This week’s Retro 71 concept is a special twofer. The concepts are based on my favorite resort, The Polynesian Resort. The Polynesian Resort was one of the original hotel concepts dreamed up by WED Imagineering for the Walt Disney World Resort, and it opened the same year as the theme park in 1971 under its original name, The Polynesian Village. The resort has not only grown in size due to its popularity, but it has also seen some changes in its look and branding. From fonts to color palettes, to pools to interior decor, the resort has evolved over the years.
When thinking of shirt concepts for the Polynesian Resort, I wanted to pay tribute to the original name of the resort and use the original logo with the iconic tiki idol. I love all the old branding where the designers used the main tiki idol on pretty much everything from hand soap wrappers to shot glasses (aka tooth pick holders), from frosted libation mugs to even "privacy please" door hanger signs. Nowadays he's seen in a few places around the resort, most notably on trash cans.
The first shirt concept is the classic logo. I tried to plus the design by changing the colors to match the original tile floor of the resort. The original color palette of the resort consisted of deep browns, aqua teals and mossy looking yellowish greens, and I wanted to bring that back to keep it consistent with the overall look of these shirts. I picture this design on a vintage ringer that has color banding around the arms and neck in either a dark brown or the same color as the resort name depicted on the shirt.
The second shirt concept is our favorite tiki idol, but with his legs! Today, only a couple of locations remain where you can still see him depicted with his jaunty little legs. Keeping the color story consistent with the first shirt, I incorporated the same color palette. I believe it really captures the feel and tone of the resort from back in the day. When looking at the shirts next to each other, I can imagine seeing them sold together at the Boutiki in the Great Ceremonial House. In my downtime, I've come up with an entire product line that includes these two shirts along with a few other fun tropical treasures that celebrate the history and traditions of this amazing resort.
Well that about does it for this week’s Retro 71 segment. I hope you enjoyed the designs! Until next time, have a swell week and be on the lookout for a new soundboard coming soon, not to mention even further looks into the typefaces used on some of our favorite Disney Theme Park attractions. See ya soon!