San Francisco Neon

historic neon network


June 9
Chinatown Neon Walking Tour, SF

June 12 SF Design Week: Neon Light Source and Letterforms, SF

July 6 Mechanics Institute Library: San Francisco History Via Neon, SF

August 3 TypeCon: Letters from the Night Sky, Portland, OR

November 13 Past Forward: Neon Mobile Classroom, NTHP Conference, SF



A celebration of historic neon signs

April 20-22,  2018

Neon Speaks

The NEON SPEAKS Festival & Symposium aims to raise awareness and promote information-sharing about the artistic legacy of historic neon signs and restoration best practices. Want to get future festival updates? Sign up for our mailing list.


OPENING RECEPTION  5:30 PM  Friday, April 20

Location: Herman Miller Showroom

23 Geary Street, Suite 900, San Francisco

Join us for a happy hour reception for festival supporters and presenters. Its easy to be a supporter, just purchase a festival

pass for all events.

Find out more about schedule, presenters, and tickets.

Local neon historians Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan are available for neon talks, tours, video screenings, and/or photo exhibits. Neon talks can be customized to connect with audiences on many levels: science, art, popular culture, design, typography, city history, and the growing national movement to preserve and appreciate landmark neon signs.


Contact us to schedule a neon event, talk, private walking tour, or exhibit.


Neon event partners in include: Art Deco Society of California, Atlas Obscura, Balboa Theater, City Guides, Exploratorium Museum, International Association of Lighting Designers, Mechanics Institute Library, Noir City Film Festival, Neon Type Camp, Nerd Nite EB, Nerd Nite SF, RayKo Photography Center Gallery, Portola Neighborhood Association, SF History Association, San Francisco History Days, San Francisco Public Library, Society for Experiential Graphic Design SF, Tenderloin Museum, and the Westerners Historical Society.


Highlights of  2017

Atlas Obscura Neon Talk/Neon Works Shop Tour

Oakland Mayor promotes neon restoration!  We had a surprise visit from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, posing here with Jim and Kate Rizzo. Jim and Kate graciously hosted a neon event at Neon Works HQ, organized by Bart Bernhardt for Atlas Obscura. We did our neon preservation talk, Jim gave a shop tour, and Libby Cahill did a tube-bending demo. It was so much fun we would love to do it again for our mailing list subscribers, stay posted. The time is ripe for an Oakland neon renaissance, and Mayor Schaaf told us she wants to find a way to illuminate vintage neon in her city... We are working with Oakland neon advocates and the mayor's community engagement office to create a series of neon bike tours in Oakland for 2018. Please let us know if you have a favorite vintage neon sign in Oakland! Check out this awesome map of Oakland vintage signs from the prolific Our Oakland blog by Gene Anderson.


Atlas Obscura Neon Works Shop Tour |  7/123/2017 | 7 pm

Neon Works, 967 Grace Avenue, Oakland  |  $25


Would you like a free copy of the 2016 Neon Icons exhibit catalog? This 40-page exhibit catalog was generously printed by the SF Public library. It contains 6 new color images and 14 historic photos from the library archive that are not in the SF Neon book.

One copy per order, while supply lasts.
shipping/handling,  first class, U.S. only.




Contact us for eBook or international shipping.


See Inside...

All photos © 2014 Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan

All content © 2018 Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan