Meet the Makers: Signifier Signs

Neon artist, George Vidas, steps into the spotlight


It’d be a 20-something-year-old’s dream to see their brightest ideas written in lights. In 2010, George Vidas, then a recent grad from Alfred University in upstate New York, had plans to make a career of it.

Now 31, the artist behind Signifier signs in Midtown Detroit recalls sneaking into a neon sign class his junior year of college. “That semester formed a lot of my ethos around art and building things and resourcefulness. If you have an idea and it sticks with you, you should see it through, even if you’re not sure why yet.” He also picked up the basics of working with neon — how to bend glass, wire a sign, process a tube.

Vidas relocated to Detroit prior to the ubiquity of neon signs. Rather than Instagram-worthy phrases strewn across hipster café walls, in 2010, he initially worked on “soul-less signs” in suburban strip malls. “Detroit can much more readily afford neon [now], and there’s something about the cache of a neon sign that really resonates with entrepreneurial types.”

Today, his vibrant installations can be found at Detroit’s Buhl Bar, Sugarfina at Somerset Collection, and more. He’s also worked with local schools, and this summer, he’ll unveil a collaboration at Playground Detroit.

Visit for more information.


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