Design Tips for Creating Eye-Catching DIY Neon Signs

Published June 23, 2023

Neon signs have long been a captivating way for businesses to attract attention and make bold statements. With the rise of do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, creating your own neon sign has become an accessible and cost-effective option for businesses looking to stand out. 

However, designing an eye-catching DIY neon sign requires careful consideration and planning. In this guide, we will explore essential design tips that will help you create visually striking neon signs that leave a lasting impression. This guide is also beneficial to those who want to start a business selling neon signs. 

1. Understanding Brand Identity

Before diving into the design process, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of brand identity. Consider your business’s values, target audience, and overall aesthetic. Are you a trendy, modern brand or a vintage-inspired establishment? 

By aligning your neon sign design with your brand identity, you can create a cohesive and memorable visual experience that resonates with your customers.

2. Choosing the Right Font

The choice of font plays a vital role in the impact of your DIY neon sign. Opt for fonts that are legible and reflect your brand’s personality. Bold and sans-serif fonts tend to work well for neon signs as they are easily readable from a distance. 

However, depending on your brand, you might choose a script font for an elegant touch or a blocky font for a more playful vibe. Experiment with different styles and sizes to find the perfect balance between visibility and aesthetics.

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3. Selecting Vibrant Colors

Neon signs are renowned for their vibrant and electrifying colors. To truly make your DIY neon sign stand out, it’s essential to explore striking color combinations. Instead of settling for the obvious choices, venture into uncharted territory and experiment with unexpected hues. 

Consider complementary colors that create a harmonious contrast, or opt for analogous colors that blend seamlessly together. Don’t be afraid to push boundaries and infuse your sign with a burst of unexpected color. 

By harnessing the power of neon and exploring unique color combinations, you’ll create a visually stunning masterpiece that commands attention.

4. Designing for Readability

One of the primary goals of a neon sign is to convey a clear message. Ensure that your design is easily readable, even from a distance. Avoid intricate details that may get lost in the glow of the neon tubes. 

Test different font sizes and spacing to find the optimal balance between legibility and aesthetics. Keep in mind that simplicity often works best, so focus on clear, concise messaging.

Additionally, consider the viewing distance of your neon sign. If it is placed far away from the audience, opt for larger fonts and bolder lettering to enhance visibility. Pay attention to the spacing between letters and words to avoid confusion and ensure each element is easily distinguishable. 

5. Creating a Focal Point

To make your neon sign truly captivating, consider creating a focal point that draws attention. This could be a specific word, phrase, or prominent logo. 

By highlighting a focal point, you can guide viewers’ eyes and ensure that your sign leaves a lasting impression. Choose a focal point that represents the essence of your brand or communicates a unique selling point.

6. Balancing Negative Space

When building DIY neon signs, negative space refers to the empty areas around and within your design. It is essential to find a balance between the neon tubing and the empty space. 

Embrace negative space strategically to create a visually pleasing composition. This balance will enhance the overall impact and legibility of your sign. Experiment with different spacing and arrangement of elements to achieve a harmonious design.

7. Incorporating Icons or Symbols

Icons and symbols can add an extra layer of visual appeal to your DIY neon sign. Consider incorporating relevant icons or symbols that represent your business or industry. 

These additions can help reinforce your brand identity and make your sign more visually interesting. 

For example, a coffee cup icon for a café or a pair of scissors for a hair salon can instantly convey the nature of your business.

8. Experimenting with Neon Tube Layout

The layout of the neon tubes can significantly impact the overall design. Experiment with different arrangements and compositions to find the most appealing configuration. 

Curved lines, sharp angles, or even custom shapes can create a visually engaging display. Don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the traditional rectangular sign box. Consider how the shape of the tubes complements the design and message of your sign.

9. Lighting Effects and Animation

While neon signs alone are eye-catching, incorporating strategic lighting effects can elevate their impact to a whole new level. By adding dynamic elements like flashing lights, chasing effects, or subtle animations, you can create an immersive experience that draws viewers in.

10. Testing and Refining

Once you have finalized your DIY neon sign, it’s essential to test it before final production. Create a scaled-down mock-up to assess the readability, color choices, and overall visual impact. 

Gather feedback from colleagues or potential customers to refine your design further. Make adjustments as necessary to ensure that your DIY neon sign meets your brand’s objectives and resonates with your target audience.


Designing an eye-catching DIY neon sign requires thoughtful consideration of your brand identity, font selection, colors, readability, focal points, negative space, icons, tube layout, and even lighting effects. 

By following these design tips, businesses can create visually striking neon signs that not only capture attention but also effectively communicate their brand personality and messaging. With a well-designed DIY neon sign, your business can make a lasting impression and stand out from the crowd.

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