Inner City Arts
Working for this program in downtown LA that gives kids the arts education they don’t receive in their schools has been one of our most rewarding (and long-ranging) projects. Architect Michael Maltzan first tapped us in 1989 to do signage for the school’s first building, a converted auto shop. There was, of course, no budget since we were working pro bono, but after the earthquake we had noticed red-tagged buildings around town and began salvaging parts of orphaned signage—an “E” here, a “R” there—which led to a grand discovery: A type “graveyard” near downtown. For the school’s final phase, just completed in 2008, we designed a new logo and signage sytem, this time creating vibrant orange lettering, based on Michael’s arhitectural forms, which ended up lookinglike it had been clipped with scissors, something we imagined was akin to what the students were doing inside.