The Stage Design Process


April 25, 2024
5 min read

We want the environment to help project the theme and message of the SZN.


At VOUS, creativity isn’t just something we value – it’s incorporated into everything we do. We operate on a seasonal calendar (read more about it here). Each SZN brings an opportunity for new creative expression in all facets of our church. The change of every SZN brings a new stage design to the auditorium. 

Refreshing the stage design isn’t just about aesthetics – it actually helps set the tone for a guest’s experience when they come to church. We want the environment to help project the theme and message of the SZN. By infusing creativity into the stage design, we aim to engage our guests in a new and different way.

Changing the stage design each SZN is an intentional effort. It’s a highly collaborative project, with Environments, Design, Production, and Broadcast Teams working closely together. Keep reading for some insight from our team on their creative processes and the integration of design across different platforms.

SZN 2 DESIGN – Austin Orasi, Graphic Designer

When thinking through SZN looks, I follow three steps:

1. Find references. At this step, it’s important to consider the art across all applications (like LED screens, environment installs, social media posts, and print items, for example). 

2. Put together a pitch deck with art direction references for approval. If feedback is given, adjust the art direction accordingly and re-submit.

3. Once an art direction is approved, our Design Team begins designing.

We continue to look for ways to bridge the gap between stage design and seasonal graphic designs to make sure the SZN look is consistent across all platforms. I met with Jonathan and our Production Director to find a reference that felt similar to the SZN’s art direction. I also work closely with our Environments Coordinators to support with design as they create different spaces in the SZN look. 

After stage design and environments are set up for a win, I start to build out some key print and digital items:

  • Email headers
  • Google templates
  • Sunday touch cards
  • Social media content
  • Crew cards

You can read more of our weekly design deliverables here.

STAGE DESIGN – Jonathan Perez, Lighting Coordinator

When it comes to stage design, my approach is like creating an installation in an art gallery. Unlike art galleries, I can’t start with a clean slate. Certain elements are non-negotiable, like LED video walls, instruments, and lighting fixtures.

As we begin to lay out our SZN stage design, we have to keep all of these elements in mind, along with the visual look that the Design Team is creating. We are constantly collaborating across departments to ensure a cohesive environment, both within the auditorium and outside of it.

The stage design process starts with a meeting with the Design Team. They bring a vision statement or inspiration picture. Once we have something to ground us in the direction, I begin pulling additional inspiration and ideas from all kinds of sources – fashion, architecture, art, and more. 

As a lighting designer, the element I always consider is the light arrangement. Lighting has the power to shift an atmosphere, raise and lower the energy of a crowd, and create captivating visual narratives. This adds depth and dynamism to something that could appear flat on its own.

Throughout the process, we keep the budget, building process, and necessary materials. As the stage design comes together, we continue to work through the revision process until we reach a place that everyone loves and that fits within the SZN theme. Then, we build, taking an idea and turning it into reality.

LED SCREEN MAPPING – Diogo Fidalgo, Broadcast Coordinator

When it comes to Broadcast, our involvement with stage design involves the LED walls and banners at each of our locations.

From SZN to SZN, the shape and size of the LED might change. Once a stage design is finalized and approved, I calculate how many LED panels would be necessary to form the shapes desired and then I'll calculate the specs and resolution for each location. 

Once this is done, I'll make drawings for each location with those specs to work as a canvas for our Design Team and Film Team – this way, each department will know how to build out the graphics, visuals, and videos in a way that will display properly at each location. 

Once the new stage design is installed at each location, I work with another Broadcast Coordinator to map out Resolume with the new specs and resolutions. Resolume is a live-video mixing program designed for visual performances – we utilize this software to display content on LED screens. Mapping on Resolume ensures everything will display correctly on the LED walls and banners.

Here are some photos for reference: 

Resolume Program
Design District LED Specs

South Miami LED Specs
City LED Specs
Miami Gardens LED Specs

Get help with the hard-to-answer questions.

Our team is here to answer your questions and provide advice and insight when you need it most.