Underground Berlin – A Typographic Review

Berlin U-Bahn was a big inspiration for Stephen Coles, an editor and typographer who lives between Oakland and Berlin. The big pool of letters, found in the underground railway stations of the German capital caught his eye and made him start a small photographic project, drawing attention to the unique style with its interesting history through the perspective of a lettering expert. Coles captures the environment from certain angles so that the shape, arrangement and typographic style are in the center of attention, being enhanced by the surrounding elements.

“I’ve been coming to Berlin every year since 2004. As typographer and architecture enthusiast, the U-Bahn is always a fascinating way to travel. The variety of lettering styles on the station signs is unique to Berlin. I appreciate that they try to preserve historical styles.”

Stephen Coles


“Mehringdamn station. Not far from the FontShop office.”
“Osloer Strasse. I like everything about this but the eszett.”
“Fehrberliner Platz U-Bahn sign (entering platform). 1970s yellow color cast intentionally left in.”
“Nollendorfplatz U-Bahn sign”
“Deutsche Oper from inside the train.”
Hallesches Tor U-Bahn sign
U-bahn sign details
U-bahn sign details

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