Neon signage has now been around for decades; the signs in red, yellow blue and all other colours flashing brightly on shop fronts in the dark of the night are seldom noticed due to their common use.
However, in terms of graphic-design neon colours can really add something and could be considered akin their effect to when they first became popular in the 1920s, until they became less often seen after the 1960s.
Unlike in the past need where there was a luminous tube, all most graphic designers need is a Photoshop palette to create such effects. Neon can have a powerful effect on sites, logos and all other areas and really create a certain feel.
As neon lighting and colours are associated with the past, in many cases the aforementioned period and afterwards can be seen to be linked with more dilapidated remains, it can be used to create a number of effects on websites. Neon is associated with colourful dance music of the early 90s and can also be used to create that sort of fun effect.
Neon can also be used with a number of other design and style tweaks, such as textures and obviously font to create effects. It is also well catered for in the graphic-design field and there are a number of tools used on different programmes to achieve the effect. This neon effect sign is a fine example of what can be created using Photoshop.
Neon is not limited to sites and with the resurgence of the colours in art, it is seen on business cards in numerous shapes and forms.
Neon stands out from traditional colours, and its garish colours somehow create a loud but ironically stylish effort. It can also make ideal minimalist logos for companies as it is very effective at creating a lot from little more than a continuous line. The fundamental shape can be turned into something that looks very effective with the use of the neon line running around it. This is simple, effective and also distinctive because of this and gives a lot more individuality than a plain black line.
Neon can be used to give the traditional a contemporary feel in brochures, and the mere addition of such a colour can really enliven proceedings in a publication. The addition of a neon colour can make the normal look remarkable and brighten things up.
It is also fantastic for use with certain events or industries that are associated with the colours involved. This Creamfield's brochure for a dance music inspired festival is a fine use of neon in an industry where it is associated
The colours suit the mood and really enliven the brochure and give the sense of an impression desired.
Of course, the strength of neon colours means they should be used with thought and there will be certain instances where they are unsuitable for graphic-design purposes, won't go with the context or other colours, or just look out of place for one reason or another. A good designer should use their discretion in such an instance and make their own mind up.
Neon colour offers vast potential beyond the atypical colours for use in graphic design and can really add something extra when used well. Discretion is advised, but being open to these colours is essential.