Wellington, have you seen us? Here’s the story of the Raygun neon sign

| 5 min. (861 words)

In early November, at an event Raygun hosted at Dockside restaurant, we were interviewed and featured by Television New Zealand (TVNZ) about Wellington’s booming tech sector.

As part of our contribution and commitment to the Wellington tech scene, we announced at the event that we’d be investing NZD $15 million into the local economy over the next two years.

While Raygun is a global company, we see Wellington as an important hub for us in the foreseeable future. And, as part of our vision of being a part of Wellington’s tech boom, we wanted to put our own ‘stamp’ on Wellington.

That’s why we installed two custom Raygun neon signs at the top of our building on Courtenay Place, Wellington. In keeping with our space-themed branding, they add a futuristic feel to the street and our building.

Now, when our employees are out on the town enjoying themselves, if they’re asked where they work they simply need to say “Look up!” (true story!).

Getting noticed on the Wellington tech scene

Wellington is full of successful software companies, both early runaway successes, and world renowned giants. While we hope to make our own unique mark here, we realise that’s no easy feat.

Our global growth has meant a growth in our office and team size too. Upon our move to the Wellington central business district, we’ve grown our local base to over 25 employees, along with more staff at our Seattle office.

As part of this, we’ve been trying to engage with everything local — whether that’s Meetup groups, conferences or speaking events. Always feel free to get in touch if you’d like Raygun to support your tech event!

The Raygun movement

If you haven’t heard of Raygun yet, we’re on a worldwide mission to change software forever. In non-developer terms, we help software teams write code with less bugs and better performance.

What does that mean for their customers? Well, glad you asked! Fewer software bugs and better customer experiences results in fewer crashes and better engagement with their web or mobile apps.

We’re looking for more Raygunners — so if you’re on the lookout (or even if you’re not), why not get in touch for a chat and we’ll shout the coffee! Whether you’re a developer, designer, marketer or anything else, we’d love to talk.

Idea for the sign

Since moving to Wellington’s iconic Courtenay Place in 2017, our CEO, John-Daniel Trask, has been suggesting we need a sign of some sort at the top of the building.

Initially inspired by Panic’s sign over in the United States, we began our search for the right sign for us.

We dabbled with creating something that was interactive and was noticeable from the street. Alongside our research, we read about the re-emergence of neon, and thought that these would surely do the job. While not interactive, we did find that their unique glow really stood out amongst other types of lights.

In the beginning, we had a few ideas of what our neon sign could do. One idea was for the guns to be facing each other, on either side of the building. This way, we could get the guns to shoot a giant laser that would extend around the building.

However, we soon found out that this would be a pretty massive undertaking — especially with all of the transformers and logistics required to power that laser!

Either way, we’re fairly sure that this is one of the biggest (and highest) neon signs in all of Wellington.

The making of a neon sign

Creating a neon sign is a real craft. We used Frampton Signs, a local company, to create the sign. They were incredibly enthusiastic and did a fantastic job from start to finish —we would definitely recommend them!

Here are a few brief pictures of the making of our neon sign!

neon sign

Getting the workbench ready for the making of our sign

flammable liquid neon sign

Warning: flammable liquid. Did you know neon signs are actually made using Argon gas and different powders to create colours?

burning a neon tube

Fusing together different glass tubes is achieved by heating them up with a gas torch. Then, the glass can be bent to the shape of your preference

burning neon tube at Frampton signs Wellington

Another way to heat up the glass tubes. This helps increase the heat of the glass

Neon sign tubes at Frampton Signs Newtown, Wellington

These bends are completed by hand

Raygun neon sign turned off

The unlit neon sign, still in the workshop and ready for delivery

Close up of the Raygun neon sign

Lit up sign for the first time! At this point we can’t wait to get it up

raygunbuilding at 7/57 Courtenay Place, Wellington

It’s installation time!

sign installation at Raygun, Wellington

Lit up! Now our sign(s) are up on Courtenay Place for all to see

To infinity and beyond

What’s next for Raygun? Well, for a start we’ll keep doing all that we can to engage with the local tech community.

Now that you know where we are, we are always looking for talented team members to join. You can take a look at our hiring page for available positions or contact us with your CV.

As for signs, maybe we’ve got a few more tricks up our sleeve. Until then, look up to our sign in times of need. It’s not a hero. It’s your watchful protector.