A Designer in Europe - Paris


I had a strong visceral reaction to Paris on the first day. Paris is grand, from the size of the city to the countless breathtaking sights. It's also very intimate. You have your two-top cafe tables lining many streets, and small candle-lit restaurants all over the city to discover.


These images are from La Basilique du Sacré Cœur de Montmartre, a beautiful church that overlooks all of Paris. The De Stijl / Mondrian windows are the first stained glass windows I have actually enjoyed. There was also type inspiration all over the place. I got up close and personal, checking out all the engraving marks.


This is what a McDonald's competitor looks like. Here is a high-noon showdown of the two across the rue. 


I love the idea that you can put a notification bubble in the upper-right corner of any graphic and turn it into an app metaphor.


I saw this funky repeating R through the corner of my eye and had to circle around for a second look.


One logo trend I noticed was taking a sans-serif type and disregarding gravity with the letters. They could be floating or sinking in any formation. The other trend was taking a handwritten script and elevating it through a different medium like metal or neon. I really wish I took more photos of both of these trends because I saw so many examples.


The Arab World Institute. This is, by far, the most amazing facade of a building I have seen. It pays homage to Islamic geometric patterns in a modern way with different sized lenses that automatically and independently open and close to allow light and heat into the building when needed. Form and function in harmony. I really wish I could have seen the filtered light from the inside, but we were there on a Monday. Fermé le lundi.


We walked on this sidewalk one day and it was just a sidewalk. The next day an entire photography exhibit had popped up. It was free to wander through, and it was comprehensive, like any paid-entry, world-class museum. It was a fascinating collection of photos from different artists from around the world, on the theme of family.


What can't you wait to talk about? A secret. I once heard a trick to a lot of website sales. Tell people that there is a deal or coupon code, and that it's only for them, and that they can't share it. Everyone is going to share it! Here is an example of a place we heard about that is down an alley somewhere in Paris. What's inside? Sorry, I can't tell you.


I was lost for words after encountering this mural at the Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie. From far away it just looked like a beautiful scientific illustration of various plants and fruits. Upon closer inspection, you can see that the entire piece was created with inlaid stones. I just found out on google that it's a Florentine tabletop from the 17th century. Here are more examples.


The more we get into unfamiliar territory, the more we rely on signs like these to tell us everything we need to know. Wish us luck on the next leg of our journey!