[CASE STUDY] 2 Bright Faux Neon Signs for Local Restaurant

Matching existing signage can be challenging, especially when finding an alternative to neon signage. Together with SIGNLite, learn how we worked together to provide their customer with faux neon signage.

The Project

Coalhouse Pizza, a mainstay in Samford, Connecticut, since 2009, serves coal-fired pizzas, burgers, pasta, craft beer, spirits, and more. They take pride in being a local favorite, offering hand-crafted food and beverages to regulars and newcomers alike.

As an innovative establishment, they are continually looking for ways to expand and enhance their offerings to patrons in new ways. As such, they needed a way to reflect some of these changes in their exterior signage. The outside façade of Coalhouse Pizza at that time featured a neon sign with their name in distinctive red lettering. Coalhouse Pizza contacted SIGNLite Inc., a local sign company, to assist with adding two new signs to their building exterior: one highlighting their bar and the other for their barbeque menu offerings.

The Vision

The representatives at SIGNLite aimed to help Coalhouse Pizza to find an alternative to traditional neon signage, which can be expensive and cumbersome to maintain. They needed a creative design solution that would blend in with the existing neon sign, with a similar lettering style to the original.

Image highlighting sized vector art

Initial designs featured the word “BAR” for one sign and “BBQ” for the other, to be mounted on either side of the current sign. While the project was in its initial stages, a sales representative from Gemini made a site visit to SIGNLite to share some of the latest products. Included in their material samples was an example of faux neon.  Faux neon signs create a similar look to neon lighting with rounded letters, thin stroke capabilities, and lights that don’t flicker like traditional neon. This product uses LED lights to create a glow like that of neon lighting.

The Design

Faux neon signs seemed like a good fit for the Coalhouse Pizza signage project, so SIGNLite sent the project files over to Gemini. They opted for yellow LED lighting instead of orange, which is set in a red outline that compliments the original signage.

The Gemini layout artist’s first step was to carefully review the customer’s current art to determine if signage could be produced from the design as-is, without any modifications, to account for the faux neon solution. In this case, it needed slight modifications to be able to get LED lights into the stroke of the letters. The layout artist also had to ensure that the openings in the letters and reverse cut center of the design were large enough to manufacture the faux neon letters. Thankfully, the layout artist was able to modify the artwork, including some adjustments in the “A” of the BAR sign, while keeping the integrity of the original.

Gemini's faux neon yellow letters

Once modifications were made, Gemini sent the proof back to SIGNLite to review with their customer and determine feasibility. And like with any partnership, this also was the opportunity to make any tweaks to the design to get the desired end effect. SIGNLite representatives shared the revised design with their customer and later received the go-ahead to move forward with production.

The Result

The resulting product exceeded the expectations of SIGNLite and Coalhouse Pizza. Both signs are 65.3” wide by 30.6” high, with letter face color in 1800 LED yellow formed plastic with a removable back. The design is cohesive and blends perfectly with the current façade. It achieves Coalhouse Pizza’s goal of letting patrons know of the restaurant’s additional offerings before they even enter the establishment.

This project also helped to enhance an already strong partnership between SIGNLite and Gemini. SIGNLite was thrilled with this creative solution and plans to recommend it to clients who are looking for smart alternatives to traditional neon signs in the future. “We are absolutely going to push for it now that I know how it works,” said Ken from SIGNLite. “It’s exterior. They warranty it. Everything is good.”

In particular, the client noted that the 5-year warranty on the electrical components (all UL-certified LED lights and power supplies) and a lifetime guarantee on other components made this option more attractive. They also noted that their Gemini service representative was pivotal in seamlessly guiding the project through every phase, from quote through delivery, and are always reachable for quick requests and incoming orders.

About SIGNLite

SIGNLite Inc. has been a prominent leader in high-quality custom signage in Connecticut for more than 55 years. They provide sign design, fabrication, and installation services state-wide from their 30,000-square-foot facility in New Haven, Connecticut. They are an ongoing partner of Gemini Signage, especially when they are searching for more innovative materials and solutions to project challenges.


Gemini is a wholesale manufacturer of solutions that identify, direct, and protect the world. For 60 years, Gemini has been an industry leader producing made-to-order dimensional signage, plates, plaques, cast bronze memorials, industrial protective cases, and plastic parts. Gemini is a second-generation family-owned business headquartered in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, with production facilities throughout North America. For more information, visit geminimade.com.

Get In Touch

Have questions? Want to share a story? Let’s connect.

Contact Us

Become a Partner

Want to partner with us and grow your business even more? Let’s do this.


Start Your TrueQuote

Ready to place an order? Let’s get started.

Where to

Buy Signage

Gemini Signage products can be purchased by one of our Authorized Partners.

Find Out Where