Surf & Stay is a visual travel guide in which leafing through the pages feels like swimming in the ocean.
Journalist Veerle Helsen cruised in her campervan, Connor, along the surf coasts of Spain and Portugal, collecting tips on surfing, eating, sleeping and where to find the most stunning architecture. The results are far from what you would find in a typical travel guide, and art director Elke Treunen from the Antwerp-based design studio MAFF has arranged them into a dreamy layout. Not macho or competitive but happy, liberating and inspiring.
Surf & Stay is the tale of a personal search for freedom, away from the daily grind. The design lets you see through the eyes of the writer, putting you in the passenger seat of her 19-year-old camper. Each chapter has its own colour scheme and begins with an impressive array of images, bringing the region to life before you’ve read a single word. Lyrics about the sea and golden beaches roam between the photos. The travel tips are not ordered in tight lists but allowed to float across the pages, as if dancing on a coastline. Graphic icons and coordinates of campervan spots help you navigate through this photographic road trip. Quirky typography, which makes use of the fonts Akkurat and GT Sectra, sets this book apart from the standard design of travel guides such as Lonely Planet. The ingredients here are not just words and images: through the design, Surf & Stay is also filled with sand, sea salt and wonder.