Wk 5 – Artist Conversation – Ralph Acosta

Artist: Ralph Acosta

Exhibition: RELAX: Reimagining Los Angeles International Airport

Media: Video, Photography, Graphic Design

Gallery: Werby


Ralph Acosta is a Graduate student working towards his Masters or Fine Arts in the CSULB School of Art’s Graphic Design Program. His enjoys the organic or vintage type of Graphic Design over the modern high tech design that is mostly seen today. He also showed interest in planes and LAX is his favorite airport. This goes along with what he explores in his exhibit because he brings his love of vintage design and LAX together. His exhibit is surrounded with the ideas of memories and romance that existed in the 60’s and 70’s.

RELAX is an exhibit that explores a possible idea about how the Los Angeles International Airport should be designed. First, the exhibit has photographs of different architectural features in LAX, all the curves, runways, & airplane windows, that include similar shapes. From this Ralph designed a circle grid that made it possible for a new font to be created, Runway Gothic Bold. He made his font to place signs all over the airport to direct people. All the signs include letters in them even if there is no words in the letter. They are flipped and placed with other letters to create planes taking off or baggage claim signs. After Ralph experimented with signa he placed them over real LAX areas to show what it would look like. On one wall of his piece there is a video being projected that would be placed over tsa before going throught security. The last part of his exhibit is an app that he designed that tells people when planes are landing and taking off.

Ralph explained that he has a huge love for how going to the airport used to be. He said that in the 60’s going to the airport used to be a big event but that now it is a hassle and something people dread. He said that with this new look for the airport, people would be more wanting to see people off. This new look would make it easier for people to fall in love with flying again. This new look also connects Ralph’s happiest childhood memories to what LAX could bring to the future. He didn’t intentionally make his designs retro but that how many have seen them as.

I really liked RELAX because it was a new way of thinking about traveling. It would make people think of travelin through LAX as a hassle and more as an adventure or something new. I also really enjoyed seeing Ralph talk about his exhibit because he had a twinkle in his eye and was very inspiring about the way traveling should be. It was cool hearing him compare the glitz of traveling in the 60’s & 70’s compared to the travle we all know of today. I also liked how he had a progression of thoughts when planning everything. For instance, how he used letters to point out baggage claim and to look like an airplane.



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