Vitra Design Museum

Frank Gehry's, Vitra Design Museum

Even with the masses of interesting design blogs and websites there are for graphic designers now, getting away from your computer and finding creative stimulation outside of the workspace can be of great benefit, and not just for your eyes. In such a competitive market as graphic design, we’re all looking for that one source of inspiration which will bring on innovative creative ideas and make our work stand out. After so much interest in our previous blog post, Top Graphic Design Museums in the USA, we have compiled a travel list for you of five remarkable design museums in Europe to explore and enjoy.


Design Museum, London, England

These guys boast having over 5 million visitors and describe themselves as, “the world’s leading museum devoted to contemporary design in every form from furniture to graphics, and architecture to industrial design.” As well as a prolific museum, it has an extensive website including a wide-ranging online Design Library offering a research archive of many contemporary designs.  They also have an awesome collection of podcasts and an excellent lecture series which includes talks from designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Rose Lovegrove (to name a few) and has interesting discussions including, “What makes a design iconic?” Something every designer thinks about.

Graphic Design Museum, Breda, Holland

It’s rare you’ll find a museum devoted completely to graphic design!  This is the first of its kind and promotes itself as “a platform for top talent” celebrating over 100 years in graphic design.

For history lovers will appreciate that the museum is in one of the oldest buildings in Breda, with a history spanning at least 800 years.  The entry fee is a very reasonable  €7.50 but if you can’t stretch to that, you  can always hang out in the Sandberg public area which either presents temporary exhibitions or during the rest of the time, uses Michael Schuurman’s designs to give a sixties psychedelic feel about the place.

Dox – Centre for Contemporary Design, Prague, Czech Republic

In a city compact with culture, history and eclectic architecture, Prague is always worth a visit, as you can find inspiration just walking down the street. Dox is located very close to the Prague Airport and consists of a design shop as well as a bookshop and cafe.  To get a better look at the museum and see if it’s a worthwhile venture, check out the virtual tour on the website.

Vitra Design Museum, Basel, Germany

Vitra specialises in presenting furniture and interior design exhibitions, however, it also claims to show work from other disciplines.  It costs €8 (without concessions) for entry and because it only has temporary exhibitions, it always has something fresh and different for regular visitors. Something that never changes is the unusual, cutting-edge structure in which the museum is housed, built by famous architect, Frank Gehry. That alone is a vision to be seen, both inside and outside.

Triennale Design Museum, Milan, Italy

Known for its strong connections with fashion and trend, Milan houses Italy’s first design museum within the Palace of Art and is surrounded by beautiful park grounds. The Triennale offers exhibitions that reflect Italian art and architecture including town planning, decorative and visual arts and design and is a wonderful place to explore the talents of contemporary designers in Italy today.