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How a Gala's Tribute Journal Became a Photo Op

The Spirit of Life gala reimagined the typical printed item as a unique visual.

By Ian Zelaya November 18, 2015, 7:15 AM EST

Photo: Lester Cohen

Event guests don't typically pose for photos with a tribute journal, but at the City of Hope's Spirit of Life gala, that's exactly what they did. For the November 5 affair, Krislyn Design turned the printed item into an eye-catching installation at the entrance to the fund-raiser, which took place in a 35,000-square-foot tented structure at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium parking lot. The artful piece was made up of 3-D letters that spelled out “hope.”

As the gala honored Universal Music Group C.E.O. and chairman Lucian Grainge for his cancer research fund-raising campaign, the music corporation's communications department and City of Hope's corporate philanthropy team partnered with Krislyn Design to produce and design the event. When Universal Music Group asked the design company's owner Krislyn Komarov and producer Mary Hill to create a concept replacing a traditional tribute journal, the two decided to make the journal a part of the event's architecture.

Komarov said designing the tribute journal as a public installation would have more impact and also provide more than one use. The structure was placed at the venue entrance so guests could view it as soon as they arrived, and also use it as a backdrop for photos.

The handcrafted structure was made with plywood and covered in individually printed panels. The panels on each 3-D letter featured congratulatory messages and logos submitted by City of Hope, Universal Music Group, and Grainge's friends, colleagues, and supporters.

The installation is now on display at the City of Hope campus in Duarte.

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