Sri Lanka Design Finds

February 4, 2015

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Creative post alert! I just thought I’d share with you some of the inspiring visual things we saw in Sri Lanka…

The most colourful and unique things were the vehicles. Buses, lorries, Tuk tuks, bikes, all painted with designs, patterns and pictures. The lorries and trucks were probably the best though, love it when a functional thing becomes beautiful.

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Talking of functional things, my favourite logos in Asia always seem to be really practical products. In Sri Lanka I would probably say it was the Tokyo Super cement logo.

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The cave paintings we saw in Dambulla date back to the 1st century bc and all the original paints would have been made from natural ingredients, giving the colours a tasty natural hue. On top of that, the patterns that they have painted with them are incredible. I have never seen so many different types of pattern in one place that work so well together. A personal favourite were the more geometric designs painted onto an uneven rock surface, giving it a whole new dimension.

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So we saw a lot of things to do with tea, and will continue to do so I’m sure, and the interesting history of Ceylon tea meant that there was a lot of advertising, photography, packaging and machinery to see.

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The combination of Sinhalese typography mixed with western was really nice. Sinhalese is particularly curly and round and in a lot of cases the Roman font used was sharp and angular so created a great juxtaposition.

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Every school seemed to have a hand painted world map somewhere on the outside, again in really lovely natural colours.

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There were some stencilly bits and graffiti that reminded me of London. And also some hilariously unnecessary but lovely signposts.

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As always in Asia, the screen printed returnable bottles made me happy. Not only because they are environmentally friendly but because they are so beautifully simple without the photoshop rubbish around the logo.

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Traditional Sri Lankan masks were really interesting with clean lines and so many tiny details. My favourites were the monochromatic ones.

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And finally the money was lovely! The colours were great and the illustration on each note was a work of art. Isn’t it every designers dream to design a bank note?!

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  • Meg Witts February 5, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Love this post!!! xx

  • Tom Meazey February 6, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Nice stuff Mali ­čÖé

  • Jan Stell February 6, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Brings back memories of our visit there – really lovely vibrant colours and gentle Buddist culture.