Los Angeles is one of the most heterogeneous cities of the world and marked by an extreme urban sprawl. More than 12 million people live in the metropolitan region of Los Angeles. There is a large variety of ethnic groups and styles of life. Los Angeles is a city which does not look like a coherent unit, there is no obvious centre. An extensive road network traverses the metropolis passing countless suburbs. The city changes all the time. The popoulation of White and African Americans decreases, while the Asian and Hispanic popolution is growing. Successful migrants move to wealthy districts, while a lot of new migrants settle in poorer areas of the city. This anti-urban character is a very characteristic feature of Los Angeles – the multifaceted population of this city is joined together in a giant village.
There are many signs and structures in Los Angeles, which exhibit how people feel and live in this city. Some are helpful for orientation or refer to the infrastructure, like streets, crossings and traffic signs. Others require more of an associative point of view, like murals, film posters or advertising. Signs are a form of communication and offer a lot of information. Whether the murals in Sun Valley, a Clown advertisement for a liquer shop or the huge Hollywood film posters, all of them are reports of the life, hope and failure in this city. These signs and structures visualise the aura of City of Los Angeles.