Everyone who visits Las Vegas, sees the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign. It is a popular spot for tourists, locals and celebrities, to have a photo shoot. Did you ever think about who designed that sign? In 1959, Betty Willis, who was working at Western Neon, came up with the design.
When the sign was completed, Willis sold it to Clark County for $4000 and the sign was placed on the south end of the strip where it has been welcoming visitors ever since. She never copyrighted the sign, because she wanted it to be used freely and she wanted to do something to help attract tourists to Las Vegas. All these years, she has never seen any income from her popular and well known design.
Willis will finally be seeing some cash for her famous design from almost 50 years ago. She recently autographed prints of the sign, which will be available this month at Jack Gallery at the Venetian and Mandalay Bay. The image was taken by image photographer Bill Hannapple in 1998. He will also be autographing the image. Read the story here.
So, next time you visit Las Vegas and see the famous sign, think of Betty Willis, the original designer, who was the artist behind this popular design.
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