“Neon will pretty much last until you break it.. It’s not like a light bulb, or a fluorescent tube. It doesn’t have a life span.”


— neon bender Sharon Keshishian, Austin, Texas. (from a Dec 2017 Curbed article)

A local favorite restored!

Here in Portland, Grand Avenue's Miller Paint store, which has been in business since 1890, recently restored their amazing neon sign, which had been up since 1938. Oregonian article here.

Seattle's lady sign designer

From our neighboring metropolis to the north, Seattle's neon history has just been enriched by some recent research on Beatrice Haverfield, a local neon sign designer from the 1940s to the 1960s. Her best known sign is the Ivar's Seafood Restaurant sign, which bears Haverfield's iconic, beautiful double-stroke script lettering. Article here.

Design Week April 18-25

Design Week Portland is coming up soon, and I'm participating this year by doing a neon tour. Design Week is a jam-packed insane week with tons of events, open houses, and happenings related to all kinds of design. Get tickets for my tour here, learn more about the festival here.

Spring 2020 neon tours

3 spring tours coming up — please share with friends! March 28th
April 19th (Design Week)
May 9th

Neon Map+Poster of Portland.

Take your own self-guided tour of the best neon signs in Portland! Includes city-wide map of more than 80 signs. Buy one here

By the way... hopefully you've noticed by now that we're living in strange times and lots of events are being cancelled. While I really hope the pandemic will be contained and subside real soon, it's definitely possible that my walking tours will get cancelled. Please take good care of yourselves and stay safe!   — K.W.

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Electric Letterland is where typography and wonder collide. A project of Kate Widdows, Electric Letterland is home to neon walking tours, printed neon maps, neon GIF classes, and will grow to encompass more neon-related things in the future. 

Kate Widdows is a graphic designer specializing in lettering, typefaces, and branding, and has designed neon signs for bars, art shows, and light festivals. Her original neon GIFs have appeared in news articles and television pilots, and have been exhibited internationally at design festivals, art galleries, and parties. Kate is also co-producer of the Neon Speaks Festival & Symposium in San Francisco. She lives and works in Portland, Oregon.
Copyright © 2019 Kate Widdows, All rights reserved.
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