Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dreaming Disney: Window Shopping at DesignerLand

Personally I believe, sadly, that a big part of the Disney park experience is shopping.  On my last trip to Disneyland I spent quite a bit of time in The Emporium.  On my last night as the park closed I stalled by strolling through it one last time so I could stay in Walt’s park for a few extra moments.  You simply cannot escape it, shopping at Disney is an important part of any trip. 
Now, shopping at Disney can at times also be disappointing.  Me, I’m looking for unique items especially books and t-shirts.  While I have way too many t-shirts if I can find one that makes a statement other than, “mass-produced souvenir t-shirt” there is a good chance I will grab it.  And those kinds of shirts are not always easy to find.  Luckily I stumbled on a solution to reproduce window shopping at home online.  Fortunately window shopping is cheaper than real shopping.  And this faux shopping has the sort of items I’m looking for. 
My favorite fake shopping website is  DesignerLand is the shirts I wish Disney sold.  They are shirts that playfully play up on Disney themes and attractions.  And they are smarter than any [insert year here] t-shirt you will find in the theme parks.  And the designs are unique and creative.  I have seen Richard, the creative genius behind the site say his designs are “kitsch niche.”  I’m not cool enough to use the word kitsch, but if it’s a niche its one where smart Disney fans hangout.  When I see on twitter that DesignerLand has a new posting, I run to it as quick as I can so I can dream about tees I will never buy and never wear. 
I cannot say that is totally true.  Now many of the featured designs can ever be sold, at least without Disney permission, due to copyright issues.  But Richard did sell one of my favorite designs, the Dole Pineapple Whip shirt.  And I still have my fingers crossed that one or more of the faux real estate/land development companies for the Walt Disney World Resort will become available for purchase.    How awesome would it be to be wearing your Ayefour Corp shirt, have it catch someone’s attention and then get the knowing nod.  Yes my friend, you are a fellow Disney Dork! 
Along with shirt designs studies in Disney typography and colors are regular features.  While these do not get me as excited as shirt designs, mostly due to my lack of creativity, they are well researched and help even a blockhead like me better understand design.     
So, just because you are not in a Disney park doesn’t mean you can’t get your fill of Disney shopping…even if it’s not real.  All you need to Disney window shop is a working browser! 

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