Vol. 20: Window Neon Signs in the United States

In contrast to the stone-built cities of Europe, the cities of the United States are symbolized by steel and glass. These structural properties open up the buildings, and the open facades of the shops create a sense of unity between the interior of the shop and the street. Neon signs consisting of tubes alone are used to decorate the shops. Although the United States is generally thought of as rivaling Japan and Hong Kong in terms of the popularity of neon lights, it is in fact only in Las Vegas and a part of New York that one is able to see large neon signs. Most neon signs in the United States are in fact window neon signs.

The designs are often simple to the point of dullness. A bar, for instance, might be decorated with a Budweiser or Coors sign placed inside a circle or a square, whereas a camera store might feature no more than company or brand names such as gCanonh or gKodak.h The signs are hung inside the windows much in the manner of a plate giving details of the merchandise available. On the other hand, there are some shops where neon tubes are installed along the whole length of the wall or ceiling and are used for their interior decoration effect, creating the impression of the store as a whole being a showroom.

The transparent light of neon signs comes together with the roadside trees and the buildings opposite reflected in the windows to form a beautiful cityscape.

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