Tuesday, 8:00pm
13 August 2019

Type Tuesday: Neon! Names in lights

Join us at St Bride Library for Eye’s quarterly Type Tuesday event on 3 September 2019, with a focus on the past, present and future of neon signs

Eye magazine’s next Type Tuesday on 3 September 2019 will focus on neon signs.

Neon! Names in lights’ features Ilona Karwińska and David Hill of Warsaw’s Neon Muzeum and Kerry Ryan from Neon Specialists, followed by a panel discussion about neon. Please join us. Every ticket sold supports the St Bride Foundation.

Karwińska and Hill will show their fabulous images from Poland’s ‘era of neon propaganda’ and tell the story of Europe’s first neon museum. Since 2005, photographer Karwińska and graphic designer Hill have been documenting and preserving Poland’s Cold War era neon signs – symbols of the creative expression that emerged alongside the ‘Khrushchev Thaw’ of the 1950s and 60s.

Ilona Karwińska, photographer and co-founder of the Neon Muzeum.


David Hill, graphic designer and co-founder of the Neon Muzeum.


As well as founding the Neon Muzeum, which opened in 2012, Karwińska has also published Neon Revolution: Eastern Bloc Electro Graphic Design, a visual survey of state-controlled ‘neonisation’ across the former Eastern Bloc, and exhibited her photographic project ‘Polish Neon’ at galleries in Warsaw, Amsterdam, Luxembourg and Wroclaw.

(See Robert Hanks’s ‘Iron curtain Vegas’, a review of Ilona Karwińska’s Polish Cold War Neon, in Eye 82.)

Neon Muzeum in Warsaw, Poland.


Installation image from Jason Rhoades’s exhibition ‘At Home in the Neon Jungle’ at Hauser & Wirth, produced by Kerry Ryan’s company Neon Specialists.


Neon Specialists’ Kerry Ryan has a wealth of experience in the neon sign industry. Ryan started as a teenage apprentice in the 1980s, and his career as a neon expert has included commissions from artists such as Tim Noble & Sue Webster and Tracey Emin, as well as graphic designer Morag Myerscough (see ‘A neon splash’ on the Eye blog), restaurateur Mark Hix and work of his own. Ryan will discuss his ambitions for the future of neon education, and the challenges of repairing and maintaining neon artworks owned by galleries and private collectors worldwide.

Neon! Names in lights’ will feature other luminaries from the world of neon – the specialists and craftspeople who turn words and pictures into lights – and the evening will conclude with a panel discussion on neon typography and design, chaired by Eye editor John L. Walters.

Tickets are available to buy here.

Tracey Emin’s George Loves Kenny, 2007, produced by Neon Specialists.


Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.