PlainJoe Studios

Storytelling is about two things; it's about character and plot.

George Lucas

We like to think about the setting too
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I had always felt life first as a story... if there is a story, there is a story teller.

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Anime Expo

Anime Expo (AX) unites fans for the largest celebration of Japanese pop culture in North America.

New Brand, New Way

In 2018, The Society for Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) took on a new brand identity to better express its story and messaging, especially at its annual convention in Los Angeles, Anime Expo (AX).

SPJA asked us to help make the colossal Los Angeles Convention Center less confusing and more welcoming for guests by refreshing their wayfinding, area IDs, directional signage, and guest maps.

AREA IDS

Conventions are notoriously confusing. Guests often enter without a sense for the layout and wander aimlessly, even missing entire sections they “really want to see.” We helped AX communicate sense-of-place and area identification by developing strong color indicators and visual cues.

DIRECTIONAL SIGNAGE

Due to AX’s longevity and explosive growth, they struggled with maintaining consistent wayfinding and signage throughout the convention. If last year’s welcome banner is still good, why change it, right?

Recognizing that mismatched signage was contributing to guest confusion, we developed a graphic language that drew guests in, eliminated uncertainty, and helped them find their way.

MAPS

Wayfinding and Area IDs unite the space, and a map guides the way. We walked the site with the AX team to gather a detailed understanding and translate it to highly useful and visually pleasing guest maps. Our exploded map style made all levels and areas of the convention center easy to understand and navigate.

EVENT BRANDING

Within the main events of AX are several sub-events, parties, and shows with their own exclusive feel and brand identities. We provided graphic theming and design elements attach each sub event to the main event but give them an character all their own.

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