Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records

April 19–July 27, 2014


Opening concurrently with SUPERAWESOME, VINYL explored the social and cultural phenomenon of listening to, collecting, and sharing records. Conceived of primarily as a "content-loaded lounge," the 3,700-square-foot gallery featured numerous hi-fi setups, a DJ scratching booth, and a public listening space.

I served as the lead graphic designer on the project, providing concept and branding, exhibit graphics, advertising, and marketing collateral.

Creative Direction  |  Identity + Mark  |  Exhibit Design  |  Graphic Design



The treatment for the exhibit mark was inspired by Divinyls' fourth album cover, in which a lowercase "i" is surrounded by capital letters. The secondary typeface was chosen to suggest the styling of Billboard's Top 100 Chart over the years. The curatorial edict was to make the design "iconic"—and it had to make a good sticker, as thousands of them would be distributed to record stores, clubs, and bars throughout the Bay Area. Centering the "i" dot within an LP's circle addressed both concerns.

The gallery environment was built out upon the milk crates commonly used to store records.

The typography throughout the gallery followed from the mark, with a vinyl record drop cap leading every panel.

Additional panels used circular image cropping, reinforcing both the mark and the exhibit theme.

The unusual and  relaxed seating for the listening space was designed by by Rebar (now MoreLab).


The basis for the VINYL campaign were the 35 photographs that OMCA commissioned from Raphael Villet for the exhibition. He interviewed small and big time record collectors, DJ’s, record store owners and bands; made audio recordings of their stories, and had them pose with their records.

By inserting the exhibit mark into the photographs, being held by the subjects, an intimacy was suggested between the exhibit and it's audience—which was narrow yet extremely passionate. 

These were record collectors, musicians, connoisseurs, fanatics, obsessives. By showing the audience themselves in the campaign, a direct appeal was made that was both inclusive and celebrated the tremendous cultural status of vinyl as object.