Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Current (as in energetic) Barcelona

By modern, I mean current. While in Barca, we did the full tourist and delved into the ancient Roman ruins of Barcino and the 19th-and-early-20th century Modernista (Art Nouveau) masterpieces. We absolutely loved contemporary Barcelona but snapped fewer examples of today's city (such as the banners announcing Barcelona's 11 Sept demonstrations, the Barcino sculpture, and city-wide graphics).

Banners flying for the 11 September National Day of Catalonia. 1714–2014.

Clean street graphics, which seem to be designed by Clase BCN.

Typographical tidbits from Tapas 24; the food has texture and dynamism and so do the graphics (also by Clase BCN).

I'm looking forward to returning to sample more of Barca's sleek restaurants (with equally-sleek graphics), see the design centers—and maybe even meet some designers. In the meantime, thanks to colleague Mark Kingsley's Instagram posts, I learned about Mario Eskenazi, an astounding Barcelona-based designer whose work is clean, strong, functional, and intelligent.

Eskenazi's typography at first glance seems to be the antithesis of Barcelona's sinuous Art Nouveau typefaces. But his work, while not pandering to the past, nods to the pattern, texture and richness that, to me, defines Barcelona. In his work for TMB (translated more or less to Metropolitan Transport of Barcelona), Eskenazi alludes to Patron Saint Jordi (George, who slayed the dragon) by eliminating areas from street map of Barcelona into the shape of a dragon. Eskenazi's restaurant identities are bold, clean, colorful and fun—like the city itself and some of the contemporary cuisine we tasted. Have a look at Mario Eskenazi's site for fabulous images of his office's bold work.

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