— Sara Thacher (@thacher) April 23, 2017
About a year ago, reader Sara Thacher (of the above tweet), who works at Disney Imagineering R&D, contacted me for help on a Haunted Mansion-themed subscription box project called the “Ghost Post”.
It was a mystery, a sort of alternate reality game that involved people getting weird things in the mail and using them, plus interactive experiences in the park, to tell a story.
Here’s one of the mystery-solvers receiving and examining his first batch of “Ghost Post” artifacts:
(There are a bunch of unboxing and walkthrough videos of all three boxes on YouTube, for the curious.)
All the artifacts in each box — such as a reflective teacup; a papercraft “radio” with a magnetic dial that interacts with an app on your phone; a music box; Haunted Mansion tarot cards; a bunch of different things each month — were exquisitely designed by Sara and her team at Imagineering R&D.
And they have now won a Thea Award (stands for the Themed Entertainment Association) for the project as a whole, honoring their outstanding achievement! Congratulations to them all.
All three Ghost Post boxes included an issue of the Grim Gazette, a newspaper for spooks that chronicled the unfolding mystery and offered clues. Sara tapped Cory Doctorow to provide the text for each issue, and had me put it all together with an old-timey design aesthetic.
I did the layout for the papers and created Wondermark-style illustrations and advertisements. (In the video above, the subscriber pulls out the newspaper at around 3:35.) Here’s another subscriber’s pictures of the contents of the first, second, and third box if you want to see more of the cool stuff!
I’m honored to have offered a small contribution to the whole project. Many kudos to the team at Imagineering R&D on a fantastic job, and thanks for thinking of me to be a part of it!