PlainJoe Studios

The basic rule of storytelling is 'show, don't tell.'

Julianna Baggott
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It is a curious thing that the more the world shrinks because of electronic communications, the more limitless becomes the province of the storytelling entertainer.

Walt Disney
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Press

2018

LEARNING FROM A BUILDING PROJECT |

September 11, 2018


We couldn’t be happier for our client, Mosaic Church in Winter Park, Florida. Their incredible passion led them to build a garden in the city that became a nurturing space for worship and community. In this article originally posted on BackstagePastors.com, Pastor […]

Restoring The Ritz, An Historic Art Deco Theater |

August 2, 2018


PlainJoe Studios is excited to be part of restoring The Ritz, an historic, art deco theater in downtown Escondido, California. A recent article in the San Diego Union-Tribune tells the story of the behind-the-scenes efforts to make the dream a reality. […]

Sneak Peek – Bayside Granite Bay Redesign |

May 3, 2018


PlainJoe is taking part in Thrive Leadership 2018, “3 Days That Will Ignite Your Passion and Recharge Your Leadership.” It’s an honor to join leaders, dreamers, and doers like Louie Giglio, Aja Brown, Scott Harrison, Bob Goff, and Levi Lusko. […]

First Impressions Conference – May 1-3, 2018 |

April 30, 2018


PlainJoe is excited to support the upcoming First Impressions Conference, a 3-day event to help you improve your church’s first-time guest experience. The conference (May 1-3, 2018) features sessions by pastors and guest services thought-leaders and experts, along with panels […]

PlainJoe at Q 2018 – An Art Apologetic |

April 3, 2018


Christian thought-leaders and change-makers will gather in Nashville for Q 2018, a conference produced by Q-Ideas and focused on equipping leaders for the challenge of evangelism and culture-shaping in a post-modern age. PlainJoe Studios’ Chief Creative Officer, Mel McGowan, joins […]

PlainJoe Co-Founder, Peter McGowan is speaking at the Inaugural Conference of The Academy of Church Leadership |

January 10, 2018


PlainJoe Co-Founder, Peter McGowan is speaking at the Inaugural Conference of The Academy of Church Leadership. The conference, focusing on church communications, promises to help congregations realize their full potential with insights and skills in the areas of social media, […]

2017

Design Group Celebrates Launches of 3 Diverse Church Projects |

December 28, 2017


CORONA, CA, December 28, 2017 – PlainJoe Studios, a unique architecture and multi-discipline design group, celebrated the completion and opening of three distinct church renovation design projects completed in Q4. The projects, located coast-to-coast in Los Angeles, Tulsa, and Orlando, […]

Blurring Lines Between Ministry And Marketplace – Darren Sloniger |

December 19, 2017


What do you get when you cross a pastor with an urban-planner? An opportunity to blend ministry and marketplace for churches across the country. Darren Sloniger is a Christian leader who uses his talent and experience in real estate development […]

Lighting Up The Valley – Shepherd Church, Porter Ranch, CA |

December 1, 2017


What does a church do to engage a community as vast and diverse as Los Angeles? PlainJoe Studios had the opportunity to serve one of the largest churches in the region by providing spatial-storytelling and environmental design for their most […]

4 Signs Your Church Needs a Brand Architecture Overhaul |

October 13, 2017


How well is your church managing its brand? “Brand Architecture” isn’t a term you hear often in the church world, but it’s a concept you experience every day–everywhere you go.   A great working definition of brand architecture is “the […]

Transforming Cities And People: The Orchard Develops Urban Space For Church And Community |

October 8, 2017


5 Signs You Need to Update Your Church Website |

September 26, 2017


If your church has a website, that means you’re ahead of the game, right? Not necessarily. Chances are that your site probably needs to be updated and here are five places that need the most attention.   1) Flow Church […]

3 Facility Upgrade Strategies That Can Help Your Church Grow (and Spend Less on Posters & Flyers) |

September 25, 2017


God is a God of “place-based” community. In fact, the book of Leviticus takes a deep dive into the specific features God wanted the Israelites to pay attention to as they built their community. From the overarching concept of the […]

Design Intervention: Australian Churches Explore New Environments |

September 25, 2017


As I write this, I’m flying across the island continent of Australia after having spent more than a week uncovering what God is up to in this amazing corner of his creation. Outside of Sydney, I had a chance to […]

Church Renews Its Discipleship Strategy, Story And Space |

September 25, 2017


A century-old Free Methodist church founded in 1908 in the middle of Washington state was not the most likely church home and mission field for 35-year-old Mike Wilson. He and I had collaborated on multiple campus expansions of the fast-growing […]

Mosaic Church starts demo |

September 25, 2017


Demolition is set for this week on a long-closed, Winter Garden department store that will be rebuilt as Mosaic Community Church’s main campus. Now located off the West Orange Trail in Oakland, the church purchased a building with 78,000 square […]

FLORIDA CHURCH LOOKS TO RE-CREATE THE LOST VISION OF EDEN IN DISNEY’S BACKYARD |

September 25, 2017


Almost five decades ago, a storyteller named Walt Disney took what he had learned about the intersection of story and space and “imagineered” a Disney World roughly the same size as San Francisco and twice the size of Manhattan in […]

Northern Lights Above La: California Church’s New Design Shines As A City On A Hill |

September 14, 2017


At the northwest corner of the City of Angels, Shepherd Church has grown to become one of the largest churches in Los Angeles with nearly 10,000 people a week gathering at one of its four campuses. Its roots date back […]

PlainJoe Studios celebrates one year anniversary of Spatial Storytelling <small>sm</small> /Architecture Studio |

August 18, 2017


Corona, Calif. | August 1, 2017 – Multi-Disciplinary Design company PlainJoe Studios has expanded its Spatial Storytelling℠ services to include Architecture, Master Planning, Urban Design, Interior Design, Show Set Design, Experiential Graphics, Wayfinding, Museum/Exhibit Design, and Themed/Attraction Design. Initiated by […]

PlainJoe Studios builds innovative dream team of creative experts |

August 18, 2017


Corona, Calif. | July 31, 2017 – PlainJoe Studios, a Multi-Disciplinary Design company, has welcomed heavy-hitting industry experts to its team over the past year. Disney Alumni Mel McGowan and his brother, Peter, founded PlainJoe Studios in 2001 with the […]

Processed Foods Are Killing the Local Church… |

May 4, 2017


Story is core to the human condition. We use story to connect with family, friends, and even strangers. Story drives our entertainment, leads our culture, and has embedded itself in nearly every facet of our lives.   We’re all familiar […]

4 Practical Ways to Cultivate a Creative Church |

January 26, 2017


Tell me if this sounds familiar: You’re with a pastor friend when he tells the story of how he recently preached a sermon that included a physical illustration or creative element that made it sound like he has a team […]

2016

Combining Past And Future: Eastside Christian Church In California |

September 4, 2016


I first got to know Gene Appel more than 15 years ago when I was still at Disney. Since then, I have had the privilege of serving him and calling him friend as he has journeyed from Central Christian Church […]

Christian Standard Media interviews Mel McGowan |

July 19, 2016


2015

CORONA: Coffee company created to aid rescue mission |

August 20, 2015


People don’t realize how many people touch a coffee bean before it gets brewed. That was the insight of Blake Ryan in founding Restoration Roasters, one of the newcomers to the Inland coffee scene that is building social consciousness into […]

CORONA: Miguel’s Jr. ‘spokeschip’ has a delicious sense of humor |

May 8, 2015


Burritos aren’t easy to draw. Neither are tacos. That’s one of the reasons Miguel’s Jr. has a talking tortilla chip as its cartoon mascot. That’s what Bruce Mayo, creator of Reynaldo the “spokeschip,” said in a phone interview. Mayo is […]

One Man Built The Ultimate Bed For Star Wars Fans |

May 6, 2015


In a bedroom far, far away, one lucky kid gets to sleep in the coolest Star Wars-themed bed around. The “Millennium Falcon Cockpit” bed was created by Peter McGowan of PlainJoe Studios, who built the amazing contraption for his son. […]

There’s No Reason To Ever Get Out of a Millennium Falcon Bed |

May 1, 2015


Finding the motivation to crawl out of bed to face work, school, or even sunlight is hard enough. But imagine the herculean task of getting up in the morning when your bed is a near perfect replica of the Millennium Falcon’s […]

2014

Imagination |

December 17, 2014


“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last you create what you will.” – George Bernard Shaw It’s not only essential to entrepreneurs, artists, architects, musicians and authors – […]

2012

Trends vs Timeless Design |

September 28, 2012


4 Principles for Hiring Creatives |

September 26, 2012


2010

Amid buses, limos and descendants, Mob Experience unveiled (in part) at the Trop |

June 10, 2010


Those artists from Visioneering Studios are wizards with “experiential” imagery. They’re pretty fair with words, too. “The gangster ghosts will be the hosts,” Visioneering Studios President Mel McGowan said Tuesday morning during a news conference formally announcing that the long-discussed […]