We have been executing custom commissions for over 40 years. We’ve completed thousands of projects, from movie theater marquees and animated neon imagery to abstract art sculptures and small gift pieces. Len Davidson and crew are nationally acclaimed artisans who can highlight the broadest range of designs, tube colors, animation options, and installation techniques. Custom designs can combine neon with plastic, metal, wood, or found objects in spectacular ways.
Tell us about your custom neon ideas or the signage you'd like to restore!
We specialize in:
Architecture & Lighting
Neon can set off a building’s features or express its function. We’ve collaborated with architects, designers and building owners to bring excitement to architectural space by highlighting roof lines, soffits, staircases, coves, and ceilings.
Our work is seen in businesses of all types, from large corporations to corner mom-and-pops. Though pictorial neon is a dying art, we integrate images into many signs: our pair of 16′ Packard cars literally stopped traffic when installed in the Packard Building on Broad Street.
Animated signs create memorable landmarks. The 42′ neon on stainless Trolley Car Diner dazzled patrons from the day its wheels started turning, stoplight changed color, and doors opened to reveal driver and passenger. An animation at Milk Boy on South Street also commands attention: a bottle fills a boy’s glass that’s raised and lowered as the beverage disappears.
We’ve also done museum signage for temporary and permanent exhibitions. Our griffin logos in the west lobby of the Philadelphia Museum of Art were conceived in conjunction with renowned architects Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates.
Colleges & Libraries
In academic settings, our neon has added pizzazz to cafeterias, bookstores, dorms, and other public spaces. We produce campus landmarks that are bold or whimsical, funky or elegant.
At Drexel University, our museum display of over 30 signs and art pieces has become a gateway to their West Philadelphia campus.
We restore old signs for businesses and collectors. Dozens of rare neon clocks, neon on porcelain antiques, and graphic window signs have been rehabbed to their former beauty. We also purchase or trade for historic pieces to display in the Museum collection.
Three renowned restorations are the Giles and Ransome 1947 animated bulldozer in Bensalem, PA; the huge 1950s Reading Terminal Market sign; and the ’50s era marquee at Colonial Theater in Phoenixville, PA, famous for the cult movie The Blob.
By choosing a soft palette and utilizing dimmers, neon has enhanced the look of hundreds of homes. Imagine figural sculptures of all types — carrots in the kitchen, a baseball player in a child’s room, fish by the swimming pool, a skyline in a den. Architectural and abstract designs are also popular, from orchid lighting on the underside of a railing to turquoise and purple waves behind a glass block bar. As with all installations, but particularly in homes, extreme care is taken to hide wires and hardware for the cleanest look.
Many gift pieces are small (3′ by 3′ or less) and relatively inexpensive. The neon is mounted in a pedestal base or attached to a backing.
Pedestals can be made from porcelain, acrylic, and even found objects like paint cans. These sculptures plug into an outlet and neon electrodes pop into the pedestal — no wires to attach! They are designed for placement on a shelf or desk.
Backing pieces generally utilize a small transformer hidden behind the viewing surface. These are wired like pictures to hang on walls or in windows.
Figural designs are popular: footballs for the sports fan, hippos for the animal lover, soup pots for the cook, ’57 Chevys for the car nut. Names in neon and abstract designs can also light up a birthday, graduation, or holiday.
More elaborate pieces are available and only limited by one’s imagination. For instance, a diver with moving flippers was commissioned for the birthday of a scuba diving spouse.