The former owner of a Yorkshire sign making firm has returned to the trade with the launch of Neon Works – an independent business specialising in LED neon and illuminated lettering.

Neon Works is founded by Mark Davies, who owned and managed the Huddersfield branch of a larger US franchise for 16 years. Seeking the freedom to work creatively and independently, Mark sold the business for an undisclosed sum in June 2019 in order to return to the areas he enjoyed the most – design and manufacturing.

Having travelled to Shanghai in September 2019 to learn about the latest LED neon and manufacturing technology – and how it could be blended with Yorkshire craftmanship – the initial launch was put on hold following the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Using the lockdown to acquire and fit-out a 1,100 sq ft workshop in Mirfield, as well as source a range of local and international suppliers, the business was eventually unveiled earlier this month – and has already received several orders from hospitality and leisure companies across the region.

Huddersfield signwriter launches new neon sign business

The lifting of lockdown restrictions – and long lead-times from other PPE suppliers – has also led to the introduction of an entirely new range products, with over 30 clear acrylic ‘sneeze screens’ delivered in recent weeks.

Mark Davies, founder of Neon Works said: “I’ve worked in sign making for the whole of my professional career, but while my previous business was a success, I’d lost the opportunity to think creatively and do what I enjoy – manufacturing. So, I sold up and went back to the drawing board.

“There were definitely some challenging times when it came to setting up a business, from scratch, in the middle of a pandemic. But now, being able to go into my workshop and think about how to bring someone’s idea to light, is what makes it worthwhile – and reiterates that I made the right decision.”

With graphic design capabilities in-house, Neon Works will sell to both the trade and end-user, and work alongside business owners, shopfitters, architects, design agencies and homeowners to deliver a range of creative visual solutions.

While every product is handmade to order, over 200 off-the-shelf designs are also available from the firm’s website, as well as a ‘create your own sign’ tool, which instantly shows a visual mock-up of the customer’s bespoke phrase.

LED neon lights have the same wow-factor as their traditional, glass neon sign counterparts – but with the modern benefit of being far more energy efficient, cost effective and with almost limitless possibilities in terms of design, colour and effects.

One of the main advantages of an LED neon sign is the cost saving it provides. As with the LED bulbs we rely on at home and in the office, these lights require much lower voltage to run than traditional neon lights, making them 80% more energy efficient, and significantly cheaper to power.

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