This article appears in the October 2019 issue and is presented by Impact Washington. Click here for a free subscription.
Western Neon is a Seattle institution, with its custom neon signs gracing a range of the city’s best-known establishments, including the Hugo House, Trailbend Taproom, Sodo Urbanworks and Sam Choy’s Poke to the Max to name just a few. It also lights up Seattle’s suds history as the creator of the famous Rainier Beer “R” — now restored and housed at The Museum of History and Industry. The company, founded in 1985, gave birth to the Western Neon School of Art, a nonprofit based in Seattle that is built around the exploration of light, space and interactive technologies. It was the brainchild of Western Neon owner and President Andre Lucero, who envisioned a school focused on teaching the history and skills of illuminated media. The 25-employee Western Neon offers a full range of sign-related services, including exterior and interior signage, electronic-message displays and architectural lighting as well as design, installation, repair and restoration services.
A newly made neon piece is bombarded for processing.
Glass bender Will Kirtley heats a piece of glass for shaping.
A neon unit is illuminated after processing for testing.
Metal-shop team member Garth works on a public art piece for the city of Edmonds.
Letters for a new PCC Market are sorted as they are routed and fabricated.