So while the IIDA has continued to have their awards, the budget and the look have obviously been cut back. But that just means to us as designers that the message only gets stronger. This year the message was rebuilding the industry. This was the only direction the client gave myself and the design team at AOO Events.
What we came up with was a literal translation of that sentiment -- block letters which you can see in the inspiration rendering at the top.
The idea for the lettering came from my own inspiration board in my office. It's where I put magazine clips and other graphics that catch my attention. When I am working on an idea I always turn to this board first.
As guests entered the Los Angeles Ballroom, Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, the stage seemed to be under construction with workers on scaffolds. the letters looked to be partially built. The sound of hammers in the background gave way to musical percussion as guests were seated. Once everyone was at their tables, the workers became musicians -- they are the amazing group, Weapons of Mass Percussion (think Stomp) -- and they performed a rousing percussion-based welcome. It immediately set a tone of high energy for the night.
Adding the white drape backdrop allows a lot of flexibility when building lighting looks for the different aspects of the show. It was important that it appear as though the IIDA was frugal with the money so the stage was simple in design, not in construct.
These two photos are of Weapons of Mass Percussion. After opening the show, they performed again at intermission. The connection between their work and the raw, under construction look of the stage was the perfect complement to the overall message we were going for.
The show in action...
On the tables we did a neutral color palette with raw, stained wood containers, crushed glass and Gracie Jacquard linens from BBJ. The orange flower provided a pop of color against the neutral theme.
For my money (and the client's for that matter) this look was just as effective as what we create when budgets are bigger. Of course with more money there would have been more bells and whistles, more audio/visual elements, more entertainment. But in the end, the goal is still the same whether designing a stage look or the interior of a house -- to use ingenuity and bold looks to deliver impact.