Graphic Amsterdam

May 7, 2010

Even though the title of this post might lead some to think this is about the seedier side of Amsterdam, it's not. It is actually about the entertaining and appealing graphics found throughout the city. It's something I don't remember noticing the first time I was in Amsterdam. I have to admit I wasn't a fan of the city during that first trip. It came at the end of a college back-packing trip. I was traveling with one of my college room mates and by the time we reached Amsterdam we were dirty, tired of wearing the same clothes, tired of sleeping in hostels, tired of eating sandwiches, and tired of each other. It seems like we spent most of our time in Amsterdam bickering. So I have to admit I wasn't very thrilled to return to Amsterdam with those memories floating around in my head.But this time, Amsterdam wooed me in unexpected ways. I never thought graffitti, public signs, stickers, and even tampon boxes could ever be so interesting to me. I loved the mingling of fresh, modern designs within traditional settings. I enjoyed the humorous and the clever twists. I liked that someone took the time to make a little sign for their planter box in English and Dutch. It's very polite, very succinct, and even includes visual aids to convey their message. And what about the idea and the look of the little stickers decorating all of the mail boxes? They identify which boxes will or will not accept junk mail. Simple, but brilliant. This graphic side of Amsterdam was much more appealing to me than some of the other graphic aspects of the city.
Jennifer said...

We absolutely loved Amsterdam when we went with our kids. We found that it was one of the cities that we felt most welcome with our kids out of all of the cities we visited on that trip.

Jackie said...

I had a very similar relationship with Amsterdam. The first time, at the end of a 10 week backpack trip, so tired I suppose that we didn't even really didn't give it a go.

I didn't want to go back at all but it's such a flight hub in Europe you almost can't avoid it. The last time we ended up there, we spent some more quality time with it and found it quite charming and interesting. I have since learned that it boasts a Design Museum! And now I need to go back again.

Love your pics.
: )

Jocelyn said...

Oh, what adventures you're having! You continue to spark my brain and hopes.

Thanks for your comment re: our Sicily plnas falling through. I've been pretty, well, bummed (that's one way to express it). We've been wading through frustrating waters with Prague folks, too (sounds like it may be a miss) and have been attempting to get something lined up for maybe Australia. But as of today, we are in May, with no plan, lots of hours of attempts behind us, and trying to figure out Plan X. Och.

During it all, you've been the class act that has reminded me what I'm hoping for. Thanks for that!

Oh, and when I hit Amsterdam during college, my friends and I stayed on a hostel in a houseboat...and ended up packing ourselves out of there at 6 a.m., after a nightmare of a night.

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Glad to see I am not the only one who has a new found appreciation for the city. Perhaps the moral of the tale is that backpackers should start in Amsterdam and not at the end of their trip :) And yes, we are now eager to take our kids back for a longer visit.

Jocelyn, keeping my fingers crossed that something solidifies soon for your guys. Sorry it has been such a roller coaster ride.

katy said...

Amsterdam is so cool that way. You expressed it exactly. I found that in Prague too, mostly because the language was so different and unfamiliar to me.

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