HELSINKI, WITH ITS months-long stretches containing more darkness than light, is a natural fit for neon lighting. For businesses operating in the dark winter months, neon serves as a beacon that invites customers in from the cold. In contrast to other cities, where neon often takes on splashier forms, much of Helsinki’s neon is set in orderly sans-serifs, though here and there bursts of cursive and other stylized types still break through.
The glorious neon façade of Helsinki’s Central Station
Levykaupppa Äx, one of Helsinki’s premiere record stores
The Bio Rex cinema mixes a wonderfully odd, harsh script with an equally stylish all-caps sans.
Close-up of the Bio Rex sign, showing the surprisingly intricate combination of red and green neon on red metal backing.
The Orion theater, owned by the Finnish Film Archives, shows a wide variety of Finnish and international films.