant illumination method for channel-letter signage. Specific methods and principles need to be followed, however, to generate optimal results.
Digital signage may seem like a magical technology, but it is only as effective as the content it displays, whether its purpose is to convey information, incite curiosity or inspire an emotional response.
Sign designers and specifiers now have more ways than ever to add dramatic lighting effects to their creations. Gone are the days where illuminated signs had to be produced with metal cans at least 127 mm (5 in.) deep to allow sufficient space for high-voltage neon lighting and wiring.