MOCA, Los Angeles

A brand refresh and digital presence for an iconic LA institution


Established in 1979, MOCA is the only artist-founded museum in Los Angeles. Internationally respected and beloved by the community, MOCA houses one of the most compelling collections of contemporary art in the world, comprising roughly 7000 objects across three distinct venues.


To reveal a new, stronger MOCA, Surface Streets refreshed the historical logo and developed a fully responsive site that is both tasteful and extremely robust. The new site allows the organization to manage current, upcoming, and past exhibitions, artist, and artwork pages, event programming, art perspectives and news, the gift shop, educational content, and fundraising initiatives.

The Process

Discovery & Strategy

The redesign began with a full content audit that spanned 25 sites. Concurrently, Surface Streets worked to establish core brand pillars through comprehensive investigative exercises. We interviewed museum visitors, evaluated usage data, and reviewed critical online commentary to understand pain points and desires. We consulted with the entire staff—from the Museum Director and Head Curator to ticketing agents on the floor—to create a shared vision and determine content priorities.

Information Architecture

After establishing a shared understanding of goals, Surface Streets presented a complete structural overhaul that would simplify navigation and allow staff to manage content over time. We explored interaction design options that would represent MOCA’s values and present rich content for scholars and museum-goers alike. The result of the information architecture phase was a fully vetted sitemap with corresponding wireframes for all templates. The sitemap served as a guide for structure and relationships while the wireframes established content goals and articulated high-level interactions.


Building off of the complete set of wireframes, Surface Streets explored multiple visual design directions that would exude the new MOCA values. We iterated and distilled designs to shape a distinctive experience. The outcome was an elegant and provocative presentation of the museum’s collection that helps to solidify its significance in the world of contemporary art.


During the development phase, Surface Streets collaborated closely with our partners, Cast Iron Coding to design micro-interactions, and prototype fluid transitions that would bring the experience to life. We continued to work directly with MOCA and our development partners up until the final launch to ensure continuity of designs throughout the process.
See It Live