Austin, Texas


The words “quantum computing” don’t typically bring an image to mind, but when William Hurley — or “Whurley”, as he’s known in tech circles, asked us to design a unique and iconic sign for his new tech start-up, Strangeworks, we leapt at the opportunity.

Prominently located at the corner of Cesar Chavez and Linden, in front of Lustre Pearl, we quickly determined that the best location for signage was on that high- traffic corner. Our early meetings with the Strangeworks team yielded some wild and technically advanced ideas that included facial-recognition cameras, laser beams, and even paintball canons. With budget always in mind, we stay focused on providing a solution that left a bit of a mystery, intrigue, and that wouldn’t be static, while remaining within budget and complying with landlord criteria, city code, and federal regulations.

What appears to be a simple set of channel letters in the day, transforms into a fully customizable color-changing beacon at night. Each section of the sign, the 6’ eye, “strange”, and “works”, is independent and can have its own color, pulse speed, and brightness. To take the whole thing up another notch, we had an 18” hole cored out of the cinder block warehouse building and installed a porthole window located in the center of the Strangeworks eye logo. A literal window into the soul of Strangeworks.

We still don’t know anything more about quantum computing but we now know some really cool folks that do, and that are doing their part in keeping Austin strange. So the next time you find yourself having a drink over at Lustre Pearl walk over to Strangeworks and take a look at who, or what is keeping an eye on you.

Because it shares a city block on Cesar Chavez with a hookah lounge and a hipster bar, you’d be forgiven for assuming the two-story building with the impressive “Strangeworks” sign is yet another trendy coffee shop. But you’d be wrong.
— Tom Cheredar, The Austin Chronicle