After the schism between the south of Europe where Roman type was used and the North which wrote and printed in broken letter froms, a double writing culture was established in Germany: Roman letter forms were usually used for texts in latin languages and broken letters for German texts.
Berlin-based designer Verena Gerlach invited me to contribute as an author to her book “Karbid” that was published by Ypsilon Éditeur from Paris. My contribution consists of two thoroughly researched essays on the history of German lettering and the letter paintings of Berlin Prenzlauer Berg.
As 2013 New Years greeting, Elena and me as LetterinBerlin wished to remember the poster artist Julius Klinger, whose impressive body of work has today unfortunately fallen into general oblivion. His original imagery, the versatility of his letter drawings and his lasting humour make Klinger a bona fide hero.
Embedded in our name “LetterinBerlin” was the English word lettering. The German language doesn’t have a proper word for lettering. “Beschriften, to put letters on something” is what we have, but that hardly hits the bull’s eye. Lettering is a vast field and graphic discipline where you design something using letters, but not exactly in […]
“Body and voice letters lend to silent thought, through centuries’ streams it is carried by the speaking page.” — This might be the most popular quote used to illustrate German type specimens. I have far less demanding claims than Friedrich Schiller regarding the timespan, but I do agree from the bottom of my heart that when it comes […]
When Jan Middendorp’s ‘Dutch Type’ was published in 2004, a veritable wave rushed through the German graphic design scene, which directed our view toward the Netherlands for quite some time. One year later, a similar publication passed by almost unnoticed: « Histoire du graphisme en France », by Michel Wlassikoff (2005).
Signs & Painting: from the Picture to the Letter In Paris, the use of putting up pictorial signs in the streets emerged in the 14th century. These signs could designate streets as well as particular houses. Often these signs were three-dimensional [Fig. 1] and showed figures of saints. When painted, they used to be executed on wooden […]