The vision of the creators behind the Disney parks is on display the moment you enter the properties. All the attention to detail, all the hard work that went into executing the vision, is there before your eyes. As someone whose day job involves design and engineering, this is what I appreciate most about the Disney parks. Seeing an idea that was well conceived and expertly brought into reality.
Where do those visions start? Ultimately, they start in the mind of the designers and engineers who created the parks. In the early days (and still today to some extent) the primary tool a designer will use to express these ideas is a drawing or sketch.
Tonight I have a pair of fantastic concept sketches of Disneyland that were published as postcards for the Disney Gallery at Disneyland Tokyo. First up is Sam McKim sketching the Drugstore and Trolley of Main Street, U.S.A, Disneyland. All that nuance and tone…with just black pencil (perhaps some ink…hard to tell) and a pile of talent! Be sure to click on the image to get a larger view. The card itself is 3 1/2 X 5 1/2.
Second up is another Sam McKim Main Street, U.S.A. sketch of the Center Street Arcade. Again…just fabulous detail that does so much, so well, to communicate the vision for a “typical” town in 1900. The people, the perspective, the architecture, the shadows and shading, even the tones is the sky…this is brilliant artwork! Sam is noted to have been an active researcher of his subjects. It shows here.
If you want to learn more about Sam McKim, check out his obituary in the LA Times here. He passed away in 2004…but his legacy is alive and well at the Disney parks!
Until next time…