Sunday, February 12, 2012

Autopia, Grand Prix Raceway, Tomorrowland Indy Raceway, etc.

Welcome back to another Designerland typography case study. This week we will look at the fonts and typefaces used to brand Autopia, aka Grand Prix Raceway, aka Tomorrowland (Indy) Speedway, aka Grand Circuit Raceway. As you can see, this one attraction has gone through a series of names and rebranding, depending on which park you're visiting.

The original attraction, Autopia, was designed for Disneyland for opening day in 1955. The attraction allows guests to drive through an enclosed track in specially designed cars from  
legendary Imagineer, Bob Gurr. Each incarnation across the globe is stationed in Tomorrowland . . . except for Disneyland Paris, which features its version in Discoveryland. Over the years, the sponsors changed hands, and therefore so did the look, mostly in the signage and place-finding graphics.

When looking back at the signage and posters, Disney's designers stayed true to the branding for Tomorrowland with the classic modern sans serif typefaces. However, when the Walt Disney World Resort opened in the 70's, the designers also snuck in a few 70's futuristic and groovy display fonts. The classic typefaces and fonts stood the test of time until the early 90's when both Disneyland and Walt Disney Worlds' attractions received an update. Designers now used heavily-modified display fonts that incorporated both a futuristic feel as well as fonts that conveyed the feeling of high speed.  The branding of this attraction seems to be all over the place, from retro to classic, display to modern. This one attraction has seen almost every kind of font. 


Well that does it for this week’s case study. Tune in next week for another Retro ’71 shirt, which is the final installment of our Epcot World Showcase series. I look forward to seeing you soon and have a great week.