Entries in travel (11)


Postcards from Portugal

Recently, I was rearranging my home-office, which forced me to do some sorting and tidying and chucking-out. During this tedious process I came across a bag (shoved under my desk) of ephemera collected on my overseas trip to Spain, Portugal and Morocco years ago.

I kept the travel journal (naturally) and a few other design-related items like these reproductions of quaint vintage postcards, and threw out the remainder.

Unfortunately the reverse sides of the postcards are singularly uninformative, with only the words ‘Publicidade e ilustração, Portugal século XX’, along with an obscure edition number and web address that goes to a blog about unique engagement rings.

Fado is a traditional style of Portuguese music, which can be traced back to the 1820s, and is characterised by mournful tunes and music. I guess in this case these songs are about cigars?

I never sampled Ginja de Portugal while on holiday in Portugal, but it is a liqueur made from sour cherries with sugar and alcohol. Possibly it is similar to the Croatian Maraska cherry wine, which is neither a wine nor a liqueur, but is a perfect accompaniment to desserts.

The other two cards show a naïve folk style of illustration lauding the joyful, sun-filled lifestyle to be found in Portugal.

I found these postcards in an intriguing store in Lisbon, which was part-giftshop, part-design-emporium. I also purchased a book on vintage packaging, and a few pieces of vintage ephemera – random collections of actual items packaged in cellophane envelopes. It was a lovely little shop to spend an hour browsing in.


Snowed Under or Down Under?

How bizarre is this: the month of December gets its name from the Latin word for ten, as it was originally the tenth month in the Roman calendar, which began in March with the beginning of the season for farming (and warfare—but of course). The winter days following December were not included in any month! It was only later that January and February were created out of this period. I guess no one minded if the number of days in this period fluctuated because you don’t go anywhere when you’re snowed in?

Well, we don’t get snowed under in Down Under, but as usual the weather has been rather crazy in Melbourne – hot one day, chilly the next. And here we are again, mere weeks away from Christmas, and the end of another year. There’s one more month to make good on any leftover resolutions!

I have enjoyed this inspiring calendar from the Rifle Paper Company this year. The illustrations have been a cheerful, brightly coloured highlight of their little nook in my tiny apartment. I’ve been informed by my sister that I should not purchase a calendar for next year; I’m looking forward to finding out what I’ll be hanging on my wall come January. (She promises I will like it.) You’ll see it in the New Year!

Until then, enjoy your December. I hope it’s a fun-filled month for you all.


In Like a Grizzly Bear

November calendar imageSo highly anticipated, and now almost over: this was spring! These calendar pictures of spring are all wonderful, but my favourite is definitely the October image of New York in autumn.

Autumn has long been my favourite season, such a glorious and colourful time of year (although summer’s charms are almost equal). This month’s picture is also inspiring—I’ve always wanted to go to Africa on a safari (I’ve been to Morocco in the north of the continent, but that is quite different, obviously).

October calendar imageOnce, when I was about 14, I went with my parents to visit a small safari park in New South Wales that had plenty of wild and exotic animals roaming free. There were certainly lions and bears I recall, for I got up close and personal with one of them!

Dad was driving our car through the park when one of the grizzly bears decided to come and make a closer acquaintance with me. He must have liked the look of my little face peering out of the back seat window. He came right up to the glass, and his head filled the entire space—I got a very intimate view of his wild eyes, and slobbering jaw filled with enormous teeth that looked like they enjoyed crunching things, such as the bones of teenage girls. I can assure you I scooted over to the other side of the car pretty quick smart! One of the park rangers saw our predicament and distracted the bear by throwing an apple at it. Later dad was most concerned with the scratches the giant claws had made on the duco.

Surprisingly, the incident has not put me off visiting a game park one day!

Well, you know what they say: spring comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb—except that Melbourne is very changeable all the time. Enjoy the last of the season before summer (or winter as the case may be).

September calendar image


In My Dreams

How nice to gaze upon pink hibiscus in the depths of winter. And to dream of exotic holidays on foreign beaches. Sadly that’s the only chance I have of going to Bali in the near future – in my dreams! I am, however, looking forward to a spring break, although I will be staying a little closer to home. It won’t be warm enough for lying on beaches, but I can certainly start daydreaming of cherry blossoms.

I must say I am very much enjoying this Rifle Paper Company calendar and Anna Bond’s illustrations this year, not only for the inspirational subject matter, but for the lovely quality of the paper and printing. Those things are important to a graphic designer! Hope you are having a wonderful August, whatever weather you’re having.


Summer Daze

This is one of my favourite pages in my calendar this year. Not just because of the gorgeous subject matter, but for the vibrant colours of coral. Anna Bond has really captured the mysterious beauty of the reef in her stylised shapes and brilliant hues.

I can almost feel the warmth of the water – which is a real compliment to the illustrator because I have never been that far north in Queensland (although one day I would like to go). Whenever I think longingly of beaches and sultry heat though, and contemplate travelling up there, it is always the wrong season for stingrays, and I am put off. I should start planning my holidays now! (This topsy-turvy travel calendar has had me daydreaming all year of seasons quite the opposite of what I am experiencing.)

I hope you have a wonderful July, whether freezing your footsies or sunning yourself.