Environmental graphics, paintings, and installations designed as part of the remodeling of a mid-century, 28-unit apartment building in North Park, San Diego by the LWP Group’s Community brand.

We were initially approached by LWP Group to concept, design, and produce two large installations on the facade of a mid-century apartment complex that was being renovated. LWP specified that they wanted the first installation to include a well-known portrait of Charles & Ray Eames, the highly influential 20th century American designers, in which they’re seemingly being pinned by the frames of their revolutionary Molded Plywood Chair. After research, deliberations, and visiting several options designed by Randal Hollis, we decided the best solution would be a 12ft x 12ft painting featuring a graphic portrait with the Eames logo and motto. The twist that Greg Strangman from LWP suggested, would be that we could have the Molded Plywood Chair frames from the original photograph reconstructed and mounted on the actual painting. We loved the idea, and unanimously agreed that would truly be a proper tribute to Ray and Charles Eames.

For the right facade of the complex the brief was wide open. The client specified they didn’t want another single, large piece of art, but instead something that would offset the other piece to make the facade asymmetrical. Since the design and production of the Eames piece was already underway, and the building renovation was nearly complete, it was clear that mid-20th-century was the predominant theme of the Joy facade. The idea presented would be a series of enamel paintings by Jordan Stark and loosely based on mid-century advertising, products and signage but with a personal narrative. After the client approved the sketches, concepts, and layout of all the individual pieces, the wood was measured, painting commenced, and the final pieces delivered. The aesthetic of the paintings are a blend of technical production and the unadulterated hand. The narrative of the messages are largely optimistic revolving around the word “joy,” but driven by personal stories, struggles, and hopes. Ultimately, all the facade pieces were intended to be relatable to the “young professional” demographic, while still being a pleasant and unique addition for everyone in the neighborhood. The final install measures approximately 11ft x 10ft.

The signage installed throughout the rest of the complex was largely designed to be in-tune with the Community identity and brand, while still being tailored specifically to the Joy project. Communicating conventional messages with thoughtful copy and well-designed signage are details that the LWP Group cares about, and we figure one of the reasons why they’re able to quickly fill vacant buildings with excited tenants.

Client: LWP Group
Location: North Park, San Diego
Measurements: 12ft x 12ft, 11ft x 10 ft, variable
Medium: Enamel, aerosol, wood, aluminum
Team: Randal Hollis (design, art direction, production); Tony Martinez (project management); Jordan Stark (design, creative direction, production)