Design Tourism


The souvenirs have gone from being useless objects to becoming artistic elements worth admiring

In the very Odyssey itself, Homer told how Odysseus kept tokens of all trips.

It was the eighth century B.C. in ancient Greece. Today, souvenirs are still elements of rembering those special trips and getaways that somehow leave their mark in us and which we want to have a recollection of beyond our memory or photos..

Nevertheless, much has changed since then. It was the universal exhibitions in Paris and London during the nineteenth century that boosted the idea of souvenirs and the tradition of purchasing them during each trip. Since then, fridge magnets, pencils and pens or t-shirts filled the bags of travelers.

Souvenirs consumption increased exponentially in the twentieth century with mass tourism. A miniature Eiffel Tower would go back in the luggage of all those visiting the French capital. A Mexican hat, harder to carry, also traveled from Mexico to the place of origin of tourists. And, from Spain, one could not forget to bring a bull or a flamenco-dressed doll..

By contrast, in the XXI century, designers have given a twist to the concept, creating souvenirs from a different and updated perspective, under the premises of design and art.

Sleek and simple lines, modernity and an invitation to smile. These are the characteristics of most loved souvenirs today. Tourists want these objects to speak about them, their personality and their tastes, not just be a souvenir of their trips.

Due to this new trend, projects have come to being such as Dutch souvenirs, through which 41 Dutch and foreign designers have rediscovered the Dutch ceramic souvenirs from another point of view..

In Spain, companies like Designer Souvenirs define their products under the slogan “Fresh & Cool Souvenirs for Smart People.” Among its collections include “Like”, which combines social networking presence with the most visited Spanish cities. “Our philosophy is born with the intention to renew the traditional market with new memories made in Spain, fresh and funny, in accordance with the current trends,” says Beatriz, one of its creators. In fact, last year they received recognition from the Association of Designers of Madrid for two of their designs.

Even the now famous brand Mr.Wonderful has created products that could pass for different souvenirs. Known for it is their “Not Boring Guide To Enjoy A Weekend In Barcelona” or their covers for passports or travel documents.

Undoubtedly, differentiation and originality are important aspects. Moreso if you want their durability to also be highlighted.

Photo: Designer Souvenirs.


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