A Designer in Europe - Český Krumlov


Český Krumlov is a vibrant art culture city. The first I have really seen. There were artists working outside, artist residence advertised around town, and painted buildings. Some of the most tortured and magnificent art I have seen was on display at the Egon Schiele Art Centrum. Do yourself a service and check out the work of Egon Schiele, Miroslav Páral, and Josef Váchal.


On the train to Český Krumlov. Stick figures live full lives.


Not only was Josef Vachal an accomplished artist but he created his own fonts, and bound entire books with his work. Thousands of hours of work. It was awesome to see all his created type.

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We wandered into a random exhibit under Český Krumlov Castle and saw the work of Miroslav Paral in the 4-story cellars of the castle. Such an amazing experience.


Miroslav Paral's work was also on display throughout the city. The building in the background is the International Art Club Cafe. I want to belong.


Some street art in Český Krumlov. This is certainly in response to the insane selfie culture. Everyone takes selfies but the Asian tourist selfie culture is crazy. I read it's because they want to feel unique in such a large Asian population, and I like that.


The art city with painted walls. It seemed tacky until our guide told us that they apply the paint during the building process, painting deep into the cement while it was still wet. Some of the paintings are hundreds of years old.


Coat of arms of the House of Schwarzenberg: A raven gnawing at Turkish heads. What an impactful image.


Lisa told me that if I'm going to document Comic Sans, I should also show when type is done right. Here is a children's store with an appropriate font. Ironically, Comic Sans would have actually worked here, but I applaud the effort.


The logo for an Art School we passed by. It looks like a ceremonial headdress. I think it's actually a pen and ruler though.


On a hike up Kleť Mountain, we were supposed to follow certain markers. These are all over the Czech Republic, as a sort of bike route a la Appalachian Trail. We were supposed to be following the blue line but this was the last one we saw. For how well the trail was marked, it was pretty poorly marked. I guess up was the only direction we really needed.


I would be doing the Czech Repubilc a disservice if I didn't see all the beer designs. So I have done my due diligence. Time to pay the bar tab and head to Prague!

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.


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.


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%.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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!