Vienna’s Beautiful Lettering Culture

Updated 10/10/19

A few years ago when I was still a graphic design student, I was a part of a Typography Special Interest group (aka design nerds) where our tutor planned a trip abroad once a year to a different county, where we would go around the city discussing lettering of signs found in the street. I am far from being a student today, but this legacy continue to live in me when I travel and Vienna is a great place for it.

A sign for Hotel Stefanie

If you have ever been to Vienna before, there is a good chance you missed out on the many great signs and typography scattered around the city and is a part of its landscape. Many have been around for centuries. The Austrian design is often clean, crisp and meticulous with strong lettering characters, whether historical or modern.

A unique sign I was fascinated with

Many shops that have been around for years are closing down and the beautiful store signs are being removed. Some of those find a new home in the Stadtschrift showroom in Vienna, where they appreciate the art of letterforms.

Stadtschrift was founded in 2012 as an initiative to document obsolete historic Viennese signs. They promote awareness of the history of Vienna by collecting obsolete logos with identity-creating significance and making them accessible to the public again.

A close up look to stone engraved lettering

If you ever visit Vienna, try to look for those beautiful letters that make this city so special.

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