Sunday, September 30, 2012

Disney Decor Part 2

Tomorrow marks the 30th anniversary of Epcot Center. One way to pay homage is a new series of wall decor for your home.

A closer look:

Two of the prints are actual off-set printed in a similar fashion to vintage comic books, with the ink plates slightly off register/offset and various halftones used throughout. The last print follows fashion to the earlier EST. print series seen here on Designerland, incorporating various park maps of the past and playing with positive and negative spaces.

Well that does it for this weeks post. I hope you all had a great weekend and tune into Designerland next weekend as we continue our typography case studies. Have a great week! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Welcome to a special Designerland post. As many of you already know, the Disney Parks blog announced more of the Special Edition Epcot 30th Anniversary merchandise, and Designerland’s concepts for the World Showcase shirts have made it into the product line! If you haven't seen the article, then click the below picture and give it a read:

Two years ago during the D23 Expo, I stumbled upon a WDW opening day brochure in the collector’s forum. I picked up the black and white brochure, flipped through the pages and found an entire series of Epcot icons for the World Showcase I had never seen before. I knew instantly that these one-color logos needed to be honored through ink on cotton! I threw down the 30 bucks for the brochure. When I ran into my friend Erica later that day, I was so excited about the idea that I wanted to tell her right there on the expo floor, but instead, I decided to wait.

When I got back to Indiana and sat down to start scanning and recreating, I wondered why these logos hadn’t been used sooner. After I unveiled the series here on Designerland, Disney contacted me and wanted to take the designs I had done since Epcot’s 30th Anniversary was just around the corner. Disney did want to change the colors up a bit and add the two pavilions I had yet to showcase on my blog. Since the brochure I’d used for reference actually pre-dated these two pavilions, the good folks at Disney contacted the archives and found the logos I needed. 

It's surreal to think that finding one little brochure would turn into this. I want to thank all my followers and readers who supported the shirts when I first posted them here at Designerland, and of course, the amazing folks I worked with at Disney for seeing the potential and listening to the fans. I hope you enjoy the designs!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Epcot 30th Product Concept

Welcome back folks—I hope you all had a great weekend. This week, I'm showcasing another idea I had, this time for hardlines. . .more specifically for Epcot's 30th.

My current day job is working in softlines—more specifically, apparel—but while designing shirts all day long, I do dream of things other than cotton, waterbase, plastisol, and tri blends. As I had mentioned before, my first job out of college was designing hardlines and social stationery for various entertainment/animation properties, so when I'm out and about, I can’t help but take notice of what various Disney licensees are up to. I also keep myself up to date on the new style guides the designers at DCP crank out.

Last week I was walking through a big box chain store and came across a night light produced by the Jasco Company. The shape of the light and its functionality drew me in instantly, and I could see how this one item could be remolded, designed and repackaged for Epcot's 30th. The light itself is a geodesic dome that projects an image onto your wall, floor or ceiling at night. The biggest change I made would be to actually remold the globe of the light to resemble the panels of Spaceship Earth. Other than that, nothing else was changed from the original light.

At present the nightlight is targeted to a younger demographic, hence the properties used on the existing product in stores, mostly Disney Princesses and Cars. But regardless of age, what Disney fan wouldn't want to drift off to slumberland with visions of Spaceship Earth, Mesa Verde, or Dreamfinder glowing softly above their heads?

Well that does it for this week’s post. Tune in next week for more Designerland offerings. Have a great week, and as always, thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Trader Jack's

Welcome back to another Designerland post--I hope you all had a great weekend! This week, I'd like to share a thought. Now it’s nothing new or original, just once again dusting off the past for the fans of today! After last week’s Polynesian Resort type post, I received some emails from readers who really enjoyed the case study, so I decided to roll out this concept today for us Poly fans.

With the ever-growing popularity of Disneyland's Trader Sam's, I feel that TDO and WDI should seriously consider bringing something similar to the east coast, now that the Adventurers Club is gone. Some of you may recall that Disney World once had a tropical-themed dive located at the Polynesian Resort--Trader Jack's Grog Hut! I, for one, would love to see Disney roll out a similar, updated Tiki bar based on the long-forgotten Trader Jack' menu, new look, new gags but the same vibe.

Personally, I wish they would just bring Trader Jack's back to the Polynesian Resort. It could also fit in at Downtown Disney where there is more traffic passing through, but with the ever in-flux state of DTD and what once was Pleasure Island, I'm not sure how well it would work in that locale. Regardless of where it turns up, it could be the east coast’s version of Trader Sam's.

With that said, here are a few merchandise concepts I worked up for this hypothetical Tiki bar. One apparel concept displays a logo I came up with (in an off-set matchbook print look) that draws inspiration from the original Polynesian Village/Resort logo. The second apparel concept is just something whimsical and wacky, hence the display font.

Now no good Tiki bar is complete without the option to take home a Tiki mug, so I combined the two main Polynesian Tiki icons into one to create the Kapu Cup. If I could have only one Tiki mug in my collection, I would want something similar to this.

Well that's all for this week. Hope you enjoy the concepts and thanks for stopping by. Have a great week and see you all real soon!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Polynesian Resort

Welcome back to another edition of our Designerland typography case studies. This week, we'll jump back on the monorail and head over to another Disney home away from home, the Polynesian Resort.

When looking at the type treatments throughout the resort, one thing is certain: this resort is loaded with display fonts. These are all heavily-themed tropical (and sometimes comical) display fonts. This makes sense, given the tropical theme, but if you compare these fonts to a Disney resort actually located on a Polynesian island, you'll see a big difference. The Aulani doesn't need to really need to shove the tropical theme in your face since you're actually IN Hawaii, so the typography there is a little more subdued.

When the Polynesian first opened under the original name, the Polynesian Village, Disney designers used a more 70’s, non-tropical font to brand the hotel. The font Blippo, designed by typographer Robert Trogman, was used to typeset the logo, but over time those whimsical tropical display fonts crept their way in and made the Poly their home. In the 90’s we see Blippo replaced with Rusticana, which was designed by Frutiger as part of a type revival for the Linotype Foundry.  

I'm a huge fan of the Poly and I always loved how even down to the fonts, the resort reflects the beloved kitsch from the late 50’s and early 60’s. The fonts help tell the story even if sometimes it hits us over the head with tiki goodness (although in my opinion you can never have enough). Well that does it for this week’s post. Tune in next week for a new Retro '71 shirt concept. Thanks for dropping in and I hope you all have a swell week!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Space Mountain

Welcome back to another fun-filled edition of our Retro apparel line. This week, we'll be honoring Space Mountain, seeing how a plethora of new apparel paying homage to this time-honored attraction just hit Tomorrowland shelves.

My take on this classic attraction comes from Disneyland's Easter Weekend flyer. The back of the flyer showcased a contemporary Space Mountain logo along with some creative copy on when this new attraction would open. When I stumbled across this logo I knew I had to use my talents in illustrator and font-finding to recreate it!   

After recreating the logo and tracking down the main futuristic display font, I added some layers of strokes in various widths and of course some slight wear and tear to the design. I opted not to add any park logos to the concept because the design could be used universally at many of the different Disney Parks & Resorts.

Well that does it for this edition of our Retro '55/'71 apparel concept. Be sure to stop back next weekend for more fun Designerland offerings and thanks for stopping by. Have a swell week!

In the Wild: Celeb edition

On Thursday two Designerland friends, Ian and Christa both informed that Holly Madison was spotted by the paparazzi sporting the Retro Disneyland Rainbow shirt I designed with the Disney Design Group. Here are two photos, one from US weekly and the other from Holly's twitter account. Pretty cool, hun?

In the Wild

A big Mahalo goes out to Maureen for snapping this awesome photo of her husband Dan sporting the tiki pineapple whip tee while on their vacation. Maureen tells me that while entering the park they also spotted another vacationeer sporting the shirt as well! It IS a small world after all.

Thanks guys for the support and sending this my way and next time be careful not to hit your head on the Aloha Isle sign (Dan stands a towering 6' 11") while enjoying the whip.


Hey guys check out the latest WDWNT Magazine for a profile article on Designerland.

Over the past year and a half I've received tons of e-mails asking about my personal story of how I got involved with Disney and why I began Designerland. The article, written by Daniel Butcher pretty much tells all.

So go check it out:  WDWNT The Magazine Issue 17

Hope you enjoy it and a big thanks goes out to Daniel and the staff of WDWNT not to mention all my readers, followers and fans!