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"You feel like you are in the cartoon."

A fine-tooned theme Beetle Bailey and Betty Boop were never this entertaining in the Sunday paper. A slew of cartoon characters comes to life at the Photo Funnies store at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Fla. In the category of New or Renovated Specialty Stores (2,000 sq. ft. to 5,000 sq. ft.), Fitch Inc., Worthington, Ohio, received an honorable mention for its design work on the project.

Photo Funnies is one of five themed retail "islands" located at the theme park's entrance. Its design brings the world of 2-D comics to full, 3-D effect. A saturated color scheme creates the look of a life-sized cartoon strip. The store's fixtures, flooring details and graphics are outlined in thick, black lines to reference the 2-D flatness of the comics.

Theme-inspired props include a topsy-turvy stack of newspapers, a giant magnifying glass on the ceiling, and giant rolls of Sunday comics that wrap the store's floor-to-ceiling columns. Photo Funnies' graphic communication system employs "speech bubbles" to convey store messages and project comic witticisms. Onomatopoeic words such as "blam" and "bang" are inserted into the graphics system for fun and visual impact.

AWARD RECIPIENT FITCH INC. Worthington, Ohio * Mark Artus (principal-in-charge); Jon Baines (project manager); Christian Davies (design director, retail); Bruce Shepherd (design director, restaurants); Caryn Keller (senior retail designer); Lynn Rosenbaum (senior retail designer); Paul Lycett (senior graphic designer); Steve Pottschmidt and Joe Klamert (implementation architects); Stuart Hunter, Michele Hofer, Erin Duncan and Pam Dull (retail designers); Terri Lubomski (graphic designer)

CLIENT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA Orlando, Fla. Product Manufacturers/Suppliers: Gastinger Walker Harden, Kansas City (architects); AAD (Associates in Architecture & Design), Scottsdale, Ariz. (design implentation, port of entry); Illuminating Concepts, Farmington Hills, Mich. (lighting design); Edwards Technologies, El Segundo, Calif. (audio visual); Design Fabricators, Lafayette, Colo. (fixturing); Chris Fisher, Phoenix, Ariz. (fixturing for port of entry); Planas Worthy & Associates, Coral Gables, Fla. (fixturing); Linda Strong Watson, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (fixturing); X Design, Columbus, Ohio (graphics and props); Sightline, Stark, Fla. (props)

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