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Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark. Begin at the beginning. Tell a story. Make some light.

Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux
The most amazing thing for me is that every single person who sees a movie brings a whole set of unique experiences, but through careful manipulation and good storytelling, you can get everybody to clap at the same time, to hopefully laugh at the same time, and to be afraid at the same time.

Steven Spielberg

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.


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.


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.


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.


Within the main events of AX are several sub-events, parties, and shows with their own exclusive feel and brand identities. We provided unique graphic theming and design elements for each sub-section, but still managed to maintained a consistent theme that ultimately tied back to the overall conference theme.