San Francisco Neon

Survivors and Lost Icons


Would you like a free copy of the 2016 Neon Icons exhibit catalog? This 40-page exhibit catalog was generously printed by the SF Public library. It contains 6 new color images and 14 historic photos from the library archive that are not in the SF Neon book. Click the button below to order a copy of this exhibit catalog by mail.

One copy per order, while supply lasts.
shipping/handling,  first class, U.S. only.




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See Inside...

San Jose Signs Project launch

May 21, 2017 | 1pm
Jose Improv Theatre, San Jose, CA

See you on Sunday for the screening of the documentary  "NEON" and the launch of the San Jose Signs Project. The dancing pig is just one of the vintage signs you can help save by showing up and showing your support. Free admission, door prizes, speakers, and light lunch (minimum purchase). Reservations required, RSVP Pick up your copy of the Guide to Vintage Signage of San Jose and take a self-guided driving tour after the show.

nerd nite east bay:
from advertising to art

March 27, 2017 | 8pm
Club 21, 2111 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA

Survivors and Lost Icons of Neon in Northern California, we
are one of the presenters in this evening series of esoteric knowledge.  More info at Nerd Nite East Bay.


March 4 & 5, 2017 | 11am
Old Mint, 88 5th Street at Mission Street

Stop by and say hello, we will be in the author's room on Sunday, 11am-1pm. This year's San Francisco History Days expects to be an even greater success than last year. There is a jam-packed schedule of free exhibits that includes rare films, photos, lectures, neighborhood groups, preservationists, historians, and authors, all celebrating the stories of the City's unique past.

Sf neon city: an evolving landscape

Saturday December 10, 2016 | 2:00 PM

San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street
in the beautiful Koret Auditorium, lower level


How have neon signs influenced the landscape of our city? How does a unique neon sign evolve from advertising to art? Join us for an afternoon exploring these questions with San Francisco Neon authors Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan plus special guest speaker Avery Trufelman of 99 Percent Invisible (Radiotopia/KALW).


Neon City talks on YouTube

Thanks to everyone who braved a winter storm to fill the Koret auditorium at the SF Neon City: An Evolving Landscape event.
If you missed this neon event at the SF Public Library, you can watch both of the afternoon's presentations by Avery Trufleman and Al Barna /Randall Ann Homan on SFPL's YouTube channel.

San Francisco Neon Survivors
and Icons from the Archives


EXHIBIT DATES: Extended through January 5,  2017!

San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street
4th Floor, Arts and Music exhibit cases


Curated exhibit of images from the photo archives of the San Francisco Public Library History Center, the SFMTA photo archive, and the San Francisco Neon book. Images include surviving classic neon signs and historic  scenes of San Francisco's neon splendor. Featured neon icons from the exhibit: Mr. Peanut, Hamm’s Brewery neon beer glass, Seals Stadium marquee with Willie Mayes, plus neon-laden street scenes from Market Street, Powell Street, Fillmore Street, Grant Ave, O'Farrell Street, Pacific Street, and Kearny Street.



MARCH 11 – JUNE 19, 2016

216 S. Brand Blvd. Glendale, CA 91209


April 1, 2016: Gala opening of the #SignGeeks photography exhibition at the Museum of Neon Art. 54 adventurous and focused photographers came together to celebrate the cultural legacy of commercial neon signage across the globe. MONA offers up an amazing collection of commercial neon signage to compliment the exhibition. Secret handshakes and knowing looks abound. Randall Ann contributed 3 photographs to the exhibition. The multi-talented curatorial team of Sharlynn Vee, Carlos Vargas, and Marc Shur outdid themselves creating this stunning installation. An impressive exhibition catalog by Stephanie Poteet is available at the MONA bookstore.

ART DECO Society
Preservation BALL

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Bimbo'S 365 Club

365 Columbus Ave
San Francisco


San Francisco Neon is proud to be one of the winners of the 2016 Art Deco Historic Preservation Awards.


February 6, 7, and March 12, 2016

What an enthusiastic response from members of the Art Deco Society of California! All three tours sold out. The March 12 tour was 2 hours of pouring rain that made the tour very cinematic. Every single touree went the distance!


The Chinatown Frolic and walking tour was led by Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan, authors of San Francisco Neon: Survivors and Lost Icons, and Therese Poletti, Art Deco Society of California Preservation Director. Highlights include Chinatown's neon signs and architecture from the 1930s to the 1950s, Julia Morgan's Chinatown YWCA, and former sites of Chinese American nightclubs, including the LiPo Bar and Far East Cafe.



Neon-NOir screening At NOIR CITY

Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street, SF

January 29, 2016


The 14th Annual Noir City film fest was hosted at the Historic Castro Theatre in San Francisco. We are thrilled that Film Noir Foundation founder, Eddie Muller, invited us to be part of Noir City and screen our homage to neon and noir video essay "Stolen Moments" before the fabulous double bill of The Bad and Beautiful and The Big Knife.


Pier 15, The Embarcadero, Sf.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for a fun night of neon and science at the Exploratorium  in San Francisco.  We will be signing books and screening neon-focused footage from the Prelinger Archive, and a supercut
of neon signs featured in classic Hollywood films.


3630 Balboa Street, SF
December 12, 2015


Thanks to our co-sponsors EatDrinkFilms and CinemaSF, plus  everyone who joined us at the Balboa neon event--it was an enthusiastic crowd!

"SF Neon and Noir: Dark Passage at the Balboa Theatre, San Francisco. If you heeded my art book gift guide last year, you might be the happy owner of San Francisco Neon, the glossy compendium of the city’s past and present neon signage. Authors Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan host an evening at the Balboa with screenings of neon-focused footage from the Prelinger Archive, a supercut of neon signs in classic noir films and the main event, Dark Passage, a 1947 classic starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in a “neon-soaked San Francisco.” —Sarah Hotchkiss, KQED Arts

San Francisco Neon AT RayKo Gallery 
Photo Exhibition:  36 Prints

428 Third Street, SF.
August 5 – September 18 2015

Neon City at the Vogue Theatre

3290 Sacramento Street, SF.
July 29,  2015


SF Neon book talk and short neon featurette of San Francisco vintage  neon landscapes from the Prelinger archive.


June 11, 2015  SOLD OUT

The Society of Experiential Graphic Design SF is sponsoring Al Barna and  Randall Ann Homan, authors of San Francisco Neon: Survivors and Lost Icons for a Design Week presentation focused on the appeal and increasing appreciation of neon signs.


This event will be held at the Herman Miller showroom at 23 Geary Street, which has an amazing view of the neon Palace Hotel roof sign. Thank you to Herman Miller for generously opening their space for SF Design Week.


This event is sure to sell out, so register early. Tickets are $15, free  for members of SEGD.

All photos © 2014 Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan

All photos © 2017 Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan