27 December 2009

Where’s the Restroom?

Two things that I love to study and take note of when I am at Walt Disney World are the restrooms and the various signs for lands, attractions, and ambiance, and this Back Issue covers both in remarkable fashion. Sign design is the handiwork of Imagineering’s Graphic Design department. According to the Imagineering Field Guides, this group produces “signage, both flat and dimensional, in addition to providing lots of artwork, patterns, and details that finish the Disney show. Marquees and directional signs are just a couple of examples of their work.”

Today’s Back Issue is brief, but it says a lot about the type of mind that is attracted to the work of Imagineering. In fact, while there is a paragraph to explain the graphic, the actual article is all about the drawing presented. Where’s the Restroom? comes from the Winter 1990 issue of WD Eye, and is the work of John Drury. Drury worked at Imagineering for over twenty-five years, during which time he worked on projects for the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT Center, Tokyo Disneyland, Disney-MGM Studios, as well as Walt Disney World as a whole, including the art direction for the World of Disney store.

I could talk about this single piece of art for hours, but I think it speaks better for itself.
At the opening of Tokyo Disneyland in 1983, a group of visiting Disney executives expressed concern over operational signs and directional graphics. Solution-oriented John Drury, now at WDI Florida, arrived at this concept development drawing of an all-encompassing “you are here” TDL directional.

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