Last week I was lucky enough to go to Belgium for a brief. It was lucky for multiple reasons, mainly that we even got the approval from Marc to go. It was a rather impulsive (BOLD) decision for a project that is almost definitely not going into my book. However the BOLDNESS as I’ll call it was completely on brief in it’s own right.
The trip was invaluable as a far as insights into a target audience go. Belgium is typically represented as a boring mix of its surrounding cultures. Not giving agency to the fact that the creation of this cultural melting pot in itself is quite the achievement in an era of extreme nationalism. The fact it’s misrepresented isn’t a new thing though, this occurs to nearly all countries, this has consistently fuelled my desire to visit other countries, especially the ones we culturally ostracise.
Enough of this chat though. One of the things I found most interesting was the attention to detail in design. Of EVERYTHING. This seems a more European thing than British, perhaps this is why we left the EU, that we couldn’t cope with being trumped in this manner. Even when we ended up in Ghent; a city I was sure would be picturesque but boring, it surprised me with its designs. The trains, coffee shops, “cafes” ( bars ), restaurants. The typography was considered even in the most random of places ( below ). The stark lack of chains was also a nice from the UK’s general abysmal lack of independent businesses. I wasn’t sure why this design difference existed, maybe they cared more ? Had a better eye ? This seems more likely, as even the average person dressed far more uniquely than the average Brit. Don’t get me wrong. I love Britain, but, I think a country that tries to champion its creative industries I think we can do better. Below are a collection of (unedited) rando photos that show what I was talking about. Hopefully you agree with me.
There’s my two cents again.
Until next time muchachos,