From the Design Desk: Vacation Inspiration Part 1 – Travel Snapshots

Travel photography is different for everyone. I’ve noticed over time that the photos I take while traveling have become less about documenting times and places, and more about capturing whatever I think might be inspiring when I come back home. That makes the fun of traveling not only experiencing a new environment, but also hunting and capturing the characteristics and ideas unique to that destination that will enrich your familiar home environment when you return.

Earlier this summer, I traveled to Zurich, Vienna, Prague, and Berlin. All these cities were full of inspiring graphics that comprised most of my trip photos. My skills as a photographer are amateur at best and, preferring to travel light, my digital camera is about as small and basic as it gets, but it works well enough to take snapshots I will later peruse for inspiration.

In design-savvy Europe, there is so much to be appreciated just on the streets, where even a basic traffic sign will be beautifully designed. The presence of so much history in the cities also contributes to the visual energy, especially when classic structures are contrasted with bold, contemporary styles and messages. Below are a few of my favorite snapshots clustered around subjects I tend to focus on as a book designer, ranging from cement-encased books to playful bathroom tiles. The rare and mundane are equally valued when it comes to finding inspiration.






Our book, The Graphic Eye, a collection of photos by designers, explores the same subject of how designers often focus on design-related details in an environment, such as typography on a sign vs. the sign itself or street it stands on. When combined with traveling, a collection of photos can really become more than just a visual timeline of what happened. They are unique souvenirs that you personally found and captured, shaping your own editorial take on that specific time and place, and growing your identity as a traveling creative.

Stay tuned for a peek into the Berlin studio of our published author-illustrator Tina Berning later this week!

Eloise Leigh

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