Howard Hughes, in full Howard Robard Hughes Jr., was an American manufacturer, aviator, and motion-picture producer and director who gained enormous fame from his various ventures. At age eighteen, Hughes became a millionaire after acquiring his family’s industrial enterprise and in 1930 he directed and produced one of the most heralded films of its time, Hells Angels. In the height of two successful careers in film and aviation, Hughes became a recognizable figure to the Hollywood community for his determined spirit, compelling innovations, and creative and abstract mind. Today, Los Angeles is built on the same principles that drove Hughes towards fame: creativity and passion. Capturing the spirit of both Howard Hughes’ legend and the modern Los Angeles collective, the HHLA vision seeks to create an innovative space inspired by this historical story.
With a strong vision and narrative at hand, the project, which was renovated from a former retail and mixed use destination, first needed a refreshed branding and logo system. Inspired by unique brand principles, the design team worked closely with developers to transform the Howard Hughes story into a leading-edge opportunity for design. Utilizing typography in a bold style, the minimal and originally black and white logo lends itself to the freedom of incorporating vibrant patterns and textures as moments of surprise and whimsy. The new identity was an important piece of the overall modernization strategy, providing a cohesive experience across marketing and social media, print and digital collateral, as well an integrated experiential graphic design program.
While taking a drive through Los Angeles– whether headed towards nearby LAX or venturing into downtown– HHLA serves as a gateway landmark that can be recognized by its position beside the 405 freeway. Supergraphics on the building facade spelling out H-H-L-A brings excitement and anticipation for guests as they enter the project and modern architectural details craft a contemporary experience.
The design team, composed of wayfinding and signage experts, worked to extend the brand into a comprehensive program of experiential graphics for the space including wayfinding, placemaking, tenant signage and storefront criteria. From the parking garage entrance to the directories to painted wall graphics and illuminated neon signage, the project reflects the surrounding environment as well as successfully navigates guests through the destination. Full of vibrancy, culture and spirit, today HHLA stands as a landmark destination for visitors near and far to experience the creativity and innovation of Los Angeles.