I spent some time absorbing and admiring sharp design and clever billboard advertising in both Rio and Sao Paulo, including a particularly good billboard on Ipanema beach that sprayed sunscreen when you walked by. It just goes to show that exceptional creative ideas really shine through when they’re able to communicate to just about anyone (though any copywriting prowess was totally lost on me!)
If anything, what I then saw only amplified the contrast in design, signage and advertising anywhere outside the cities. Ok, ten years of graphic design in one of the greatest cities in the world may have left me a little saturated, if not spoilt. However, I can now say I’ve seen crime in Brazil. Crime against my eyes.
Now I’m not saying I’ve never seen design monstrosities in London or New York,there have been plenty, but I’ve just never seen so many consistent offences in a row on one 12 hour bus journey!* And beyond the common crimes committed in Comic Sans around the world. I also have some queries over the ‘no smoking’ symbol over here. But I subsequently read a great article by a Chilean typographer called Daniel Hernández who has restored my faith, though it seems it might be some time, if not forever, before this typo love spreads to the provinces.
Anyway, our day actually started by opening our eyes to some offensive lime green curtains in our hostel. With a heavy backpack and a Brahma hangover, we trudged through the Sao Paulo drizzle to the bus terminal. It felt a bit like home. Drizzle quickly developed into a torrential downpour as we set off.
Top deck of bus, big reclining seats, free ‘goodie box’ of treats as we stepped on board - good start. But what do you do for 12 hours on a bus? As with most things, Ian and I came prepared. Eat. Read a bit of Lonely planet guide. Eat. Game of travel scrabble, Ian wins by 18 points, he is smug. Drink. Wee in gross bus toilet. Listen to travel podcast about traveling by bus in South America. Eat. Speculate about boy in front, is he albino or just ridiculously blonde? Drink. Stare out of window at bad advertising spoiling view of luscious mountains & banana plantations for 3 hours. Write blog, can’t read because it makes me feel sick. Wolf down new discovery of double chocolate wafer biscuits. Feel better. Get excited about VIP tickets to Summer Soul Festival tomorrow! Still hours to go hmmmm. And we have no idea what to do or where to go when we arrive in Florianopolis at midnight. Brilliant.
- By Cass
* Apologies for lack of photographic proof and examples - the bus was moving too fast & camera wasn’t accessible!