The Steinbeck story is at the heart of Salinas, CA, a community that is one of the most diverse in California. A+A worked with the Center over several years on a new plan to revitalize the museum and its programs, making them more relevant to this primarily Latino community, while also appealing to the diverse range of California visitors from across the state and around the world. A new brand theme was proposed, American Stories—History through Storytelling—with the objective of weaving together the act of writing with the telling of stories of people, places and historical moments that make up the fabric of the Salinas Valley community.


After reviewing visitor data from a wide range of sources in the region, a visual segmentation model was introduced to synthesize in one image the diversity of potential visitors. The universal nature of Steinbeck’s themes were distilled down to three levels of engagement based on the audiences’ level of experience with the Steinbeck novels.

The proposed storylines were then crafted with these segments in mind, and communicated with illustrated collages that would inspire the design of exhibits in subsequent phases.

Cover Collage

Laura Tarrish

Storyboard Illustrations

Mac Cooper