Magic Journeys


I'm a sucker for a nice map. A couple of years ago, I posted about Walt Disney World and Disneyland maps. As a nice by-product, we were then hired to design a new souvenir map for Disneyland. I can't show this to anyone due to the contract, but believe me, it's good. A kind follower of burningsettlerscabin recently sent me this remarkable map of Walt Disney World by Arthur de Wolf. Holy cheese and crackers, I am blown away. This is one of those times I find myself saying, "I wish I'd done that." It's reminiscent of Massimo's 1972 New York Subway map. Fortunately it isn't like the most confusing map I've ever used for the Tokyo Subway system. Try to figure that one out. Now I know why I see photos of passengers being shoved into trains in Tokyo. They obviously are all lost and endlessly changing trains to find the way home.


A Map of the World

Last night I had dinner at Jar with my good friend, Michael Bierut, who is always a perfect dinner partner providing a mix of great stories and smart insights. I regretted the 2 martinis at 3:00 in the morning, but that’s probably a bigger issue. Michael talked about some of the things that tie all designers together. Since I had the two martinis I don’t remember what they were, but I do recall they were smart ideas. I know that as designers, we share the predilection to collect and covet odd items that others find confusing. One of the items that I collect, and you may find this hard to believe, is Disneyland and Walt Disney World maps. I love that there are so many different types. Some rely on illustration to give a simplified overview, while others detail every building. Each exists to help direct a guest around the park, but they all presume different ways that the guest thinks. Anyone who has ever designed a signage program has faced the problem that a client insists on a floor plan for a directory. But, large percentages of people stare at floor plans and have no idea how to read them. The next time an office building or hospital signage program needs a directory, I’m going to follow the cute 3d building and funny people with a trombone style.