Most Inspiring Brands While Traveling in 2019

If you were to ask me what some of my passions are, I’d immediately say traveling and visual arts. 2019 was filled with exploration – both of design and painting, as well as adventuring through new cities. When I travel, I seek out places that are mindful; places that create an experience and that visually make me take a double look of what is around me. Being surrounded by artful curation makes me feel so alive.

Here’s a few brands that I loved in 2019:

1. Muchacho, Atlanta GA

Muchacho is a 1970’s-inspired coffee shop with bold color-blocking that runs along the interior and exterior of the building. They even seamlessly painted their espresso machine to fit in with the space. The designers of Muchacho were very intentional about colliding with the interior design and branding. With rich, bold, and rounded typography, the logo has a nod to the Bauhaus movement paired with the retro-playfulness of the 70’s. The designer uses upper- and lower-case letterforms to further incite the playfulness and liveliness that the space itself offers.

2. Modern General, Santa Fe, NM

Modern General is a cafe, market, and general store that sells local products and health foods. As a proclaimed “feed and seed,” the brand leans into a farm-to-table aesthetic by using a letter-blocking style on the exterior of their building. Minimally, the black typography on the cream-colored building alludes to the natural and clean products you’ll find inside. Psychologically, yellow invokes the perception of hunger, joy, and movement, which is exactly what the designers pursued when creating the space.

3. El Moro, Mexico City, Mexico

Still drooling over this authentic churro cafe, established in 1935. As an homage to traditional Mexican tiles that are seen all around the city, the designers of El Moro used a vibrant blue and simplified, geometric-line painted tiles to curate the space. They beautifully paired a simplified Art Deco typographic design with traditional Mexican flourishes, creating a brand that had people lining up out the door and down the street.

4. The Hobbyist, Charlotte, NC

In the hip district of NoDa, The Hobbyist Coffee & Bottle Shop takes the cake. They have created a beautiful space for coffee, tea, beer, and wine enthusiasts alike. The space is narrow and long, creating different environments for its patrons as you move from the front to the back of the shop. They’ve created different aesthetic living room spaces, almost like saying “no matter your vibe, you’re welcome here.” The branding boldly uses 3 typefaces: an elegant script, a modernist san-serif that whimsically plays with low and high x-heights, and an extended and sturdy sans-serif for the tagline. Having the outdoor signage die cut in metal definitely adds to the aesthetic.

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