Type spotting: A new world of neon at Grand Central

Author: Stacey BarnfieldPublished:

Who knew Birmingham was once home to the largest neon sign in the world?

Yes, legend has it the much-loved Coca Cola logo that once graced the top of the Rotunda was exactly that before it was unplugged for good many years ago.

You can have that one for free, fact fans.

However, as my latest Type Spotting post points out, Birmingham is playing home to new forms of neon over at Grand Central.

Store and restaurant signs at Grand Central, Birmingham

Store and restaurant signs at Grand Central, Birmingham

Walking through the new shopping centre it struck me how the dozens of new retail and restaurant brands not seen in the city before are all trying to grab the attention of rail users and shoppers with multi-coloured logos and vivid branding.

The best of the bunch has to be the eye-catching but elegant thin strip of light running through the Foyles bookshop chrome logotype which brings a touch of timeless capital cool to Birmingham city centre.

All this is a far cry from last week’s Type Spotting which looked at a superb selection of old typography in and around Bennetts Hill and Temple Street, some of which dates back to the early 20th century.