“Bad taste costs no more” – hard fun and the value of themed design (and good research)
Legendary artist and Disney illustrator Herbert Ryman stressed the importance of doing in-depth research when it came to the creation of immersive worlds, something that is a hot topic these days with VR, AR and other immersive technologies.
So much of what we see today is drawn from theme designers copying copies, and it can be sensed. Many Asian theme parks have slavishly copied what Disney did in Anaheim or Florida. They have done so without exploring “the why” of it all, only to fall flat, missing what emotionally drives these places.
Herb Ryman had visualized many “worlds” both in the movies (Fox and MGM studios) and for the Disney films and Parks. Some of the most iconic illustrations, including the first one that sold Disneyland to the banks, were penned by the soft spoken Ryman. As an Imagineer I had the privilege of working with “Herbie” for a few years and as much as it was a master class in art, his advice and friendship taught me the most.