Position – Design and Brand Specialist
Contributions – Lead designer for all the work shown
If you want to engage people, tell a story. At Disney we love to tell stories. Stories are how we think. They are how we make meaning of an experience, how we make decisions, how we persuade others, create identity, and understand our place in the world. As a Designer and Brand Specialist I help to encapsulate these values and experiences for the studio lots and internal business units. The story we are about to embark on begins at no other place in Los Angeles than sitting in traffic of course…
Let’s just say we are a Disney fan and have set up a tour of Walt’s office on the Burbank Studio lot. The first visual glimpse of the studio lot we will see as we drive down the 5 freeway is The Walt Disney Water Tower. This denotes exactly where we should be headed and the corporate identity of the company. As we approach the lot we will be greeted by a large gate that symbolizes unlocking our corporate front door.
Once we have made it past the strict security we will need to know how to actually get to Walt’s office, this is where a nice map of the lot would come in handy.
Walt Disney’s Office
To get to Walt’s office we have to enter the Old Animation Building, we start to set up the experience by introducing glimpses into Walt’s past by the specific artwork, projects, and marketing images that would have been there during Walt’s existence. Even the paint, carpet, and woodwork shown along your way to the office were made to replicate what would have been there. Upon entering Walt’s office we step back in time as this experience was designed and built to the exact specifications as Walt had left his office, down to paper clips and rubber bands.
While we are exhibiting the office, it just so happens an executive from Marvel was enjoying the experience and has invited us over to their space, but first they would like to grab lunch. The commissary and restaurants at Disney is where all of our business units come together to entertain, socialize, and of course eat! It has been important in these spaces to represent all entities of The Walt Disney Company. This can be a challenge to incorporate different brands in the company as they all have a unique brand and image with such entities as Pixar, Lucas Films, and Marvel. Kem Weber was the original planner and designer for the studio lot so it helps to mimic and incorporate a similar aesthetic when faced with this design problem of representing many brands in single space. It allows it to be cohesive yet broadly representative of the company.
After lunch we head over to Marvel, but there are always little Disney treats along the way to help supplement our journey. Such as this topiary that has been recently rejuvenated on the studio lot.
Upon entering Marvel you will be greeted by some of the most incredible spaces one could experience. Unfortunately, those spaces are not available to the public eye. Besides what is a story without some secrets? We can give you a little glimpse by showing their bathrooms signs though… I am sure that’s the first thing that came to mind when you thought of Marvel’s space. How about we also show some of the other business unit interiors to give you a sense of what does exist.
It is important when an individual comes to experience anything Disney that there is a cohesive, strong, and well defined brand behind every story. The small experience you just walked through showcases a how an individual experiences our studio space on a daily basis. It is important that every step of the way there is something that clearly describes where you are and where you are going. It’s the details in how to subtly take an individual from one place to the next while creating an engaging experience that leaves a positive and memorable impact through a step-by-step process.