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OVO Hydro x 442 Design x Neon Vibes®

  • 3 min read

OVO Hydro - Scotland’s Home of Live Entertainment 

About our client 442 Design

442 design is an award-winning design company based in Edinburgh; specialising in cutting-edge interior design for bars, restaurants and retail spaces within sports and entertainment.

They are dedicated to creating transformational customer experiences for well-known names, recently completing successful projects for Rangers Football club, Arsenal, Royal Botanic Gardens and Adidas to name but a few.



A bit about the OVO Hydro project

Late in 2022 442 Design was brought in to work on the OVO Hydro, a 13,000 capacity live entertainment venue in Glasgow. The project was to revamp and relaunch ‘The Hydeout’ – a premium experience bar and restaurant which forms part of The Hydro Club concept.

What was the vision for the space?

A new name, and a fresh new menu gave the opportunity to create a whole new vibe. The vision was an atmospheric downtown venue, calling to mind the dark and moody speakeasy. Somewhere casual and funky for gig-goers to extend their visit to the venue and grab tasty, good quality food.

442 developed a whole new identity for the space; defining the décor, lighting, artwork, framed photography, signage, furniture, fixtures and fittings. The brief was to create an immersive experience, where people could feel the vibes of iconic gigs past, all with a clear view of the stage.

As part of this new identity the 442 team designed 13 unique signs featuring snippets of lyrics from celebrated Scottish artists and bands who have played at the Hydro. Artists old and new are referenced, ranging from Primal Scream, Simple Minds, Deacon Blue to Lewis Capaldi and Paulo Nutini.



The neon lights were to be fitted all around the room – on columns, walls, ceilings - to create that immersive experience as well as some great photo/selfie opportunities. One side of the restaurant is floor to ceiling glass, so diners have a perfect view of the stage.

We recently sat down for a chat with David Dunn, MD of 442 Design to ask about his experience of the project:

What was it like to work with Neon Vibes®?

Excellent. They were brilliant. They made things as easy as possible for us.

Initially we approached several LED neon sign manufacturers. It very quickly became clear that Neon Vibes® was the right partner for us.

This was an important project, we needed a supplier who would easily be able to handle a large, bespoke job quickly and efficiently. We also needed a guarantee that the products would be high quality and robust.

The Neon Vibes® team, represented by Mick Farrell, understand what businesses need, and how projects of this scale go. Whilst the agreement was supply only, Neon Vibes® were incredibly supportive, and had a conference call with our electricians in advance of installation to discuss any potential challenges and give advice to avoid niggles. They added so much value.

We felt nervous using a new supplier on such an important project, but it was a great comfort to know that we had thoroughly checked everything out. Despite slightly ambitious plans to fit signs in some rather tight spaces the fit went very smoothly and our client is happy. The LED neon signage was a small - but important - part of the overall design.

How does The Hydeout look and feel now?

Posters signed by the biggest artists in the world line the corridor leading up to The Hydeout. Through the doors the downtown, music focussed speakeasy vibe hits you.


The lyrics and icons brought to life in LED neon create photo or selfie opportunities for members. The walls are covered with framed photographs from past gigs, and of the incredible artists who have played at the OVO Hydro. Together, I feel that the neon lyrics, signed posters and framed photography really tell the story of the Hydro demonstrating its place as Scotland’s Home of Live Entertainment. Worth a visit if you are at a gig.

Would you recommend us based on both product and service?

Absolutely, and we will use Neon Vibes® again should we need LED neon signs or lighting. We found the faux neon so much more robust flexible, practical for high traffic areas.

Furthermore, the lights can be dimmed to dramatically change the mood in The Hydeout depending on the style of show - bright and light for Disney shows or dark and dramatic for a rock gig.

Our client judges the success of a project by the popularity of the area, and the refurb has gone down a storm.