Laser Cut Neon Sign Model

May 19, 2010

I’ve been exploring possible marketing pieces we can hand out to the businesses and residents in the building to promote our company. I thought something personally relevant would lead people to keep it around, so I thought of doing a model of the neon sign on the building.

This is the building our business is located in. It was formerly a Sears Warehouse building and has been restored into lofts and business spaces. On the roof is a big neon sign, shown here at night.

As with the Eiffel Tower, I started by tracing an image of the real thing. Several hours later, I had something that was technically accurate, but also completely impractical due to how delicate it was!

So I went back to the drawing board and simplified it into what you see during the day, basically big block letters. It’s actually in color, but here is a test model I did with white paper. I used a series of tabs that fold out and insert into slots on the letters to hold them in place. For the ribbon, the tabs had two levels so it would allow the ribbon to be set back from the letters themselves.

Assembling this version was tedious and required the use of tweezers. Still not something I could expect anyone to do themselves. (My goal in this was to provide these to people in pieces and let them assemble it themselves as it would be a lasting — but hopefully positive — experience.)

Ultimately, I think I was able to simplify it enough that it could be assembled by someone without tweezers, but I haven’t convinced myself that it’s the best solution to my marketing goal as it involves cutting from 4 different sheets of paper, then packing up all the correct pieces to make a sign, and there are approximately 450 units in the building!