Tuesday, December 03, 2019

The Geography of Typography

Amsterdam Typography is a fascinating interactive map documenting examples of typography which can be found on the streets of Amsterdam. The map displays photographs of interesting examples of typography found in shop signs, advertising posters and even in graffiti throughout the city.

One of the many things which I enjoy while traveling around the world is exploring the often subtle differences in street furniture, typography and other public examples of design which can exist in different countries and even in different cities. This public design and typography contributes so much to the ortgeist, ambiance and character of a city.

Serious students of the geography of typography might like to compare Amsterdam Typography to Berlin Typography. Berlin Typography is a Twitter account and blog exploring and documenting examples of typography found on the streets of the German capital. The blog consists of a number of thematic posts examining the different trends found in the fonts and styles of Berlin's street and shop signs.

The idea of mapping typography found in public isn't entirely new. Back in 2013 an interactive map called London Typographica mapped photographs of publicly available lettering and type found throughout London. A London Typographica iPhone app allowed users to take pictures of interesting typography found on the streets of London and post them to a Google Map. In 2013 a smartphone app called Fontly was also released which was used to map examples of vintage typography, as seen on street signs, advertisements and in stores. Unfortunately both Fontly and London Typographica no longer exist.

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