Design Communications

Disney Handbook: Living the Brand 1940’s

This employee handbook issued by Disney Studios in 1943 stands out in stark contrast to the sternly written handbooks given to new hires by companies today. Yes, it was for Disney, creator of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. And, yes, times were more innocent back then (notice the male worker ogling the female). But the Disney handbook managed to cover everything from workplace dress code, safety, sick leave (10 days a year for women; five days for men), pay day, personal mail and terminations in a friendly, good-natured tone. It communicated a sense of the corporate culture and brand personality and a spirit of camaraderie.

Companies today often argue that they need to spell out personnel rules and policies in no-nonsense legalese because people are more litigious than ever. That may be true, but typically an employee handbook is one of the first documents a new hire receives. It would be nice if it was designed to be more welcoming and more reflective of the qualities of the brand, instead of getting right down to brass tacks and talking about criminal background checks, firearms and drugs at work, and whistle-blower protection.

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Brand Logos

WWII Military Logos by Disney

Logos are not just for corporations and sports teams. During World War II, virtually every unit in the U.S. military adopted logos that they emblazoned on aircraft, ships, boats, jeeps, tanks, bomber jackets, trinkets, and bombs and torpedos. The main provider of such insignias was the Disney Studios in Burbank.

First asked to create a humorous logo for a Naval Reserve Squadron stationed at Floyd Bennett Field in New York, the Disney Studios quickly found itself inundated with requests to draw emblems for other military units kamagra online australia as well. Disney had to assign five artists full-time to the task, but never charged a dime. “The insignia meant a lot to the men who were fighting…I had to do it…I owed it to them,” Walt Disney explained later.

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