LED elements are cheap and practical for visual instruction — they can be used for traffic lights as well as playful art objects. And since we pass by some marvellous works of basic information visualisation in Tokyo every day, we had to collect them for you, beloved reader. Time for a post on the best LED signage in this city!
Written by Verena
To Lead The Masses
Even religions are marketed as products and brands these days, so they too have to grab the attention of easily distracted passersby. The Church of Lord in Akasaka needed the same flashy LED animation as the restaurant next door. A display lures the sheep with godly words in Japanese, Korean and English to a fourth floor. So perfectly appropriate in modern times, is it not?
Flashy ad for the Church of Lord — in Korean …
… and in English. Watch out for that fourth floor in Akasaka.
Never Miss An Exit Again
We know you would have found the escalator in the subway at some point. However, just in case you flew in with a plane or a spaceship, this futuristic LED signage right in Yokohama station leads you to the runway in any weather conditions – or crowds – in this huge temporary construction site.
The Virtual Construction Worker
First of all, an animated construction worker in 3D waving at the drivers is special, even for Tokyo where you learn to expect practically anything. Now, look at him, this postmodern representation of the real guys — Baudrillard would have fun with him, no doubt! In the future we might see LEDs replaced by a hologram of a worker standing right in the street.
Stage 1: A virtual roadworker raising the flag …
2: … higher and higher.
3: By now the driver should have noticed this strange apparition…
4: … waving in front of road works next to Meiji Dori in Shibuya.
In Japan there are myriad kinds of artificial workers as warning signs, but for us, an LED specimen tops them all. If you want to see another one next to a flashy LED warning, have a look at this fine example in orange!
Road Works Light Show
Construction sites and road works can’t be overlooked in Tokyo. And in a visually over-saturated cityscape like Shibuya, warning signs demand dramatic features: rotating, flickering, flashing plates with red LED. If you’re not a busy driver, you think: How cool!
Interlude: LED Barber Pole
We told you a lot about sign poles recently, but this one is such a techy one we can’t resist showing one more. As the modern equivalent to the traditional rotating blue and red pole, it fits well into modern urbanity and looks way more chic than a Pachinko neon sign!
Even in broad daylight, this pole has a mysterious feel, as if it was sent from outer space. Watch it animated here!
Oval Shaped Infotainment
A real estate agency in Shibuya wanted something very green and moving in their curving window — so the got themselves a slightly arched LED info board showing the latest housing prices. Wanna see it move? Here you go!
OK, this isn’t exactly signage but more of an artful installation used as clever eye-catcher. And definitely worth a closer inspection: UNIQLO’s moving LED display frames the window of their concept T-shirt store “UT STORE HARAJUKU.” The overall shop design was done by Kashiwa Sato. Have a look at the shop inside from here. Care for a better view of the window? See it from a street perspective!
We Want Beer!
A restaurant along Harajuku’s Meiji Dori is pretty straightforward when it comes to their serving suggestions — soup, beer and all sorts of tasty bites are advertised along with their prices. Wait for the part when they show a happy customer drinking his ‘bi-ru!’
Under Stormy Weather
We hope we could surprise you today with a bit of special LED signage! If you spot some great ones, let us know, please!