AVA Little Tokyo Residential Housing Signage

Lead DesignerIndia Howlett
Prize(s)Honorable Mention
Entry Description

AVA Little Tokyo is an eclectic and energized urban residential project settled between two districts in Downtown Los Angeles. The culturally diverse Little Tokyo, and the intensely creative Arts District come together in this inventive and prolific property to create a building that creators and artists are excited to call home.

Designed in close conjunction with the owner and the interior design firm, the AVA experience begins with the exterior identity of the building. A large monument sign, and iconic wall and blade signs draw in visitors and residents alike. Clear and concise exterior wayfinding lead future tenants into the garage, and the quirky wordiness of the language used on the signage immediately evokes a comfortable and welcome atmosphere in the heart of hustling, bustling Downtown.

Once inside, signs draw inspiration from custom skate decks, local street art, the vivid colors of the neo-punk music scene, and the traditional art of origami. Signage is strategically placed to lead visitors to the leasing office and welcome tenants to their highly personalized and modern spaces. Using materials like polished acrylic and plywood, the signage casually reimagines a playful techno and energized urban atmosphere while effortlessly complementing the interior design.

With an emphasis on fun, creativity, and eclecticism, the signage for AVA Little Tokyo seeks to create a stimulating, comfortable, and friendly environment for the hard working residents in the creative heart of Downtown Los Angeles.


India brings 25 years of experience to her clients. Prior to TCA, she was the Creative Director at Johnson Fain. She boasts a high-profile portfolio of visual communication projects for clients such as The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Food Network, Levi’s and Time Warner. As Practice Leader of Graphic Design for TCA Architects, India Howlett heads up the firm’s Graphic Design Studio, a multi-faceted studio that provides branded identity, environmental graphics, and signage for clients such as Camden Development, Avalon Bay Communities, Mercy Housing and Related California. She is an innovative designer who pursues excellence in visual communication through a strategic approach that seeks to add value for a given project’s residents, owners and the greater community. A Southern California native, India has served on the design faculty of several Southern California Design Schools with a primary focus on her personal design passion, typography. She is a member of AIGA LA and SEGD LAX.