The Los Angeles Philharmonic (LA Phil) is a world-renowned orchestra known for its forward-thinking musical approach. Housed in the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl in the summer, the LA Phil pushes boundaries by blending the traditional with the contemporary. Thus when Story Spark was approached to develop an exclusive graphic t-shirt design, we were thrilled and humbled for opportunity to work with the LA icon. 



LA Phil orchestra


Given a few requirements and guidelines, Story Spark started the design process by researching the background of the LA Phil and understanding key facets that make it unique to its audience. One characteristic that emerged and became a focal point was the importance of the orchestra members. Each musician brings their own talents and artistry on an individual level while simultaneously contributing to the collective whole. This give and take relationship was an inspiring dynamic that applied not only to the musicians but also to those experiencing the artistic production. Thus we asked ourselves the question of how can the LA Phil experience remain in the hearts of its audience well beyond the walls of the concert hall?



Examples of orchestra instruments


In order to enable the audience to remember the orchestra's artistic production, we set our sights on honoring the endeavors of the musicians. A means of representing them on an individual level was through the technology used to express their work. Often times, the tools that we use can encapsulate our identities and passions. Thus we started looking the key musical instruments that best represented the four families of an orchestra: Strings, Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion.



LA Phil orchestra in virtual reality


During Story Spark's research process, we came across an innovative and inspiring piece that LA Phil created through the use of virtual reality. Orchestra VR is a 360º 3D performance like no other. This is a prime example of their progressive thinking and how LA Phil is open to exploring the use of technology to enhance and bring people closer together. It certainly provided us with additional inspiration on how to capture the essence of the orchestra. Bravo!



Examples of music visualization


With the goal of visualizing the essence of the orchestra, we looked at other unique and abstract examples to fuel our inspirations.



Digital illustration of instruments


Once our research process has been fulfilled, we collected our thoughts and inspiration and began to sketch ideas. Much of the Story Spark illustration style is driven by the passion for clean lines and geometry. Thus when paired with the concepts that were developed, it didn't take long for something to emanate that we thought was unique and representative of LA Phil.



Illustrations applied to t-shirts


Titled as "Instrumental", the initial design was then applied in various color ways. With our past experience in identity and digital design consulting, we find it beneficial to provide multiple variations for consideration. There could be a unique perspective that may come from it, for everyone has their own individual story.



T-shirt color options


It's always fulfilling to see a design visualized in differing possibilities.



Final Instrumental t-shirt design for LA Phil


After iterating on the details of the illustration and color applications, the resulting design was finalized and ready for production.



Story Spark designed t-shirts on the rack at the LA Phil Store


LA Phil t-shirts displayed in store


T-shirt designed by Story Spark for LA Phil


We at Story Spark are very humbled and grateful for this special collaboration. As a boutique brand, we could not have imagined the possibility.

At the time of this writing, the LA Phil "Instrumental" graphic t-shirt is only available at the official LA Phil Store in downtown Los Angeles. We hope you'll attend an upcoming performance and visit the store to check out the result of our collaborative effort.

LA Phil
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Get directions


Instrumental t-shirt by Story Spark for LA Phil


Interested in working with Story Spark on a custom graphic t-shirt design? Feel free to send an inquiry about your project via our Contact form. We'd love to hear your story.



Alex Louie


So happy you were able to grab a couple tees at the LA Phil, George! And yes, Grand Central Market is a must along the way ;) Thanks for your support!

— Alex

Love the design!! My wife and I went to the Dysney Concert Hall just to get the shirts a couple of weeks ago. Ok, so maybe we stopped at Grand Central Market too.

We got his and hers. Super soft and comfortable. Always get complements when we wear them.

— George

You’re spot on, Linda! The intent of the instrument in the lower right was to represent percussion and the sound waves that emanate from within. It’s always refreshing to “hear” others’ interpretations of our work. Thank you!

— Alex

WoW! I LOVE this shirt. I totally dig the design! I really like what I presume to be the percussion instrument on the bottom right and I am interpreting the inside circles to be sound vibrations. I have to say that I like the initial design as well with the white and gold color scheme on top of the black and the ripple vibrations. Would it be possible to release that design through story spark (wishful thinking…lol)? Well done Alex and Sun!

— Linda R

Thank you so much, Athena! It has definitely been a highlight on our journey so far. :)

— Alex

Fantastic! I want one! Congratulations, Alex and Sun. It’s perfect.

— Athena