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Graphics help create “Wish upon a star” gala theme

Graphics | January 1, 2007 | By:

The company. Flying Colors, Berkeley, Calif.

The task. Flying Colors was hired by the Oakland Museum of California to connect the decor of their annual “Golden Gala” to an exhibit entitled “Behind the Magic: 50 Years of Disneyland,” which opened simultaneously. The gala was to carry an overall sub-theme of “Wish upon a Star.”

Challenges. Planning for potentially variable weather conditions for the outdoor event, and creating “Disney magic” within a reasonable budget. Design Principal Michele Iacobucci says: “Our biggest challenge was to create an enchanting and fun environment that honored and celebrated the imagination and creativity of Walt Disney, while also calling attention to and benefiting the important and serious mission and projects of the Oakland Museum of California’s education programs.”

Solution. Iacobucci and art director Rob Soule partnered with Digital Textile Solutions Inc. of Pittsburg, Calif., to create a themed marquee entrance to the outdoor party tent echoing the Disney feel and look with a castle motif. The world-famous castle façade iconography was stylized in bridal satin (from fabric manufacturer Dazian) to create an environment of gala glamour and anticipatory delight—hallmarks of the Disney experience.

Four dori poles flying “starstruck” banners (from Flag Crafters of San Diego, Calif.) above the marquee entrance added spark and imagination, furthering the fairyland castle feeling. As guests entered the sign-in area, they passed under a deep blue (satin) banner, from which gauzy draperies enhanced the feeling of enchantment so well known in the Magic Kingdom. The theme was carried to the interior with complementary table décor.

Result. The gala was attended by more than 5,000 guests. Flying Colors’ client, the Oakland Museum, noted that the themed environment took the event to a level they had never been at before and helped the event very successfully raise much-needed funds to continue the institution’s vital work.

Jill C. Lafferty is a freelance editor and writer based in Burnsville, Minn.

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