Monday Inspiration: Los Angeles

Exterior of Petersen Automotive Museum in LA

Exterior of Petersen Automotive Museum in LA

Recently we took a trip to Los Angeles. Being a staunch Northern Californian I was raised to think of LA as a soul-less wasteland of smog and cars (sorry!), but every time I go I discover something new and interesting. This time around we took in some of the region’s architecture (of which I took terrible pictures for some reason), including the Petersen Automotive Museum.

Not being a big car person I wasn’t sure what to expect, but my favorite thing about this museum turned out to be the montage of photos Pixar designers took on their cross-country road trip to get ideas for the look of the original Cars movie. As a designer, I love how obsessively they research every detail, even things that don’t ultimately make it into the final movie. Similarly, Josh Holtsclaw has a great post on his site about the look they created for The Incredibles films, including complete branding packages for entities like the hotel where the Parr family stays.

Since I was reading Susan Orlean’s fascinating The Library Book at the time (and because I’m a library nerd), I also got interested in the history of the LA Central Library building, which led me to the Los Angeles Conservancy (check out their walking tours) and their amazing branding package created by the design firm YYES. There’s also a nice case study about the rebranding, which features ultra-simple, interchangeable icons of iconic LA buildings, here.

I love it when travel not only provides a break from the daily routine, but also opens up my eyes to new design ideas. What travel destination inspires you?