Manhattan Neon

The New York Studio Illuminating Versace, Macy's and Barneys

Photographer Caroll Taveras ventures inside the studio of leading signage manufacturers Manhattan Neon. Housed in the landmark Terminal Stores building on the Chelsea waterfront in New York, Manhattan Neon has been producing stunning light pieces since 1984, including palm trees for the Grammy Awards, window displays for Macy’s, and pieces for Le Baron impresario Andre Saraiva’s Mr. A graffiti work. As part of its annual program, creative platform Wanted Design ran a series of workshops at the Manhattan Neon studio during last month’s ICFF where visitors could learn about the processes and techniques of producing neon lighting. "Neon is a perfect example of a traditional US design language," explains Wanted Design co-founder Odile Hainaut, who created a series of talks and workshops as a more relaxed alternative to the main ICFF showroom. First popularized by Georges Claude at the Paris Motor Show in 1910, neon lighting has traditionally been associated with dive bars, seedy backstreets and kitsch advertising, as well as world famous tourist destinations like Las Vegas’s glittering Fremont Street. “Manhattan Neon have produced some of the most famous signs in iconic locations across the city, such as Times Square, signs that people have continually appreciated without really understanding how they are made,” says Hainaut. "More and more, this medium is now being explored by artists and designers and offers great possibilities for creative people."

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