Archive for September, 2011

The Road To Tomorrow

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Coca Cola Terrace and Matterhorn, 1969

One of my favorite objects is a piece of tile from the Coca Cola Terrace at Disneyland. While we were working on the Encounter Restaurant project, I mentioned that I was heartbroken about the refurbishment of the Terrace. The team at Walt Disney Imagineering graciously retrieved a tile from the construction debris and gave it to me.

The 1967 Coca Cola Terrace was magnificent piece of architecture. It combined modernism with a touch of California levity and space age forms. When I was young, we went dancing at the Terrace on weekend nights. During the day, it was a great place for cheeseburgers and chicken fingers. Oh, yeah, I’m that fancy. The ceiling was fantastic. Like stars in the night sky, it had a random pattern of lights rather than symmetrical ordered rows. The crowing jewel of the Terrace was the stage. When not in use, it was a sculptural planting bed. As a band began playing, it rose up from the ground and became an elevated stage. It’s still there, and is used for the Jedi Training Academy. If only the New Establishment were still together.

Many of these images have been sent to me over the years. Consequently I don’t know the correct provenance. Gracious thank you to those who have shared these. These sites are great resources and most probably the original owner.

http://gorillasdontblog.blogspot.com/

http://www.davelandweb.com/disneyland/

http://www.yesterland.com/

Coca Cola Terrace, The New Establishment, 1968

Coca Cola Terrace, 1967

Ticket booth, Disneyland Tomorrowland, 1968

Coca Cola Terrace, 1968

Coca Cola Terrace, 1970

Coca Cola Terrace, 1968

Aloha Oy

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Aloha Airlines logo

I’m sure many of you watched Pan Am on Sunday night. Many of us watched it, not for plot or character, but for details. Beside the odd Doctor Who Tardis issue (the inside of the Boeing 707 grew into a wide-body 747), many of the details were correct. The on-board graphics and set design were as obsessive to detail as Mad Men.

As I watched Pan Am, I thought a better program would be Aloha! It would be the same idea, but set in 1976 and on Aloha Airlines. Think about it, you get Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Pan Am, and Mad Men all rolled into one. Aloha is, unfortunately, no longer flying. The reasons cited are economic pressure due to September 11, competition on inter-island flights, and increasing gas costs. I, however, believe the trouble began the minute Aloha dropped its fantastic identity. How can Bookman Swash ever be wrong? They made the tragic, yet typical error, of “updating” when they would have been the hippest airline if they waited a couple of years

Aloha Airlines ad

Aloha Airlines bag

Aloha Airlines bag

Aloha Airlines ad

Aloha Airlines uniforms

Aloha Airlines Funbird

Aloha Airlines ad

Wonky Type Round-up

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

I can spot the issues of a counter in a bad cut of Bembo. I berate students until I see tears for the use of a bold serif (bad, bad, bad). Yet, I love wonky type. I’m not talking about über-hip hand-drawn letterforms on a gallery announcement. I’m talking about a 1965 Sprite can. There is something so happy and hopeful about wonky type. It’s spontaneous and communicates levity. This love, however, should not be taken as an excuse by any current or future student as an excuse to ignore tragic typographic choices such as ITC Garamond Bold Italic.

Schralped Fetus Donut Shop Siren

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Sean Adams, 2011, AIGA Colorado Bordo Bello skate deck

A few months ago Joe Marsh asked me to contribute a skateboard deck design for AIGA Colorado’s Bordo Bello. Bordo Bello is a skateboard art charity fundraiser. If you’re in Denver, check out the opening on September 30.

As Noreen said to me, “You? You? Why would they ask you? You’re so square.” Noreen may know what she is talking about. She infamously shocked the English judges at the British D+AD judging when she snatched up a skateboard from the industrial design table, and rode it around the room. I wouldn’t do that. I’m not that cool.

Since I’m square, I don’t need to worry about doing something groovy. I love skate slang. I don’t use it in meetings, as in, “Dude, that logo is so off the hook. Gnarly.” But, this gave me the perfect opportunity to combine my love of skate slang, and late 60s chain restaurant typography ala Farrell’s. I suggested adding people in red Victorian vests running around with the skateboard decks while a siren wailed, but the kind people at AIGA Colorado politely said no.

The Look of Love

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Look Magazine Cover, The Sixties, Allen Hurlburt, 1969

Every year, someone pipes up about traditional publication design being dead. We are told that today’s reader views information differently and printed publications must change. If I listened to the current theory, every page should have multiple layers of information, presented in multiple typefaces, icons, and colors. A good page design should emulate a CNN screen. If I wanted to find joy in the barrage of information on a CNN or Bloomberg screen, I could take screen grabs, print them out, bind them, and put them on the coffee table.

The problem with this is pacing. Good publications are paced like film. There should be quiet moments, big explosions, close-ups, long shots, and points for contemplation. 500 pages of dense faux-information does not do this. Allen Hurlburt served as the creative director at Look Magazine from 1953 until 1971. His issues of Look are treasures. They follow a clear grid, are graceful, calm, and powerful at the same time. We’re currently designing an annual report for one of our clients. When I explained the thinking behind our direction, I simply said, “Look magazine.” I didn’t need to say anything else. Everyone said, “Yes. Exactly. Perfect.”

from the Lou Danziger collection

Look Magazine, The Sixties, Allen Hurlburt, 1969

Look Magazine, The Sixties, Allen Hurlburt, 1969

Look Magazine, The Sixties, Allen Hurlburt, 1969

Look Magazine, The Sixties, Allen Hurlburt, 1969

Look Magazine, The Sixties, Allen Hurlburt, 1969

Look Magazine, The Sixties, Allen Hurlburt, 1969

Look Magazine, The Sixties, Allen Hurlburt, 1969

Look Magazine, The Sixties, Allen Hurlburt, 1969

Look Magazine, The Sixties, Allen Hurlburt, 1969