Best Disney Books for Graphic Design Inspiration

The Best Disney Books for Graphic Design Inspiration

Welcome to those of you joining me from Disney with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 3rd  stop on our Magical Blogorail.

For those of you that dabble in graphic design, scrapbook, or just like Disney then looking at the art of Disney is always inspirational.

When I am designing a scrapbook kit or page I love to look at some of the Vintage Disney work and use bits of it in my creations.  Let me share with you some of my favorites…

MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: The World of Mary Blair

MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: The World of Mary BlairOne of the most well know artists from Disney’s past is Mary Blair.   She introduce a modernist style to Walt Disney and his studio, and for nearly 30 years, you saw her work in Disney films and in the theme parks.

Her most famous contributions are It’s a Small World and the mural on the 4th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort.   Some of her work is currently on exhibit through September at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.

As part of this exhibit they release MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: The World of Mary Blair, a catalog of her work  including her precocious early paintings, concept art from her Disney days, and the wildly wonderful artistic innovations of her later life.

 MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: The World of Mary Blair

Designing Disney – Imagineering and the Art of the Show

Designing Disney Book - Imagineering and the Art of the ShowAnother wonderful place to look for inspiration is with the Imagineers themselves.  The concept artwork they create show not only what might be possible in our imaginations.

Designing Disney – Imagineering and the Art of the Show focuses on the extraordinary contributions of the late John Hench, who, at the age of 94, still came into his office at Imagineering each day.

His principles of theme park design, character design, and use of color made him a legendary figure, not only for Disney fans but also for students and aficionados of architecture, engineering, and design.


Designing Disney – Imagineering and the Art of the Show

Tomorrowland by John Hench

Designing Disney – Imagineering and the Art of the Show

Tomorrowland by John Hench

 Poster Art of the Disney Parks 

Poster Art of the Disney Parks Something that always brings back the Magic of the Disney Parks are those vintage posters created for teh guests by Imagineering.  You can see many of them still hanging along the entrance to the Magic Kingdom.

 Poster Art of the Disney Parks is a tribute to those posters that go back to when Disneyland was displaying them in 1956. Not only are they eye-catching pieces of artwork that adorn the Parks with flair and style, they are also displayed to build excitement and disseminate information about the newest additions to the Disney landscape.

Even today they still create these works of art.  In 2012 at Disney California Adventure, a poster announced the grand opening of Cars Land-the newest thrill-filled destination at the Disneyland Resort. Both of those posters are reproduced within this book, along with posters from every decade in between.

Poster Art of the Disney Parks - Tiki Room Poster Art of the Disney Parks - Space Mountain

In addition to books I do want to point out a couple of interesting sites for getting inspiration.

Tom Whalen Illustrations

 Tom Whalen creates posters much in the style of the old Disney Imagineers.  He does not just focus on Disney but when he does it is amazing.  You can find his work on his blog – StongStuff :Tom Whalen Illustration + Design

   Mondo Gallery - Finding Nemo     Tom Walen - The Mad Doctor


I have been following Richard and his blog forever.  He created one of kid tee-shirt designs and delved into the study of font usage in the Disney parks.  Richard has a dream to work for as a Disney Imagineer designing r-shirts.

And he did it!  His Dole Whip shirt got picked up and now he is officially relocating to Disney to fulfill his dream.

I hope he does not take down his blog because DesignerLand is still full of great graphic and font inspiration.

DesignerLand Tiki Room Shirt   DesignerLand Living Seas Case Study

I hope this gave you some inspiration for your next next creation or just gave you a fill of Vintage Disney for the day.

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Love Our Disney.




Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

Magical Blogorail Orange Logo


Enhanced by Zemanta
By |2017-10-12T12:43:52+00:00May 22nd, 2014|

About the Author:

Full time working mom making the most out of time with my family through travel, crafts & photography. Owner/designer of Capturing Magical Memories® and co-owner of the Magical Blogorail travel co-operative. In my free time it is all spas, wineries and concierge.


  1. […] Stop ~ I Am a Mommy Nerd 2nd Stop ~ Disney with Babies, Toddlers, & Preschoolers 3rd Stop ~ Capturing Magical Memories 4th Stop ~ Love Our Disney Final Stop ~ Manda’s Disney […]

  2. mandadisneyblog May 22, 2014 at 9:21 am - Reply

    Brilliant post Mary! I’ve wanted the Poster Art book for a while now but I wanted to know if it included posters from Disneyland Paris? Maybe someone here know! 😀
    I haven’t heard of Tom Whalen before but I just checked out his website and wow! I love it! I would put those posters on my walls! Do you have a favourite work if his?? Mine is the Dumbo one! 🙂 x

  3. DawnCullo1 May 22, 2014 at 10:46 am - Reply

    Mary Blair is my favorite Disney artist, I love her work because it really transports me back to a time in History when Disney was REALLY awesome and her designs are fantastic.  When I see her images no matter what it is of I instantly think of Small World.  The John Hench book is on my list of “must buy soon”. Thank you for sharing your top picks!

  4. Mickey_MDOD May 22, 2014 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    Great post Mary!  I’m not sure where to begin, as I haven’t read any of these books, but I think if I had to start with one it would be the Mary Blair book.  She was so incredibly talented and worked with so many different Disney projects that I think she is where I would go to.  What book is your favorite?

  5. CapMagicalMem May 22, 2014 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Mickey_MDOD Definitely the Posters.  I love it’s inspiration and it makes me want to head to Disney immediately.

  6. LisaDiDomenicoCameron May 22, 2014 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    I love all of your choices and learned a lot. My sister went to school for illustration and would love one of these books. Which one would make the best gift? I really like the Mary Blair one.

  7. Becca_LoveOurDisney May 22, 2014 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    These all look great. I have never really thought about looking into all the design and art inspired by Disney. Lately I have started becoming interested in it though. Which book would you suggest for someone interested in being inspired for decorating a room in a Disney style?

  8. CapMagicalMem May 23, 2014 at 8:24 am - Reply

    mandadisneyblog Just flipped through the pages and they have posters from ALL the parks…

  9. CapMagicalMem May 23, 2014 at 8:25 am - Reply

    LisaDiDomenicoCameron You really can’t go wrong with any of them.  I might lean towards Mary Blair because it shows how she evolved over her career and that may be interesting for someone in the same career.

  10. mandadisneyblog May 23, 2014 at 8:39 am - Reply

    CapMagicalMem mandadisneyblog Really?? 😀 What about Phantom Manor? It’s my fav! 😀 x

  11. CapMagicalMem May 23, 2014 at 8:47 am - Reply

    Yep. There are a couple

  12. RoeMo326 May 23, 2014 at 9:04 am - Reply

    You can’t go wrong with Mary Blair! I think these would make awesome coffee table books, right? Certainly the poster book – that’s awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  13. DIStherapy May 23, 2014 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    This is a terrific line-up for a vintage Disney junkie like myself.  I loved recently researching Mary Blair’s life and “pioneer” efforts; this book and the exhibit at the Walt Disney Museum are fitting and timely tributes.  I think I need to research John Hench next!

  14. DebbieDenny May 25, 2014 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    I love the creativity of all of these. Awesome lineup. Thanks.

  15. anyhappylittlethoughts May 26, 2014 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    Great choices! I have heard of them all, but forgot how much I would enjoy the posters book. The Mary Blair book I hope to purchase when I see the exhibit this summer…one of the perks of living in Northern California as a Disney fan is the WDFM! You are right, they are all very inspiring!

  16. adisneymom May 28, 2014 at 11:29 pm - Reply

    what a great list!! I love the vintage posters.  So, do you have examples of your work inspired by these books?

  17. Jenn Lissak June 1, 2014 at 11:37 am - Reply

    What great choices! I have the Poster Art book but that Mary Blaire book looks incredible!

  18. disneyonwheels June 27, 2014 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    I have the Poster Art of the Disney Parks and I absolutely love it. The illustrations are so beautiful. I am also a big fan of Designerland. I have to get my hands on that Mary Blair book now. 🙂

  19. test November 16, 2014 at 7:57 am - Reply

    This is really interesting, You are an excessively professional blogger.
    I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking extra of your fantastic post.
    Additionally, I have shared your web site in my social networks

  20. […] 3rd Stop: Best Disney Books: Graphic Design Inspiration with Capturing Magical Memories Check out these book recommendations for those that love Disney […]

  21. […] to those of you joining me from Capturing Magical Memories, and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 4th stop on our Magical […]

  22. MD Satu November 6, 2017 at 10:33 am - Reply

    I want to be a graphic designer.These books are really needed for me. Thanks a lot.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Mary Connor

Mobile: 832 454 8627

This website uses cookies and third party services. Articles may contain “affiliate links". Ok