In this week’s case study we look at the typography from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Not too much reference material exists when looking at the now-retired Walt Disney World attraction, so thank goodness for the alive-and-well Tokyo DisneySea.
From a typography standpoint, 20,000 Leagues is the missing link in the transition from the more medieval-era fonts of Fantasyland to the ultramodern fonts of Tomorrowland. 20,000 Leagues uses a combination of Slab Serifs, Egyptian/Egyptienne, and some of the other classifications of type seen in the previous lands, mainly Adventureland and Frontierland. One font in this week’s case study isn't present within the parks, but it should be. Typographer and designer David Occhino designed an amazing display font titled Nautilus. Inspired by the novel and Harper Goff, the typeface is completely accurate in theme and time period. Be sure to check it out, especially the Barbed and Barbed Submerged versions. No Disney font collection would be complete without this typeface.
20,000 Leagues features classic serif fonts accurate to the time period of this Jules Verne classic. Tokyo DisneySea accomplishes this same effect while incorporating more of a steampunk feel, mixing elegant Victorian-style fonts with hard-edged, bold slab serif fonts. Both attractions utilize steampunk fonts to some degree, but it is definitely more prevalent at Tokyo DisneySea. Disney Designers also added a few typefaces that aren't really related to the time period such as art nouveau style fonts. While these fonts may not be accurate to the era nor to the genre, they do have a nautical, underwater look to them.
20,000 Leagues was/is the perfect attraction for a typeractive person like myself. As always, thanks for stopping by and remember to tune in Sunday for a new Retro 71 shirt concept. See ya soon!