Wk5 – Artist Conversation – Ralph Acosta


Artist: Ralph Acosta

Exhibition: RELAX: Reimagining Los Angeles International Airport

Media: typographie

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery

Website: Ralph Acosta on facebook

Instagram: none


Ralph Acosta is a former graphic design Student who just graduated to the degree of Master of Fine Arts. The Exhibition shows his final project. Ralph is a comparatively old student who already worked in the industry before deciding to make his degree at the CSULB.
His Master projekt is a matter of the heart for him, since he grew up in Los Angeles and always liked to visit the airport. Its a place where he used to spend a lot of time in the seventies and he learned how the airport has changed since then.

The overall idea of the projekt is a new corperate-design for the LAX, which according to Ralph is not really existing at the moment. Every gate nowadays seems to have its own signage system.

While Ralph Acostas new design ideas also includes a video-loop for the security check in and a plane-spotting app, I’d like to focus on the new signage he came up with. A font that is called The font is Runway Gothic.


whatsapp-image-2016-09-25-at-22-24-391The font is called Runway Gothic This grid is the basis for the new LAX – font. The rounded rectangulars are sympathized with the screenwall in front of the Airport.
It also intentionally reminds on the windows of airplanes and the curves on the crossings look like the runways for landings. That’s also the reason for the name of the font.

Another feature of the font is its stencil-character there are fillers between every counter of each letter, which makes it easy to spraypaint the letters with a template and also refers to the look of the numbers on the landing strips.

The whole font is designed very playful but always very logical too – unlike other fonts you would expect to see in an airport, this one is a serif font but since the serifs match typical aeronautical elements it really fits.

Ralph Acosta worked about 2 years on this font and will now probably try to sell it. I hope that his new ideas and designs convince those responsible to rethink the image of the LAX and maybe the next time I visit LAX in the future I might spot at least one gate using his new font.

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