A Designer in Europe - Amsterdam

For the next four months I will be traveling through Europe with my girlfriend, Lisa! As I travel, I will document the interesting design I encounter. It's nice to be in a new place where my periphery is free to discover design and make fresh judgement on it's worth. I am 10 days into my travels, and the idea to create this blog came only as I sit on a train across Germany. Please bear with me as I know the quality of my documentation will increase over time.

First stop - Amsterdam. A cheap(er) flight from America landed us in Amsterdam, so we took a few days to see it, before heading south and east to Eastern Europe.

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Joy in the unfamiliar. It was a rush to discover this lounge restaurant in the industrial area of Noord, just a free ferry ride from Amsterdam. The logo looks just slightly cooler than an industrial shipping company. If there was any more indication of what was inside, it would have lost it's mystery.

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Please rate your visit. What a great way to illicit reaction from people that come into your business. This was stationed at the end of the tour for FloraHolland, the largest flower market in the world. I assume the participation rate is close to 100%.

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Don't confuse FloraHolland with Tourism Alsace, which is located on the border of France and Germany in the heart of pretzel country. I wouldn't have ever connected the two except that I have just spent four days in Alsace, France.

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What art movement inspired this grave? Spotted at the Zorgvlied Cemetary

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Now this is a community garden entrance. You better not let your weeds show here, we're counting on you.

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My first two beers in Europe. I can't wait to document all the labels. While one label is obviously more professional than the other I would like to propose that the limited availability, atmosphere, and the company the beer is owned by (or shared with) add to or subtract from it's overall brand value. Franziskaner is a great German beer. Does it subtract from it to know that it's owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev? Yes, it does. Does the design of the Kek! label leave much to be desired? Yes, but you can only get this delicious beer in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel (and a few locations in Amsterdam). I now have a positive reaction to the Kek label and get frustrated looking at the other. What I'm trying to say is that design, like your DNA, only take you so far. and your upbringing matters just as much.

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The Amsterdam flag is often touted as one of the most badass flags out there. I am left feeling a lack of meaning and feel that they might have De Stijl'ed it down too much (art joke!). Give me a dragon flag any day, Wales.

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We finish today the way we finished Amsterdam, with the logo for Thalys. This company owns the Amsterdam > Paris direct route, which is where we are heading next!