Type Crimes, Part One

In the course of the past half year we have attempted to illustrate the extraordinary diversity and beauty of the typography in Berlin, be it monumental or vernacular, neon or stone, prominently displayed or hidden away. Our goal today is slightly different. Continue reading


Numbers in Berlin

Numbers are not letters. They may be included in the standard character set of every typeface, but unlike the letters, which have their own reassuring logic, the numerals play by their own highly idiosyncratic rules; there is nothing in the upper or lower cases of the Latin alphabet to prepare you for the unresolved looping of the ‘6’ and ‘9’ or the complete curveball of the ‘5’. Continue reading


Here at Berlin Typography HQ, we’re always thinking about text in urban spaces … but for the next few weeks, we’re going to be doing it in cities and towns other than Berlin. We’ll be back in a few weeks with all-new posts, but until then we’d like to wish you all a great summer, wherever it may take you. Continue reading

The Many Faces of the U7

When the U7 was completed in 1984, it was West Berlin’s longest underground line and the one with the greatest number of stations. Many of those stations, constructed at a time when the western half of the newly divided city was attempting to redefine its own urban identity, offered an extraordinary blank canvas for typographic invention. Today a journey in either direction from Mehringdamm – the spiritual, if not quite the literal centre of the line – provides not only a wonderful forensic history of how the line itself came into being, but also a voyage into the heart of a city that, in some sense, no longer exists. Continue reading

Stencil Type in Berlin

The typeface you probably think of when you think of stencils – the one used as shorthand for anything that needs to look military – was originally designed by Robert Hunter Middleton in 1937, and spent the remainder of the twentieth century achieving its own tiresome ubiquity. A dozen years earlier, however, the artist and theorist Josef Albers had started his own investigations into stencil lettering. Continue reading