Designing for Staging LA: Reality, Fantasy, & The Space Inbetween

Designing a brand identity and book for an exhibit requires a clear understanding of the content, audience, and context in order to communicate the curator's intentions. Staging Los Angeles: Reality, Fantasy, and the Space Between centers around the representation of Los Angeles in popular media and the influence of the film industry on the city, its inhabitants, and artistic practices. Using Thom Andersen’s 2003 film Los Angeles Plays Itself as a point of departure, the exhibition offers a space for reflection on the three themes through which this visual essay examines L.A.: the city as background, the city as character, and the city as subject. 

For Staging LA we were interested in developing an identity that mimicked a bird’s eye view of a stage - leveraging each letter as a literal “character” on a production. As the work in the show dealt with the nuances of Los Angeles culture, and especially paid homage to the threshold of reality and fantasy, we wanted the book design to represent this by way of a widescreen/16:9 format.
— Matthew Manos, Founder and Managing Director, verynice
In addition to the 16:9 format we continued the dynamic feeling of the Staging LA brand throughout the book with a shifting grid and went through multiple iterations of the cover exploring layering, drafting, maps, and classic Los Angeles imagery.
— Alisa Olinova, Art Director, verynice