Sunday, July 31, 2011

More from the Wild!

Michelle sent me this picture of her husband Russell sporting his Tiki shirt. Check out that cutie...I'm talking about that fluffy whiskers he's holding! Thanks for the picture and getting a tee! Mahalo!

More from the Wild!

Here's my friend Brandon (Trader Sam's Set Decorator) double fisting it in his Tiki Pineapple Whip shirt. Mad props to you good sir! Thanks for the photo!

More from the Wild!

Check out this awesome pic Danny sent me of him and his son! I can't think of a better father and son bonding moment!

In the Wild

I want to thank Doug aka Horizons78 from wdwmagic for sharing this photo with me:

The first photo of the shirt taken with the coveted tropical frozen treat! Thanks for sending this my way and for snatching up a tee! I encourage anyone who got a tee to snap a photo of you enjoying a whip in your shirt so that I can feature you on Designerland! 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rocket to the Moon | Flight to the Moon | Mission to Mars

In this attraction typography case study, we will look at some of the typefaces used for Rocket to the Moon/Flight to the Moon/Mission to Mars.

Rocket to the Moon was one of Disneyland's original opening day attractions.  It was a simplistic show that utilized circular screens in the center of the floor and ceiling. It seated the guests in the round, and a screen on the floor would show the guests where they had been, while the above screen showed the destination. Over time the attraction began to show its age and was reimagineered to Flight to the Moon. After six years, the attraction was rebranded yet again to Mission to Mars. Disneyland's Mission to Mars shut its doors in 1998 while Walt Disney Word's attraction closed in 1995. 

The typography for this long-forgotten attraction focused heavily on popular Sans Serif typefaces. The simplistic, classical typefaces represent progress and the future, and the italic-set fonts convey the feeling of movement and speed as if we the guests were thrusting into a world of Tomorrow. A few classic Serif fonts do make their appearance in the font palette, but these are more secondary to the Sans Serifs. With all the rebranding and re-themeing of the attraction, a few small decorative display fonts made their way into the palette, like the main font used for the attraction signage spelling out "Mission to Mars", which is a wide-set, italicized stencil font that looks extremely sci-fi/space race. 

Well that about does it for this week's case study. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to come back on Monday for a new Retro '71 shirt concept. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Music to Ride Monorails By

I've received several e-mails in the past week in response to my faux Hollywood Tower Hotel presents Haunted Halloween Hits soundtrack, so I've decided to present another fun soundtrack I've created in my down time. Music to Ride Monorails By is a soundtrack I created to reflect how I personally feel while riding Disneyland's Monorail.

The soundtrack takes a nostalgic/retro approach in celebrating the time period in which Walt Disney, along with his motley crew of WED Imagineers, unveiled the Disneyland ALWEG Monorail back in 1959. I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Color Study


A new color palette has been added to the DisneyDesignerland Kuler account! Before you jump on over to check it out can you guess where this color palette is used?

Give up??? Find out the answer over at Disneydesignerland's Kuler page found here.

Check back for more random updates to Wonderful World of Kuler. See you guys back here on Friday for a new attraction typography case study.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Retro '71

This week’s Retro '71 concept is the third installation of the faux real estate/land development companies used to purchase the land for the Walt Disney World Resort.

I came up with the logo for Compass East Properties by simply using iconography from the company’s name because it is simplistic and to the point, as every logo should be.  I then set the name in a popular late 60's/early 70's typeface to pay homage to the period.  The color palette is a simple monochromatic color scheme in blues. Finishing the design, I used a washed out grit texture to help give it a worn look.

Well that does it for this week’s concept. Hope to see you back on Friday as we look further into the fantastic fonts and terrific typefaces used by Disney Designers on some of our most beloved attractions. See you then and have a good week!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Peter Pan's Flight


In this week’s case study we'll be looking at the simplistic font palette of one of the most popular rides within the Magic Kingdom, Peter Pan's Flight. Peter Pan's Flight is one of the original attractions designed by WED for opening day at Disneyland and quickly became one of the staples of Fantasyland, so it comes as no surprise that most every Fantasyland from here on out would have its own version of the attraction.
When the attraction first opened, Imagineers were giving guests too much creditability by casting them as Peter Pan. Guests couldn't quite grasp the concept of this first-person point-of-view, and they often asked where Peter Pan was within the ride, as was the case with the original Snow White and her Adventures. When Imagineers began re-imagineering the attraction for the Walt Disney World Resort, they quickly added Peter Pan into the attraction’s storyline. Peter Pan wouldn’t make his grand appearance at the Disneyland attraction until 1983 when Disneyland's Fantasyland underwent a major face-lift.

This attraction only uses a few different fonts, which is the case with most of the attractions within Fantasyland as these generally feature simpler thematic detailing. Peter Pan's Flight uses some of the same classic fonts used to brand other attractions within Fantasyland, with the two main classifications being Serif and Blackletter. These two classifications are the perfect mix of British and Medieval typography which reflect the story of Peter Pan by author J.M Barrie (born Scottish but lived and worked in London) and Fantasyland’s overall theme of a Medieval fair.

Well that concludes this week’s short but sweet post. Tune in on Monday for another Retro '71 concept and thanks for visiting. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hollywood Tower Birthday

In honor of the original Twilight Zone Tower of Terror's birthday, I've made this small gift for all my readers. This was actually an assignment in one of my intro to design classes back in college: the dreaded album cover redesign. Rather than simply recreating an existing album, I decided to design something new based on one of my favorite attractions within the Disney Parks. While the Tower of Terror has an existing soundtrack that plays within the lobby of the hotel, I looked deeper into the attraction’s storyline.

Two of my favorite things are Halloween and Disney, so when Imagineers combine these two into one amazing attraction, the result is pure bliss for a dork like me. The one thing I find odd is that within the hotel, there aren’t many references to the specific day when lightning struck the elevator shaft, Halloween Night. I did a bit of armchair imagineering and come up with a small decorative overlay for the inside lobby for the Halloween season: faded, torn crepe paper streamers, orange and black glittered party hats covered in layers of dust, rotted pumpkins, deflated balloons, confetti, sequined black masks and so on. The general idea is that since it was Halloween night, the Tip Top Club would have hosted a masquerade party. So what kind of music would they have played at Halloween within the Hotel? Out of that one question came The Hollywood Tower Hotel presents Haunted Halloween Hits.

Why post this now rather than save it for the Halloween season? My answer is simply this: there are only 100 days left until my favorite Holiday, and it's better to be prepared than sorry!!!! Be sure to click on the picture!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Poster Design

Yesterday we heard more about what would be showcased at the D23 Expo and needless to say I'm excited...really excited. I was so excited I had to create a poster.

I know I'm such a Disney design dork but I'm okay with that!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Retro '71


This weeks Retro '71 concept is the second installation of the faux Real Estate/Land Development companies used to purchase the land for the Walt Disney World Resort.


Once again I used my imagination when developing the logo for the Tomahawk Properties, Inc. logo. I toyed around with the notion of actually using a tomahawk as the main icon but feared it looked too much like an Atlanta Braves logo so I opted for a simplistic Native Chief icon. The color palette is a simplistic faded/burnt orange color which I enjoy seeing how orange has not been introduced into the Retro '71 apparel line as of yet.

Well that does it for this week. Tune in on Friday for a new typography case study and thanks for visiting! Have a great week!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tiki Pineapple Whip Shirt Update

Small update: All the stateside shirts are in the mail and should be arriving this week so please keep an eye out for your package!

As for my International and Canadian orders, I failed to fill out a form (which no one told me I needed to do) and the packages have been sent back to me...hey, this is my first time at doing something like this so please bare with me. I will be resending the packages out this week so please hold tight. If you have any further questions please e-mail me at I appreciate your order and your patience, thanks!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mark Twain & Liberty Belle Riverboats

In this week's Attraction Typography Case Study we'll look at the fonts used for Disneyland's Mark Twain Riverboat and its counterpart, the Walt Disney World Resort's The Liberty Belle. The Mark Twain Riverboat, located in Disneyland's Frontierland, is a simple 12-minute leisurely ride aboard a Mississippi-style steamboat along the scenic Rivers of America. The Mark Twain Riverboat, also known as the Mark Twain Steamboat, was one of the original 1955 opening day attractions at Disneyland. The Mark Twain quickly became one of the main icons of Frontierland (before Big Thunder Mountain's rock silhouettes become more noted), and was re-imagined by WED for the Walt Disney World Resort, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.

When dissecting the typography of the Disneyland and Disney World attraction, the most notable distinction is the location. The Mark Twain is set in Frontierland, whereas The Liberty Belle is located in Liberty Square. These locations greatly impacted what typefaces were used to brand the attraction. The Mark Twain Riverboat uses several classifications of fonts, most of which reflect the early 19th century. Within the main 1800's theme we can start to pick out a few other classifications: Western, Latin, Tuscan, Slab Serif and Geometric.

The font palette for The Liberty Belle is less ornate and incorporates more classical serif fonts that characterize the mid 20th century. While these fonts are associated with historical time periods, they're actually not historically accurate. Colonial typography would have been more distressed in nature due to the printing capabilities of the period. It was also more common to see hand-written pen and ink scripts along with other hand-tooled lettering. Most of the fonts used for the Liberty Belle and surrounding areas are from the late 50's to the early 80's, and were designed by various type foundries to represent the ideology of early classical Americana - not the reality.

Well that does it for this week's attraction typography case study. Tune in on Monday for a new Retro '71 shirt, where I'll release the second in the series of the faux companies created to acquire the land for the Walt Disney World Resort. Thanks for stopping by and see ya soon!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tiki Pineapple Whip Shirt Update

Over the past 2 days my inbox has been flooded with e-mails asking about the shirts. Here's an update.

The shirts are finished being packed, it took forever to do even with my some family members stopping by to help. I have begun to drop them off at the post in waves as mentioned before in a previous post. The last wave of shirts being sent out will be this Thursday!

Shirts are being sent priority mail through the USPS (they need the work) and should arrive within the next week, some of you may get your earlier than that. It's average 2-4 business days. For the Canadian and overseas orders, I will be sending them out last because I have a bunch of paperwork to fill out in order to ship.

Everyone in the states should have their shirts by next Saturday at the latest. If you have not received anything by then please contact me at

For those of you who have missed out...I may have a few shirts left over. I did order one extra of each size. I've had a few people contact me asking and some have already been claimed. Please e-mail me on Thursday night to see if I have any left over and in your desired size. At this point I'm not planning on doing a second run of shirts even though a lot of you who have missed out are begging me to do so. I may reconsidered closer to x-mas but I'm still not certain.

Thanks again for your order and patience. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Retro '71


This week’s Retro '71 shirt concept is the first in a series of six shirts that I will release over the next few weeks. While most of the shirts thus far in the line have focused on attractions and parks within the Disney World Resort, this week’s concept is something a bit different. The shirt design for this week is purely fan-based with a ton of Walt Disney World Resort history thrown in. The first design is based on the Ayefour Corporation. Maybe some of you out there aren’t sure what this has to do with Walt Disney World? The Ayefour Corporation was one of the six main faux companies Walt created in order to secretly purchase the land that would someday become the Vacation Kingdom of the World.
Since none of the paperwork or contracts for the land acquirement exist online (at least not that I could find anywhere), there wasn't any way for me to know what the Ayefour Corporation logo actually looked like. Since I don’t have any logos to recreate, I decided I would just have to create them myself.

When getting t-shirts printed for employees, most companies simply want their logo placed as a small badge on the left chest. I opted to blow the logo up and make the design a full front print so the shirt would fit in with the rest of the apparel line. I realize this design appeals to a fairly small niche—the concept behind these “employee” shirts is purely for Disney Dorks, and most of the guests that visit the parks probably wouldn't appreciate the designs on a gift shop shelf.

Well that does it for this week’s installment. I hope you like the next few shirts I have in store. I’ll unveil the last shirt in the series the Sunday before the D23 Expo. I'm so excited about the Expo and I hope to see and possibly meet some of my readers there. Until next time, have a super swell week!

Poster Design Part 2

Second installment. . .

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tiki Pineapple Whip Shirt Update

Wanted to give you all out there an update on the status of the shirts.

I picked up the shirts from the printer today and they look really good! I have 13 large boxes of shirts now in my apartment awaiting to be packed. It will take me some time as I'm only one person and only have one recruit to lend a hand. 

My goal was to begin shipping them out tomorrow, I feel that I'm probably going to have to send the shirts in waves over the next week due to the amount of orders I received. Let's just put it this way, they won't all fit in my Honda Element at once.

But fear not, I'm one week a head of schedule from what I originally envisioned and you will all have your shirts real soon!  If you have any further questions please feel free to e-mail me at Once again thanks for your order and support!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

If You Had Wings

I'd like to welcome you all back to the Designerland attraction typography case studies. In this week’s installation, we will look the typefaces of the gone-but-not-forgotten attraction, If You Had Wings.
If You Had Wings was one of the original attractions at the Walt Disney World Resort. Modeled after Disneyland's Journey through Inner Space, the attraction focused on flight, and appropriately, the attraction was sponsored by Eastern Airlines. The attraction took guests through various exotic ports of call, all set to a catchy 70's theme tune written by Buddy Baker and X Atencio. Over time the attraction saw various name changes due to changes in sponsorship: If You Could Fly, Delta Dreamflight and Disney's Take Flight were the different incarnations of the attraction until Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin finally settled in.

As we've seen in previous posts about Tomorrowland, If You Had Wings used the same sans serif font palette as most attractions in Tomorrowland. The most noted typeface used in the attraction is the classic font, Helvetica. A few display fonts that mimicked the Eastern Airlines logo were also used throughout the attraction. Over time, with new sponsors came new branding, and with new branding came new logos and signage, and new logos and signage meant new fonts! When Delta Dreamflight moved in, more serif fonts were introduced into the attraction. The main serif font used in branding Dreamflight does convey a sense of dreamy flight, especially when set in italic. However, when juxtaposed against other Tomorrowland attraction typography, this attraction seems a tad out of place because both the typography and the attraction itself were more contemporary than futuristic.

Well that does it for this week’s case study. Tune in on Monday for a new Retro '71 shirt concept and thanks for stopping in.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Retro '71


This week’s Retro '71 concept celebrates America, and what better way to celebrate than a design based on Disney's America on Parade. Around this time of year, many Disney historical blogs pop up with articles celebrating the parade. If you care to learn more about it, I suggest checking out this, and this and even this!
Since the parade was before my time, I’ve never experienced it personally. I had never even heard of it until 2006 when I was at a used book store in a dodgy part of town, combing through the travel section when I came across the hardcover, Disney's America on Parade, by David Jacobs. The book was simply stunning—not only did it give a brief history lesson, but it also showcased photos of the parade as well as parade float models, concept art and illustrations. It was such a beautiful commemorative book, and priced at 3 bucks, I had to have it. Disney should release more commemorative hardcover books to celebrate more theme park experiences.

The design for this week is based on the main logo used for the parade with Mickey, Donald and Goofy recreating the classical painting "Spirit of 1776". Keeping with the theme of Independence Day, I kept the color palette very traditional in red, cream and blue. The illustration is a double offset halftone design, giving it a real vintage feel. The original typefaces used for the parade’s branding were Bookman Swash and Cooper Black Italic Swash, but I opted to use a newer commercial font based on a combination of these two. Finishing the design, I placed the classic Disneyland and Walt Disney World logos at the bottom in honor of the parades' debuts at both parks.

Well that does if for this week’s Retro '71. I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday, and I'll see you back here on Friday as our attraction typography case studies are starting back up! My D23 painting is on its way to the Archives in Burbank, the Tiki Whip shirts have been printed, so I'll be shipping them out this time next week. Things are finally getting back to normal! Thanks for stopping by and see you soon.

New Designerland Soundboard


Finally the third installation of the Designerland Soundboards: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

The Big Thunder Mountain Soundboard is a simple web application I created out of my appreciation for the classic attraction.  A web app will run SLOWER than a normal native app. The difference between a web app and a native app is that a web app is hosted and "lives" on the internet whereas a native app actually downloads and "lives" in your mobile device.

PLEASE NOTE: The soundclips will take a while to download, I wish that they would load faster but unfortunately that's just how web apps work.

The Big Thunder Mountain Soundboard was developed for iphone users in mind but is supported by Google Android mobile devices as well.

For iphone users: using the internet on your phone go here: BTM
Once the page loads click on the "Add to Bookmarks" icon. Now click the "Add to Home Screen" and the Tiki Room Soundboard icon should load. That's it.

For Google Android users: using the internet on your phone go here: BTM
Bookmark the page. Now open the browser bookmarks screen, then long-press the bookmark you want, then select the add to home screen. 

The site will look odd if you just go to the link above on your desktop computer. The url/site is formatted to fit your mobile device's screen and the sounds will not work unless you're using Google Chrome and Safari.

Well I hope you guys enjoy this latest addition. If you like this app and don't mind it taking a while to load I have a few other Disney attraction soundboard apps in the wings ready to go!

Thanks again guys for coming to my blog!

Friday, July 1, 2011


Just wanted to let all you know that the tiki pineapple whip shirts were delivered to the print shop yesterday and went into production today. Plan on shipping out next weekend, which is a head of the original schedule!!!!