Friday, July 22, 2011

Disneyland Poster, July 17 1955

I have been saving my Disneyland ephemera since 1977.  A ticket or guide book from each of my annual visits somehow avoided the trash after the day ended, and once I realized I had begun a small collection, I began to keep all of these free souvenirs to this day.

Had I had the insight, I would have collected a lot more than what I did.  I would have even purchased some of the more cool items.  But alas, I was poor and didn't foresee how fascinated I would be decades later with the historic significance of many of these items.

Thankfully, blogs and photo galleries on the web have created a venue in which to revisit the tickets, posters, maps, promotions, and photos of Disneyland through the decades.

I am still poor, so in lieu of actually purchasing these items, I have turned my interest into trying to create images that help to give historical significance... hence the different series of graphic images I am creating for this blog.  With that in mind, I thought I'd share one of the first projects I did years ago, as a graphic design student.

I have always loved the Disneyland Attraction Posters; even long before they were reproduced and made available to guests, and even then, I couldn't afford them myself.  So when my instructor announced a new assignment, to create a "period-appropriate" poster for an activity or event, it took two seconds for me to figure out what I'd be doing.

Below is my "early attempt" at a Disneyland silk screen style poster for the dedication event on July 17, 1955.  My re-creation of the early castle logo had been completed long before this assignment, and truth be told it was a bit weak, with rough edges and crooked lines... perfect to represent screen printing!

This is simplistic, which is my style... and I can see many ways to improve upon this image, but I loved this poster when I made it, and still love it today.  That is why I am rounding out this Disneyland Birthday week by including it here and sharing it with you.

Chronologically, this poster could never have been real.  Walt's quote didn't happen until after the time stamped on the poster, the iconic Disneyland Sign did not exist for another three years, and the Park wasn't promoted as The Happiest Place on Earth at the very beginning.  This is my romanticized interpretation, fifty years after the actual event.


  1. LOVE this!! I don't care if it's not real, it's beautiful and very attractive, I wish you could sell posters like this, but sadly I know how strict Disney is with copyrights... {:( Very nice though, great vintage style and composition!

  2. I love your image! We are taking my mom to DL next year as surprise to celebrate her 60th birthday (the same as DL!). I would love to tweak your image to specific to this event. Would you be interested in sharing your files?

  3. Totally game...sounds awesome.... We need to connect personally... so you can contact me at my gmail account via SimbaSpot. My original poster image has been stolen and capitalized upon without my involvement (Google: Disneyland Poster) so your honest inquiry is refreshing and I totally wanna support you and make this happen! Looking forward to getting an email message in order to make this happen!