Friday, December 31, 2010

The Haunted Mansion

When I began the journey of hunting down fonts used in the parks I started with one of my favorite attractions. Let's just be honest, the Haunted Mansion is one of everyone's favorite attractions.  I've ridden the Haunted Mansion too many times to count.

I began looking for fonts used in the ever-so-popular attraction posters, signage used in the parks and various consumer products (both present and past merchandise). Unfortunately, I've not tracked down ALL the fonts used in the various Haunted Mansion branding...but I have a good start.

The Haunted Mansion font palette is an interesting one. Fonts can actually tell us a lot about something such as a time period. They can also convey themes and even invoke moods from us, the viewers.

Let's look at just one font used in the Haunted Mansion. The "The" in the Haunted Mansion's main sign on the gate is one of my favorite fonts of all time. Bookman Swash (used throughout the park) tells us about the time period this certain signage was created.

Bookman Swash became highly popular in the 70's and is a variation of the classic font Bookman. We die hard fans know that Disneyland's Haunted Mansion opened on August 9, 1969 and Walt Disney World Resort's Mansion opened in 1971... so did the designers use this font because it was popular for the time or simply because it spoke to them from regions beyond?!?! 

Most, if not all, fonts used by Disney are actually display fonts. Display fonts are known for their decorative characteristics and are usually used only for titles and other BIG billing text. You will find throughout the parks, Disney's designers like to break this basic rule of design and use these display fonts to set entire sections of body copy. This helps keep the theme of an attraction, land or area consistent.
Other font themes found in the Mansion can be classified as Victorian, Art Nouveau and even Celtic.