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Reflections on Creating The Epcot Legacy and Other Fixations of Designer, Futurist & Historian
Joshua L Harris


Ask and You Shall Receive

Viewer Discretion Advised
The following post contains personal views and beliefs and is intended for mature intellects only.

I am consistently amazed with the perfect timing of God.  For E82, I’m always on the hunt for (or designing) assets that won’t be used for several years. I’m already collecting images and resources for projects that won’t begin until several years from now.

When I started the Vista Series, I was influenced by a great many things. To spite the common placement, I love the abstract light patterns and nebula like backgrounds of Apple and Windows and would love to take them further. Closer to home I have always been impressed with the clean simple lines of early EPCOT Center guide maps and especially with the line art of Horizons.

This got me to thinking: wouldn’t it be neat if ALL Future World pavilions had similar architectural icons!? Thus I started designing with the same structure as the Soundtrack Series. First Imagination, then Energy, The Land, Wonders of Life and in a surge of patriotism went ahead on a 17-hour tear that became the American Adventure.

Horizons was quickly approaching and initially I thought that I’d use the icon that started it all. But things rarely stay simple in my world. After a few pavilions were completed I knew that my original plan was not going to work. The design of the pavilions have a style of their own and the original Horizons gem/spaceship logo just wasn’t going to fit-in. 

With all of these line-art pieces I would/will stylize the pavilions, BUT I always want them to be based in accurate proportions. (You wouldn’t want to see Spaceship Earth with oversized legs would you?) In order to do that, the best method is to use blueprints to overlay the design on.

For a period of years I looked for a High-Res scan of the building’s West elevation and found nothing. I don’t use ebay, and even my … official … sources couldn’t help. (I guess if you tear down a building it automatically becomes useless to have its blueprints on download.)  All this until a couple weeks ago when a friend of E82, Widen Your World posted this preview on Facebook…. 

Not about to wait for the article, I contacted WYW, and he generiously sent me the High-res Scan of Page A-300 of Horizons. Thank you Jesus! (and Mike too :) 

Keep reading JLH Omnimedia for project progress reports! Horizons design should go rather quickly and will be first unveiled here before being upstaged by all the pretty colors of the Vista Series.


The State of E82

In begin of each year a lot of news programs, blogs, and websites, like to start the year with a Top Ten of the past year’s events.  Here at E82 we cover a lot of history, but our focus is on the future so the following is (in no particular order) a list of the Top Ten events to expect in 2012…

  1. The Re-launch of Centorium – E82’s On-line Emporium
    Yes, very soon you’ll be able to display The Legacy on your walls and on your back!
  2. A Two-part Essay on the History of Energy
    From the Big bang to the challenges of the modern Universe, get ready to delve into one of the most subversive attractions in theme park history.
  3. The VISTA SERIES Continues with Horizons and Mission: Space
    Two very interesting design challenges that will require not two but THREE new backgrounds.
    (Anyone care to figure-out why???)
  4. Under Advisement
    EPCOT Center was a celebration of the history and potential of mankind. In order to accomplish this EPCOT’s original designers reached out to the brightest and most forward minds in many fields. This essay explores the original panel and speculates about who should be involved in designing an sustainable Epcot for the 22nd Century.
  5. The Future World Soundtrack Series – THE LAND
    The largest of all Future World pavilions, The Land (unlike Energy) will have a lot more material than two discs, so the challenge here will be crafting the very best musical experience possible within the time allotted (it’s a very good problem to have).
  6. The Future World Soundtrack Series – WONDERS OF LIFE
    From Listening to The Land to a journey thru Inner Space, debuting Late Fall the FWSS continues with the most delightfully dated of pavilions. Join Dr. Cynthia Lair, and Captain Braddock on a mission inside the body, get grilled by General Knowledge, and do it all while Martin Short contemplates his own existence.                
  7. The Trinity
    A graphical exploration of Epcot’s tone from its “Centered” beginnings to the Lower Case era this essay further illuminates the macro-cosmic effects of the microcosm decisions that shape the balance between Epcot’s core objectives – to Entertain, Inform, and Inspire.
  8. TRON Geosphere – Continued
    A further investigation into ENCOM’s historical Mainframe, revealing more from The Second System, including a journey to Flynn’s digital vacation destination.
    In the last months of 1966, Walt took a yachting vacation with his extended family. During the course of the vacation an informal discussion between Walt, Roy and Ron Miller took place where Walt outlined his plan for giving the studio and Disneyland to Roy and Ron to run while he focused exclusively on EPCOT and the Florida Project “I need a good Ten Years” he said, in this novel, I plan to give him that time. THE LOST DECADE will be a historical fiction exploration into the entirely alternate reality, focused on impact of Walt’s delayed death.
  10. JLH Omnimedia
    You’re on it! Welcome to the new home of E82’s Behind the Scenes, and a multitude of topics that range far and away from Epcot. (Sort of a personal blog for me) For a start, check-out the links on the left there’s tons of wonderful articles and information on a wide variety subjects.

So it looks like 2012 will be quite a busy year. And just like Walt and Marty said… 

“We’re Ready to Go Right Now!”


What event do you find most intriguing?


The Secret Change

There are two types of people in this world those that love George Lucas in spite of his constant changes to his Star Wars universe and those that outright hate him for it. Creative perfectionists, on the other hand, fall into a completely different category…

A few months ago a not-so-small change took place at E82, and apparently was so covert that no one has yet noticed. As was discussed before in Absurdly Obscure, a very large (and unintentional) gap exists between the first and second release of the Future World Soundtrack Series. So large was that gap that when it came time to design the cover art my personal aesthetic had evolved to considerably since the inaugural release in early 2010. Furthermore, some of the continuity and usage requirements had also changed, all of which lead to an ever-so-subtle redesign of the FWSS. The actual cover art was modified only slightly, while the CD labels experienced the largest amount of enhancements.

Just a slight enhancement of silver/chrome effects and a more professional treatment for the margins.

The base image featured a (understandably) dated rainbow color scheme and the original disc was radial tinted with corresponding theme colors. In the update, the image was further enhanced with a more realistic color fade. In addition, the discs now feature the “Epcot Clef” on Disc One and the “Future Notes” on Disc Two.

The most dramatic of changes, the original white background was created for economic reasons (when ink conservation was a serious concern in actual CD production). Now that the collection(s) are exclusively digital, ink is no longer a barrier to design. In addition, both discs were given simulated silver/chrome CD lighting effects for all logos and text.

Thanks to the incredible flexibility of Flickr, and SquareSpace (E82’s hosting company) all of these changes were uploaded and replaced the originals with near clandestine methods. (Even the url’s remained identical!) I really can’t describe just how elated I was to be able to make these modifications and continue the FWSS with as little stylistic deviation as possible. Immediately after I done this a realized “so this is how George must feel of his latest Special Edition!” and it feels great! So next time I take a journey to a Galaxy Far, Far Away and things aren’t Exactly how I last saw them, I’ll chose to celebrate the creative “force” that has the ability, drive, and passion to present a unified world. 


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