Street in the Art Nouveau District, August 2019

Next stop on the travels was to Riga in Latvia. Art Nouveau is a biggie and something I was really looking forward to seeing. The great thing is ; it is literally everywhere-not just in the dedicated Art Nouveau district.

This is on the side of a very ordinary building in a suburb of Riga

The landscape of the city is vibrant, with contrasting colours and extravagant colours/forms used – not something seen usually in Ireland or the UK.

Market square in the Old Town Riga
Purple, light blue & cream palette
Stylised ironmongery
Colourful building front
Shop front with Art Nouveau elements

Outside one of the many galleries there were a series of busts which were very impressive (The first one reminds me of Oscar Wilde 🙂 )

How to take this inspiration into my practise? Well, like Tallinn, I think looking more closely at the forms, breaking them down into individual parts and creating motion. This would mean tracing the design, using it as a static image which would then be modelled into 3D and elements of this form to change colour, explode or distort into another forms.

Take the geometric shapes out of this facade. It becomes a design for visuals

The main thing I took from Riga was

  • The vast array of patterns from buildings
  • The colour palettes
  • The typography
  • Exposure to graphic designers I know I would never hear of outside of Latvia

I particularly like the simplistic patterns of the vase in the top left and the colour of the coffee cup and saucer.

My favourite element here is the lady in the bottom left. I love the colours and her stance.

I love these figure skaters. The white gap in space is very powerful and the colours also evoke a strong sense of identity for the figure skater.

The typography in the Baltic States is very unique and definitely not something I am used to seeing. Even the typefaces on the beer bottles are very ornate.

Local beer with very ornate writing

Patterns were everywhere like I mentioned above. Even in the Olympic Swimming pool – the walls were beautiful mosaics.

Changing room mosaics at swimming pool in Riga

Other elements of Riga were nice surprises – well Latvia.

Where is Kim shop 🙂

Random installation in courtyard of Riga

The colours and palettes of the buildings in themselves were beautiful(even if the day was very dull when I took the pictures).

I also got to see some motion graphics in action, which are supplied by Palami.

I didn’t realise Environmental Art is a thing but evidently it is.

And in the Museum of Interiors

In summary, to maximise what I learned in the Graphic Design course with Coursera I hope to play with the patterns, types and palette using my Wacom tablet and Photoshop.