I was lucky enough to spend a couple of weeks in Europe this summer. I ran through the Alps with a group of friends and adventurers and then joined my family to explore Italy. The time off was challenging, exhilarating, and immensely inspiring.
One of my roles at WitMark is to strategize creative messaging and branding with our clients and lead designers. To be successful, I am constantly looking for ways to keep my creative juices flowing. This trip definitely did that.
In the Alps, I set out to take in nature and reset my brain and then, in Italy, I wanted to absorb marketing as a consumer. I wanted to identify unique or creative marketing consistencies. Basically, I was curious how marketers did things across the pond.
If I could generalize European messaging, the words I would use are colorful and bold. Everything from the ad in the airport that promoted Airport Advertising to the signage in store windows to the graffiti that adorns stop signs, it was clear that a striking cleverness plays a role in each message.
I noticed that many businesses’ logos didn’t detract from the company name. They used a clean font, with limited flair. Window signage specifically used a lot of bold fonts that were never over-designed. On both the exterior window and inside stores, businesses used bold statements to promote the message of the brand.
For example, one of my favorite shops was Viajiyu, a lifestyle shoe company that caters to workingwomen, aka trailblazers. From the design of the logo to the bold striped wall and copy YOU ARE A #TRAILBLAZER, there is no question who this brand is and what they stand for.
A final highlight of our trip was discovering graffiti (but to me it was clever artwork) on many of Italy’s stop signs. Just like the graphics I saw in posters and signage, this graffiti was bold and creative, but not overdone. Check these out for yourself... and if you start seeing Santa Barbara stop signs with a creative character, you know who’s responsible!
Au revoir and ciao,