We asked several prominent people for short comments on neon signs and electric signs.


The Museum of Neon Art (MONA)
Ms. Jan Sanchez (right)
Ms. Sophia Mannick
Seiichiro Higuchi
(artist, critic)
"The purity of neon light creates a kind of virtual natural light."  
  "Every city possesses its own unique elements. Urban design should skillfully highlight these elements. Cities become more vibrant when their individuality are expressed to the full."
Mr. Naoyuki Kuniyoshi
(Chief Researcher, Urban Design Office, Planning Bureau, Yokohama City)
Mr. Yuji Ishimaru
(4th Secretary General of the Ginza-dori Association)
"Neon signs certainly should not be equated with eyesore. They are essential ingredients of any area with office buildings. The urban view characteristic to Asia should exist. The ultimate manifestation of the Far East exists in Ginza."  
  "Neon lights have a charm about them. They're crooked rather than straight."
Mr. Koichi Edagawa
(Non-fiction Author)
Kenji Ekuan
(Chairman of the GK Design Agency)
"Neon lights are a kind of street performance, an effective communication medium which delights people. But they should become more domesticated, closer to our everyday lives. I'd like to see greater emphasis be placed on the neon sign culture."  
  "High-quality neon signs make a real contribution to the urban environment. For urban people the streets are their own internal living space. Neon lights change with the lapse of time, so the design of neon sign is the design of time. I find them fascinating."
Mr. Daizaburo Murai
(Design Producer)
Mr. Susumu Endo
(Graphic Designer)
"It's a job which gives an enormous sense of achievement to the creators, as each creation stays in place for a very long time. That means the creators bear responsibility for the generated images. I feel that neon is an attractive medium which gives viewers new experiences."  
  "In graphic design, the completion of creating is usually the end of the project, but it isn't the case with neon sign. There's a sense of continuity in neon sign as one can realize that his work always exists there whenever he visits the spot. Neon signs are a form of street dialog."
Fumiaki Nakamura
(Graphic Designer)
Mr. Makoto Fujii
"My aim is to create neon signs with a public quality which harmonize with the street scenery. Since they are mostly custom-made, originality is much expected that can create the higher visual effect and can exactly transfer the message of clients to the audience."  
  "Formerly outdoor advertising used to be completely detached from buildings. But today it has come to be incorporated into buildings from early stage of design. This is a field which holds out all kinds of possibilities for the future."
Mr. Hisanao Mikami
Mr. Hisakazu Fujita
(Senior Designer)
"Neon signs used to be flat and lack in individuality, but recently they've become much more interesting by taking on a three-dimensional quality. The development of materials approximating natural light has also increased the potential of neon signs."  
  "Whenever a new material comes along, I always try it out, but when it comes down to it I've never found anything better than neon signs. Neon is where it all starts and where it all ends."
Mr. Yuji Sakai
Mr. Nagaya Mitani
(Chief Creative Director)
"Neon signs have the potential to be more attractive objects. I'd like to see them become lasting symbols of a company's visual culture. Neon signs are corporate messages delivered in the form of art."  
  "Neon signs are an urban medium, which gives dreams to young people. ’Is there something interesting?’ is a way of greeting among the young, and it is the errand of the neon sign industry to supply objects which create an excitement and satisfy the desire of young people for the new."
Mr. Reugene Nishikawa
(Marketing Consultant)
Mr. Tetsuo Abico
(Neon Artist)
"Neon light is a just material to create my art piece. But it helps a lot to send a message of love and peace."  
  "Until recently usage of neon light was rather limited to partial spheres such as the means for lighting up the streets or for putting a spotlight on historical buildings. However, this restricted view has now given way to the idea of dominating the overall image of the urban environment. This is because neon signs possess a great potential for use in public places."
Mr. Jutaro Ito
(Former Chairman of the Sign Design Association of Japan)
Mr. Kiyoshi Nishikawa
(ph. D. in Design, Professor, University of Tsukuba)
"Neon signs in the future will be concerned not only with the urban landscape: a bird's-eye view should also be taken into account. There are bright cities and dark cities: the rhythm of the contrast between the two is extremely human. The best aspects of both types of environment are brought out in strong relief thereby."  
  "Among the proliferation of lighting sources such as fluorescent lamps, metal halide lamps, etc, the neon lights have their own distinctive attraction. Through the encounter with high-technology, neon lights are sure to regain their essential appeal which nobody has yet noticed."
Mr. Kaoru Mende
(Lighting Designer)


1998 Copyright (c) All Japan Neon-Sign Association