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Spirit of Life Awards Gala
Top Design
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City of Hope is a leading
research and treatment hospital
specializing in the treatment
of cancer, diabetes, and other
life-threatening diseases.
It is known for its innovative fund-raising efforts and commitment to
combating these serious ailments. As part of their philanthropic efforts,
City of Hope has various industry-related committees that raise
money and awareness. In Los Angeles, the Music and Entertainment
Industry Committee holds an awards gala to present a Spirit of Life
Award to an industry member who has made “a notable contribution
to both their community and profession” and who have “fundamentally
infl uenced the direction of the music industry.” Each year, as many as
2,000 leaders in the music and entertainment fi elds attend this event,
raising anywhere from $3 to $11 million dollars annually, making it one
of Los Angeles’ largest fund-raisers.
For the past thirteen years, Top Design has worked closely with City of
Hope to create a look and feel for the fund-raising event. The biggest
challenge has been reinventing the wheel each year, creating a completely
new design, with the City of Hope logo as the only carried over element.
Top Design creates a new event logo, invitation, and tribute journal
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18
Design for Special Events
each year. The design process begins nearly fi ve months prior to the
event to allow time for research and production.
To set the design direction, the designers begin by learning as much
as possible about that year’s honoree. The design then stems from the
honoree’s personality, company, clients and the type of music they make.
In 2002, each of the six honorees headed the music departments at
major fi lm studios, so the design incorporated the familiar iconography
of a fi lm reel on the invitation, journal book, and collateral. Similarly,
when the head of Billboard Magazine was honored, the invitation
resembled an issue of the magazine dubbed, “The Spirit of Life.”
For the 2005 honoree, the CEO of Clear Channel Communications,
one of the largest owner and operators of radio in the world, Top
Design took a very modern and graphic approach by using a crowded
bulletin board as its main inspiration with a laminated backstage
pass as a complementary piece. The black and red color palette and
the use of iconic imagery such as satellites, CDs, and a Route 66 sign
played into the revived popularity of rock music at the time.
The Top Design team tries to utilize innovative printing techniques to
ensure that the fi nal piece is dynamic and elegant. For example, the
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Case Study: Spirit of Life
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