Style Mimicry at Los Angeles Union Station: A Case Study of Environmental Graphic Design in a Historical Context

By John R. Kleinpeter.

Published by The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

When a structure or space of historical significance is repurposed or renovated, the addition of a new environmental graphic design program has the potential to impact preservation concerns. To address these preservation concerns, design practitioners may consider processes and solutions that honor the historical significance in some way. This case study delineates how consideration for historical significance affected the design process of a new environmental graphic design (EGD) program for Union Station in Los Angeles. The Union Station project is a prime example of Style Mimicry where the new EGD was designed to appear as if it had always been part of the original structure. This paper highlights details of the project using evidence gathered by qualitative interviews, existing documents and observations. This case study provides an applied example for future design practice.

Keywords: Environmental Graphic Design, Historic Preservation, National Register of Historic Places, Cliff Selbert, Selbert Perkins Design, Catellus Development Corporation, Rogerio Carvalheiro, Style

The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.39-56. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 13.066MB).

John R. Kleinpeter

Assistant Professor, Department of Design, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, USA

John R. Kleinpeter began his professional career as a graphic designer in 1982 and is a principal at John Kleinpeter Creative in Irvine, CA. John has been teaching since 2001 and at California State University, Long Beach since 2006. His professional experience includes design for identity, promotional materials, packaging, environmental graphic design, exhibit, web, television and print. John’s research interests include graphic design in history, culture and the built environment.