running words around
design education and visual communication
authored by chris m hughes

Neon Type and Salvaged Signs

Sunday, 9 February 2014

One of the first places we took our design students on the Berlin visit was the Buchstabenmuseum, a permanent exhibition of salvaged neon signage and type from the former East Berlin. The museum, the brainchild of Creative Director Barbara Dechant and CEO Anja Schulze, is housed in an old East Berlin department store covering some 350sq m.

The collection features station names, business signs and letters, neon shopfront lettering, and an array of super-sized chrome letters and landmark signage. Some of the lettering is wired up to switches and can be toggled on and off, or from one letter to another. Fonts like Avant Garde, Helvetica and Gill Sans dominate the selections, although there is some great vintage Germanic lettering and script signage from nightclubs and cafes. I wasn't sure at first whether this fascinating experiment was mere novelty or a serious endeavour. turns out its a bit of both, and a brilliant idea that is well worth the visit.

Museum Details:
Holzmarktstra├če 66
10179 Berlin-Mitte