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The Past, Present, and Future of Neon, Discussed With Tony

July 29, 2022 3 min read

At Neon Creations, we love discussing everything neon-related. There’s no better way to get to know everything about the past, present, and future of neon than by chatting to our co-founder Tony!

Questions And Answers With Our Co-Founder and Glass Bender, Tony.

Q: When did you make your first neon sign?

A: It would have been back in the early 90s, probably a repair on a sign for a high street shop. The company I started with had a lot of high street contracts, most banks, McDonalds, M&S and loads more.

Q: When did you know you wanted to have a career in neon?

A: I didn’t set out to have a career in neon, I went for an interview at a big sign company that I wanted to work at, went down to the glass shop and saw big flames, people bending glass and thought WOW. Also one of my good friends was the supervisor… Probably would have got the job anyway? Thanks Glen!


Q: What’s your favourite fact about the history of neon?

A: The process of making a neon sign has not changed in over 100 years, the first neon sign was made in 1912. This fact shows that glass bending has stood the test of time. Read more about the history of neon.

Q: How have things changed in the neon industry since you started?

A: Only really the size of the industry. With the emergence of fluorescent tubes and LEDs becoming more popular in signage in the early 90s, this had a huge impact on neon being used as illumination for signs. Lots of glass shops closed around the country. Many thought this was the end of the neon industry, personally I thought it was the start. Now we can show what we can do with glass, not hidden away behind Perspex in a sign, but in front.

Q: What do you love the most about creating neon signs?

A: That’s it, creating, making art from straight bits of glass tubing and bending them by hand in a flame into the finished piece. Best job in the world.


Q: What’s your favourite part about running a neon sign company?

A: I think showing people how we bend glass, it still makes me smile when I see people having a go and then they understand the skill and love of the job. Also having a great team at Neon Creations makes it very easy.

Q: What type of neon sign do you like making the most?

 A: Rude words…Always makes us smile and gets a great photo opportunity.


Q: What is the hardest part about making a neon sign?

 A: You do get a day, every now and again, where nothing goes right, glass breaking, not fitting the drawing properly etc. This is a skill you can do, but these days it’s not working?

Turn your flame off and find something else to do…

Q: What do you think the future of neon looks like?

 I’ve always said the future of Neon is in the hands of the people who make it, be creative, be adventurous, try different things and keep pushing boundaries. I always say that it's not “OPEN, KEBABS and BURGERS” signs anymore, it's artwork. People are starting to appreciate the skill of glass bending and want an authentic REAL neon sign. Recently the growing trend of cheaper LED signs on the market has made glass bending and neon signs a sought after high end product.

Q: Is there anything neon-related that you’re looking forward to?

Just pursuing a route of getting my own neon artwork onto a platform which can be appreciated for what it is.


If you’d like to know more about our neon signs, contact us today for more information!