Letter collectors

Why do graphic symbols in the city attract us so much? Probably it is like the New York artist Trevor MacDermid says: “Their typographic simplicity makes them beautiful". Three passionate collectors give us a different perspective on letters and numbers.

Illuminated advertising contributes to the recognition and legibility of the city. However, before you know it they will end up in the rubbish bin when the neighbourhood is renewed or renovated. Berliners Barbara Dechant and Anja Schulze love capitals. Ever since 2005 they have been saving neglected advertising letters. They will preserve them for eternity in their Buchstabenmuseum.The aim of this capital museum is to show old illuminated advertising letters that are commonly known and remembered. From Autoradio, Blaupunkt and Funk to Lebensmittel and Zierfische.
Paul Baars started to take pictures of figures and numbers back in 1974. In the meantime he has photographed more than 25.000 of them. For years and years he travelled around the world to photograph numbers at bus stations, on bier cans, on clothes and in advertising campaigns. He selected 3000 pictures for his book ‘65’ that has been published this year. The title refers to the sequence of the numbers, these run from 0 to 65.
The New York Underground appeals to the imagination of people from all over the world. Artist Trevor MacDermid seized the opportunity to sell reproductions of underground signs to New Yorkers and international customers. “You can hang them above your dinner table or above your bed. Underground signs have always fascinated me. The typographic simplicity makes them beautiful. I think it works of art.”

Berlin capital passion

The spell of numbers

The art of underground signs