Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Welcome back to a long-overdue Designerland Typography Case Study. This week we will look at the wonderful typefaces seen throughout the Grand Floridian Resort. Before we start, I'd like to give a BIG shout out to Cristy Greene for helping me with this post. Her photos helped me out in more ways than one. Thanks so much!

When looking at the typefaces used throughout the Grand Floridian, one thing can be certain: there are no frills or wacky display fonts. The font palette used for most of the signage and way-finding graphics use classic fonts to evoke a sense of tradition and elegance. When looking at type, the branding is very consistent with one main typeface used on most of the graphics. There are a few elegant yet classy display fonts, usually in the form of scripts used as well.

One font in particular was somewhat tough to track down since type foundries come and go. About a month ago, I stumbled across a fellow font aficionado whose mission is to track down typefaces from one particular foundry that was big in the 60s and 70s but is no longer. As I went through the collection, I noticed many fonts that Disney used in the early days of the park. In fact, one font that I had believed to be custom was included in the collection! Since this font appears on a graphic from a current project, I suspect Disney has the entire collection of this gone-but-not-forgotten foundry and are still using it today. Perhaps Disney acquired the rights to use these fonts when they were still developing Walt Disney World. 

While I have an appreciation for the fonts used within the Grand Floridian, they're not my favorite used within the parks. But my favorites will have to wait for another post, so tune in after Christmas when we head over to Epcot and begin our journey looking into the fonts and faces used to brand the 21st century. In the meantime, if there's an attraction or graphic that hasn't been covered within the Magic Kingdom thus far, let me know. I'd love to cover it between now and the holidays.

Well that does it for this week’s post. Tune in next week as I have a plethora of new Retro '71 and '55 shirt concepts just waiting to be released. Thanks for stopping by and have a swell week.


  1. You need to design for Spoonflower

  2. Richard, I love the Font Finder stuff and I have to ask, why no font names, or foundry names, or links to buy any fonts/families that exist?

    BTW, keep designing for DDG. Your designs are just wonderful. Some of the best looking merch they do.

    1. Sam,

      Thanks for the killer compliments. I do plan on releasing the names of the fonts/foundries in the future but I have a fair few parks to finish before I get to that stage. Tune in come the new year as I tackle Epcot. Thanks again for the nice words and coming here to Designerland.

  3. Hot dog! Seriously, a blog about Disney Parks and design? Don't mind if I do! I love your blog; I found it while searching for the perfect Jungle Cruise font. (Still have not found it by the way.)

    So, yes, I am a total nube, but what is DDG?

    At any rate, keep up the awesome work. You just gained a new follower. :)

    1. LOL! Glad you like my blog and welcome! DDG=Disney Design Group (guys in charge of most consumer theme park merchandise). Thanks again for the nice words!