Barcelona and London by the Letters

Barcelona and London by the Letters

Visiting new places is exciting for a number of reasons; experiencing a different culture, seeing new sights, landscapes and architecture, meeting new people, getting outside of your comfort zone…the list goes on. My recent travels brought me to Barcelona, Spain and many parts of England. There was far too much to see in a two-week period but I covered a lot of ground and got to visit with some old friends, some not-so-old friends and even managed to make a few new friends. I saw Big Ben, learned how to ride The Tube, ate tapas, had sangria from a tap (surprisingly good), experienced London weather and toured Goudy’s most famous works. I went to as many art museums and I could and did as much random exploring as I could find time to do.

When I travel, as many people do, I take a ton of photos. But - since I always have to be thinking about design, I wanted a way to make my photo-taking more fun for myself (especially since I’m pretty terrible at taking photos in general). That said, I decided to give myself a project to focus on during my trip. I decided to create a typography blog covering some of the interesting type, fonts, graffiti, logos and graphics that I stumbled across during my travels. It was fun snapping the photos and even more fun creating the collage and compiling my findings.

Doing this on my trip made me realize that I need to do this all the time. It made me realize that I don’t have anything to compare these creative archives to. What does street art in Barcelona look like compared to street art in Detroit? Would a logo for a restaurant in London work as a logo for a similar restaurant in Mexico City? There are so many factors that could influence art and design in a community: social trends, politics, history, current events, weather, landscape, food, people.

This was a huge eye-opener to me. It made me realize that there is a whole different angle of design that I may be missing. I’m missing what the rest of the world is doing. Regardless if it’s just something that someone stenciled onto a door as part of a political statement or if it’s a logo that some restaurant paid an agency a million dollars to create, it’s still design and it still has meaning to someone and it still has it’s place in the world.

It’s a curious thing.