L.A.'s Japanese Village Plaza Speaks the International Language of Signs

Exterior blade sign sets tone for themed retail property.

Located at the gateway to L.A.’s Little Tokyo district, the Japanese Village Plaza provides an array of restaurants and shops that integrates neighborhood history with modern amenities. RSA Architecture, which developed the concept design for the renovated property (and its signage), hired Superior Electrical Advertising Inc. (Long Beach, CA) to develop the property’s wall-mounted, exterior-ID sign. Superior’s Peter Lee designed the sign with Adobe Illustrator CS 6 and CorelDRAW X5 software. The halo-lit sign measures 19 ft. 7 in. tall and 5 ft. wide, and serves as the property’s secondary identification.
The shop, led by production and account manager Tom Feist, processed the 0.125-in.-thick aluminum sheet on its MultiCam 3000 CNC routing table. The 3-in.-deep channel letters, which are painted white with Matthews acrylic-polyurethane paint, are pegged 1.5 in. above the cabinet and internally illuminated with JT LED white modules. The cabinet was decorated with red Spraylat Mark 1 paint and 3M gold, metallic vinyl.
An aluminum “C” channel functions as the sign’s spine, and ¾-in.-sq. tubing outlines the sign’s perimeter. Aluminum-square tubing – the vertical sections measure 3 in. thick, the horizontal 2 in. – accents the sign’s structure, and helps it blend in with its architecture. Cherry blossom-colored stencils interplay with the gold vinyl to create a lively color palette.