Blackletter in Berlin

One of the greatest delights of hunting for typography in Berlin – as opposed to, say, in Paris or Los Angeles – is the presence of two very different typographic traditions belonging to the same language. Alongside the familiar Roman characters common throughout Western Europe, the parallel tradition of Blackletter continues to play a defining role in the urban spaces of Germany. Continue reading


Berlin’s Church Typography

Berlin is not Constantinople, nor even is it Rome, but it is nonetheless a city of churches. There are of course a handful of prominent synagogues and even a few notable mosques; but, as with any northern European city that came of age in the aftermath of the Thirty Years War, the ecclesial life of Berlin has been shaped primarily – for better or worse – by Lutheranism, Calvinism and Catholicism. Continue reading

The Many Faces of the S1

Berlin’s S-Bahn is nearly 150 years old, but it does a good job of hiding its age. Unlike the U-Bahn, which makes a virtue of its piecemeal construction, the S-Bahn suggests a more unified and standardised entity. Its old platform signs and station names have, for the most part, been replaced with a modern and highly functional system of signage which makes up for in efficiency whatever it may lack in quirky charm. Continue reading