Give me a sign in Vegas.


Signs. Signs. Signs. Everywhere. Wedding chapels, motels and casinos. Walls and windows, inside and outside. Walking around Las Vegas leaves the typography lover suffering from an overdose in neon lights and hand-lettering. I already posted about my first impressions in my blogpost The two sides of Las Vegas. Scrolling through my pictures I noticed how much I loved the old Vegas. The part with the not-so-fancy-gamblers and too-naked-old-women. The part where you can go and buy 25 cents beers on a tuesday and where the atmosphere is more relaxed. Where you can see signs of old Vegas restored in their former glory.

One of my favorite visits in Vegas was the Neon Sign Museum – you know me, always visiting a museum or two -, only possibility to visit this one is to take a guided tour. Be fast, because space is limited and the best tours – early in the morning or in the evening, when the lights are on – are sold out the fastest. Believe me, you don’t want to spend your afternoon on an iron boneyard in the middle of the desert, unless you like feeling hot hot hot. And don’t forget to take your water bottle – images of vultures circling around an exhausted, dehydrated visitor flash my mind –, you’ll thank me for it later. Oh, wait, why visit it? Well, the name itself says it all: old neon signs are saved from demolition and get a second life as museum piece in the space behind the historic La Concha Motel lobby. Some rusty, some with broken lights, some with missing letters and others restored in their former glory. But each and every sign has its story and tells something about the history of Vegas. Which is more interesting to me than spending the whole day wasting money behind a slotmachine.

My second favorite part of Vegas was walking around in the arts district, bumping into wedding chapels, vintage shops – Vintage, hurray! Yes, I like vintage clothes and stuff. Yes, other people like it too. Yes, it’s hip and trendy. No, I don’t care about that. -, motels and ‘human landscapers’ – Yes, it is what it looks like in that picture -. Murals and other street art. Little pieces of inspiration which I didn’t expect to find in this city mainly known for its sins, not for its signs.

Please, walk around in downtown Vegas. You’ll like it. Maybe you’ll love it. Or maybe you just say fuck it and gamble your days and nights away in a fancy casino. – They have AC. I wouldn’t blame you. –




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Anke Roosendans

illustrator / travel addict / architecture lover / crazy about mid-century modern design

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