“Design is everything. Everything!”

Yes I’m quoting the Paul Rand. We’re going into the last weekend of the Graphic Design Festival in Breda, and the organisation has tried to live up to Paul’s quote as much as possible. Most of this biannual festival takes place in public space, making it accessible for more than just the people in the industry. 

Graphic Design Festival Breda 2010

Graphic Design Festival Breda 2010

 So what’s this festival all about? I can’t tell you yet, because I’ll only be checking it out myself later today. One thing I definitely want to see are the Designer Toys XL. One of them is painted by a designer I recently discovered, the talented Louis Reith. Another expo I want to go to is O.K. Festival, which presents the presents “the energy and the visual explosion of strange, beautiful and original magazines.” Not only do I love magazines, I have been following the founder on Twitter for quite a while now and am happy I can finally check out his work. Last but not least I am also kind of curious about the Graphic Surprise so I will be passing that by, just like all the other exciting things that are going on. 

This edition's theme is Decoding. That's me standing at one of the many signs that are all over town.

This edition's theme is Decoding. That's me standing at one of the many signs that are all over town.

A plus is that I have my flatmate and her boyfriend with me, who both are graphic design students. I´m looking forward to their take on things. I think GDF is a great initiative, but to make it a true festival it needs more workshops, moments of interaction and parties. If you want to check it out yourself you need to be quick, because the GDF ends tomorrow! 

P.S. Paul Rand is also known for the following design quote that I love: “Design is so simple, that’s why it’s so complicated.”

Geef mij maar Amsterdam*

Personally I think I live in one of the greatest cities in the world. I wouldn’t even know where to start when describing what made me fell in love with this place the first time I came to live here (6 month internship in 2006). David James Smith, an expat who used to work at Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, did an excellent job of  doing just so. He has written a beautiful “Goodbye Amsterdam” post which, I you have ever lived in Amsterdam, will make you all sentimental and sigh…

* This is the title of Geef Mij Maar Amsterdam, a very famous song about the city, sung by the artist Johnny Jordaan. It can’t get more Amsterdam than this, trust me.

New York Awesomeness

As I already mentioned in previous posts, I went to New York again. An ashcloud delayed it with only 10(!) days, but I made it. I can tell you a hundred stories about why I had an awesome time, but the next pictures will give you a hint of how much fun it was to be back.

The weather was beautiful, here enjoying it in Brooklyn's Prospect Park

The weather was beautiful, here enjoying it in Brooklyn's Prospect Park

Living with Greg, like I did in Copenhagen. Flatmates <3

Living with Greg, like I did in Copenhagen. Flatmates <3

Being reunited with my Amsterdam flatmate who's on exchange in NYC was awesome!

Being reunited with my Amsterdam flatmate who's on exchange in NYC was awesome!

The best museums are in New York, period.

The best museums are in New York, period.

Abundance of good food in New York, even found on rooftops :)

Abundance of good food in New York, even found on rooftops :)

After showing him Amsterdam, my NY friend showed me his city

After showing him Amsterdam, my NY friend showed me his city

Got to enjoy the unexpected. Here a sunrise from a Brooklyn rooftop during my last night

Got to enjoy the unexpected! Here a sunrise from a Brooklyn rooftop during my last night

One more reason why I’d like to like coffee

I had this one as a draft for at least five weeks, thought of writing about Stumptown Coffee Roasters before paying a visit to at least one. Life happened and I didn’t blog for a bit, but I’m back! A little while ago Wieden+Kennedy tweeted about a New York Times post on a popular, American coffee place opening a pop-up shop in Amsterdam, more precisely at creative advertising agency SID LEE. The article made me want to check out the New York Stumptown Coffee Roasters while being there, and so I did (see picture). Awesome place with the coolest people I have seen in a coffee store to date where it seemed that having tattoos was one of the job requirements!

My drink at Stumptown Coffee Roasters - Ace Hotel (New York)

My drink at Stumptown Coffee Roasters - Ace Hotel (New York)

Last week I returned from New York and yesterday I checked out Stumptown Coffee Roasters at SID LEE, conveniently located only 5 minutes from my house. Although the place itself is of course SID LEE like I’ve seen it before, it also had the nice vibe as in New York. Not only because the baristas seemed to carry that same cool style, but also because they served good drinks and they were playing some good solid rock. The pop-up shop will be open for three months (until 31st July), so if you have a chance to check it out, do it! You can find it here, they are open from Mon-Sat, between 07.00h-19.00h.

My drink at Stumptown Coffee Roasters - at SID LEE (Amsterdam)

My drink at Stumptown Coffee Roasters - at SID LEE (Amsterdam)

So coming back to my title, why am I recommending a place where I don’t even like the main product they are selling there? This might seem a bit contradictory, but I love products that are made with care and passion. Stumptown is such a place. And besides that, they serve a really awesome hot chocolate too :) And I did part in their coffee tasting, if you have to learn to appreciate the taste, than I might just do it in the best place around. I wouldn’t be surprised if they could get me to like coffee after three months.

Stumptown Coffee Tasting in Amsterdam

Stumptown Coffee Tasting in Amsterdam