What's the real scoop on the colorful signage?

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
April 17, 2019

Ah, the road to Disney World. Disney soundtracks booming. Kids clamoring with glee. Breaking out the Minnie Mouse ears. The road itself. Bright purple highway signs? Let's slow down for a moment on that one.

If you've ever driven to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, you may have noticed the bright purple highway signs that point you towards Disney's Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and various Disney parks. Little did we know, but there's actually a reason why these signs have a bold violet hue.

Recently, Reader's Digest's Meghan Jones did a deep dive on the Purple Puzzle: "[T]he colors of those signs—primarily purple with white text, with a red strip containing yellow text across the bottom—aren’t an arbitrary combo of fun colors. They were carefully chosen by Deborah Sussman, a celebrated graphic designer. Disney Development Co. reached out to Sussman’s company, Sussman/Prejza & Co., in 1989, requesting a traffic sign design for their ever-expanding park," writes Jones. "According to the company’s description of the project, the signage was to be 'unique in spirit, clean, easy to follow, and capable of being expanded.'" In addition to the signage for Disney World, Sussman's company also handled signage for Euro Disney in Villiers-Sur-Marne, France.

As Jones also noted, Disney podcast Mouse Chat has a theory that the design of these signs are a nod to Mickey Mouse's color scheme, with purple stepping in for Mickey's black fur and the red and yellow referencing his pants and shoes, respectively. Who knew?

Well, the Most Magical Place on Earth, we're hoping our eyes grace those purple road signs in the very near future.