Working at your desk all day, you often need a little escape to find inspiration or to catch up with fellow designers. Here, we pick some of the top places to relax, network, unwind or to simply change your scenery for your working day. If you know of a cool hangout for designers we should add to the list, let us know in the comments!
- Also read: How to network with designers
01. Helvetica Juice Bar, USA
What could be more likely to draw graphic designers and creatives together than a cafe themed on typography? And that's exactly what Juan Vergara and Edward Padilla were aiming for when they founded Helvetica Juice Bar and Café (opens in new tab) in Lakewood, Ohio. Offering authentic Latin American juices and cuisine, it's the perfect place for font-loving foodies.
02. St. Bride Foundation, UK
For typographer Jamie Clarke (opens in new tab), the workshops at St. Bride Foundation (opens in new tab) in Fleet Street, London are a brilliant place to find inspiration. "For those involved in type and lettering - typographers, type designers, letterers, calligraphers and graphic designers - my favourite are the regular events at the St. Brides Foundation by Fleet Street," he explains. "It's a relaxed and friendly crowd of like-minded type folk".
- You'll find many more brilliant places to hang out in the UK capital in our designer's guide to London (opens in new tab)!
03. People's Market, Australia
Melbourne's People's Market (opens in new tab) is the perfect stop for a designer. Inspiring and full of creative types, there's plenty to get stuck into. "They have music, bars, street food etc, but also cargo crates that people rent for pop-up shops," explains Ben the Illustrator (opens in new tab). "You can always meet crafty folks and designers there; some really traditional artisan types, some contemporary magazine making folks, and there's bound to be a couple of street artists painting a wall or a cargo crate or something!"
04. Cinespia, USA
Designers love movies and the local cinema is one of the most obvious place for creative professionals to meet up for a night out. But of course some cinemas are more innovative and creatively inspiring than others. A Los Angeles rite of passage is attending a cemetery screening at Cinespia (opens in new tab), which takes place in the hallowed resting place of such Hollywood greats as Rudolph Valentino and Bugsy Siegel. Cinespia also does special one-of-a-kind events such as last year's Breaking Bad series finale. A creative cinema for creative types.
05. Stedelijk museum, Netherlands
Dedicated to showcasing modern and contemporary art and design, the Stedelijk museum (opens in new tab) in Amsterdam is a brilliant source for inspiration. "I loved it because it was such a mixture of exhibits, it was modern and the building itself is amazing," explains designer Bethany Baker (opens in new tab).
"The graphic design pieces I saw were amazing and felt inspired just being there. Amsterdam has some good museums around! " This is certainly a trip worth taking with your fellow designers.
06. The Grove, USA
A co-working space in New Haven, Connecticut, The Grove (opens in new tab) is a networking, social space with a difference. Designers of every profession are welcome here, with workshops taking place and even a few ping-pong tables to relax after a hard day's work.
Marketing designer Shannon Beth (opens in new tab) enthuses that: "it's bursting with talented creatives who share ideas, network, present, educate and have fun. It's a totally new kind of social space."
07. CMYK Bookstore, India
Yes, you'd be right in thinking the 'CMYK' in this bookstore does actually stand for cyan, magenta, yellow, and key. A first-of-its-kind concept bookstore in India, CMYK (opens in new tab) specialises in quality illustrated books dedicated to art and design. "We also use the store as a dynamic space to support and promote creative individuals who need a forum and platform to share their works," they explain.
"We regularly collaborate with creative professionals and events hosted at CMYK in the past include film screenings, photography workshops, design forums, art exhibitions and talks, and book readings."
08. The Jolly Butchers, UK
After a long day at work, it's always good to head down to the pub and relax with your favourite drink. The Jolly Butchers (opens in new tab) in Stoke Newington have enough craft ales to last you a lifetime - and it's a magnet for creatives to boot. As designer Gordon Reid (opens in new tab) raves: "literally every time I've been in there I'll bump into an illustrator, musician or creative and end up invariably doing some networking".
09. Blue Bottle Coffee, USA
It's no secret that a creative can't get by without their daily intake of some decent coffee. Well, Blue Bottle Coffee in Williamsburg (opens in new tab), New York might just be able to produce the best brewed cup in town.
They only serve coffee that has been roasted less than 48 hours prior to being brewed and use traditional, small batch brewing methods. Though they have several locations in New York City, this is the only place that showcases the Kyoto-style Oji cold press coffee makers (opens in new tab), which brew coffee one drop at a time for 18 hours.
10. The Gallimaufry, UK
Previously featured in our examples of restaurant branding (opens in new tab), The Gallimaufry (opens in new tab) in Bristol seems to have it all for designers. Creative director of Inkygoodness (opens in new tab) Lisa Hassell couldn't agree more, "It offers a regular programe of art exhibitions, live drawing events and performances by local singers and bands," she explains. "Plenty on offer, chilled pace during the day and buzzing at night, it's a great place to catch up with friends and meet local creatives over a drink or three." Sounds like the perfect hang-out to us!
Words: Sammy Maine
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What other designer hangouts should we add to the list? Let us know in the comments box below!