Designspiration: Portugal

| By: Katie Hileman
Katie Hileman

A few months ago, my husband Chet and I set out on a vacation that started in Lisbon, Portugal and ended in Budapest, Hungary.  After traveling to other European countries we thought that Portugal had a lot to offer, but wasn’t a country that is as often explored as many others. Over the past 2-3 years, Portugal has shot up the list of top European travel locations because it offers great night life, culture, food and affordability. The Portuguese people are also known for being warm and welcoming to tourists (and for eating family dinners at midnight). For us, going to a place a bit off the beaten path was ideal. We drove through the countryside from Lisbon to the Northern wine country of Porto. The sights were beautiful and we stopped in many towns along the way, just to get a better feel for what real life in Portugal is all about.

Portugal proved to be a wealth of fantastic design. From architecture to interior design to typography and graphic design, I was impressed and surprised at every turn. We returned with much design inspiration and continued wanderlust.

Below is just a small sampling of the wonderful visual inspiration, we encountered during our trip. I love seeing design thrive in surprising and unlikely places.


Porto, a town of about 230,000 people, was flush with stunning design. Even the construction screens are beautiful. Check out the Brand New review of the city redesign.


Dream Pills, a candy shop in Lisbon, is set up like a pharmacy. It’s hard to handle this window display.Port8


Old versus new showdown: The letter A.





Finding type inspiration in the decaying coastal landscape.12132589_801235346450_1538620995618656332_o