Thursday, September 8, 2011

Splash Mountain

Welcome back to another edition of Designerland's attraction typography case studies. This week we'll head to our laughing place as we look at the various specimens used for the popular Critter Country/Frontierland attraction, Splash Mountain.
Guests board a hollowed-out log and drift along with Br'er Rabbit in his search for a little more adventure, all set to classic tunes from the 1964 Disney full-length feature, Songs of the South. Splash Mountain opened at Disneyland in 1989 and became an instant hit. Shortly after, the Walt Disney World Resort would have its own version, followed by Tokyo Disneyland.

Splash Mountain uses a wide array of decorative display fonts in its signage and place finding. The typography falls into several categories, with the four main classifications being Western, Woodblock, Antique and Victorian. Also featured are some comic-like fonts that help set the tone of the attraction and its storyline, which is based on cute, animated woodland creatures. Perhaps the most impressive type treatment was used for the attraction’s main logo. The original font used for the logo is nearly impossible to track down because it is so heavily modified with flourished terminals and curly serifs, all finished off with a rugged distressed edge. What's even more interesting about the logo is that Disney designers have used two different logos to brand the attraction on the signage throughout the area. One logo is more flourished and flowing, whereas the second logo is more Western, vertical and stiff. Next time you're in the parks, see if you can spot the two different logos.

That concludes this week's attraction typography case study. Tune in on Monday for another Retro '71 World Showcase t-shirt concept. Until next time, thanks for stopping by and have a swell weekend.