What is your favorite color? My favorite has always been blue (it’s the color of my eyes). Recently, I discovered a new color that is giving blue some competition – charcoal. It would seem like charcoal is invading the marketplace (or perhaps only my life – my new love seat and certain items from my wardrobe are now charcoal). So imagine my delight to see the recently introduced colorful merchandise created for the 40th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort. Charcoal is just one of several colors used in this art program that also includes colors with names like antique white, gold nugget, black iris, true red and petunia. Like many things at Disney Theme Park Merchandise, selecting colors for an art program is a collaborative one. I spoke with Sandi Sloan Hays and Julie Young, both product developers and 40th Anniversary colors champions, about the process.
“We considered several factors when deciding on the colors featured in this program,” explained Sandi, who represented the softlines division. “We considered popular colors or trends in the marketplace and colors that would look good on guests. We also reviewed what worked well in the past from a sales perspective.”
For the 40th Anniversary, the colors needed to be retro-inspired, not necessarily true colors from the 1970s. The team selected what I’m calling “sophisticated 1970s” colors – it’s like the 1970s but without those “amazing” shades of yellow, orange, green or red (see this article for a colorful 1970s reference photo).
“Softlines drove a lot of the decision behind the colors used since they created the clothing and accessory items,” continued Julie. “The hardlines division which I represented took its cue from softlines. The goal was to create a cohesive look, so both softlines and hardlines items could sit nicely together on the sales floor.”
You will see these colors used on a variety of items, from polo-style shirts, tee-shirts, hoodie sweatshirt jackets, Disney pins, Vinylmation, laptop sleeves, bath towels and much more. I think my favorite item is the track suit! I saw the best presentation of these items at the World of Disney at Downtown Disney Marketplace. There are also select items on the Disney Theme Park On-Line Store.
I asked Sandi and Julie about their favorite color from this program. Sandi chose gold nugget as “gold is very 1970s,” while Julie preferred petunia. For me, I’m sticking with charcoal – sorry, blue.