→ Berlin Letters is a festival for lettering, type design, calligraphy and sign painting. Three days of inspiration, fun and skillshare with talks of more than 25 international speakers, 10 excellent workshops and 250 participants from all letter shaping disciplines. The first festival in May 2019 was a blast. The second edition takes place 28–30 May 2020.
Berlin Letters is for professionals and amateurs. In 2019 most of the 200 participants were designers or people who are quite serious about lettering, type-design, calligraphy and sign-painting.
The atmosphere was exceptional, and everyone contributed to it with their excitement and openness. The community spirit was great, and people enjoyed meeting many of the colleagues they had already been in touch with on social media. You could just walk up to your idols and talk with them.
Berlin Letters was founded by four friends who wanted to create an event for the lettering and type-design community to meet and bring together all kinds of perspectives on letters.
Nils Töpfer and Claudia Guminski are event planning and marketing geniuses. For a long time, they were on the team of the huge TYPO Berlin conference, and they make a brilliant team. In 2018, they decided to start their own type event and asked Ulrike Rausch and Chris Campe to join the team as programming directors.
Chris Campe is a designer and writer in Hamburg. With her studio All Things Letters she specializes in lettering and writes how-to books for designers. Ulrike Rausch is a type-designer in Berlin. Through her foundry LiebeFonts, Ulrike publishes fonts that convincingly look handwritten. Chris and Ulrike are a great team because they wrote a book together: “Making Fonts!” came out in 2019.
As a team of four, each duo plays out their strength. Nils and Claudia focus on the logistics and the finances; Chris and Ulrike do the programming and communication with the speakers. And of course, everyone does a bit of everything.
Since Berlin Letters festival happens in the capital of Germany, the primary festival language is German. But this year most lectures and all workshops will be held in English.
The language of all talks and workshops will be clearly marked in the program, which we’ll publish on our website within the next weeks and months. For now, check out our speakers‘ list to get an idea of who will present in English. You can take a look at the speaker’s page. If someone’s bio is in English, the talk will be in English, too.
There will be no live translation. So, who speaks both languages is most fortunate.
Overview of all workshops 2020
Overview of the speakers 2020
Times and dates
Berlin Letters Festival 2020; Thursday, 28 May to Saturday, 30 May 2020
Each day, there’ll be talks from 2.p.m to 8 p.m.
The half-day workshops run from 9.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.
The day-long workshops run from 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. or 5.30 p.m.
Festival registration opens at 1.30 p.m. Café Mars is on-site, and you’re welcome to get your coffee there.
Registration for the workshops starts every morning at 9.00 a.m.
The Very Early Bird tickets are already sold out, but Early Bird Festival tickets are still available.
Until 29 February 2020, they cost 300 Euros. That’s including 19% German VAT.
On 1 March the price will go up to 360 Euros, so make sure you get your ticket soon.
If you want to come to the festival with all your friends and colleagues, please send us an e-mail. If you are a group of 6 or more, we might be able to give you a group discount.
Please book your workshop spot in advance through our ticket shop. Since the workshops are limited to about 15 participants, they are not included in the festival ticket. You book them individually and this way everyone pays just for what they want to do – nothing more, nothing less.
Yes, you can sign up for a workshop without getting a festival ticket, too, but this would mean you’d miss so much of the fun.
If you don’t want to do a workshop you’ll definitely find other things to do – you’ll be in Berlin after all! But we will also put together a programme of morning events you can sign up for if you like. In 2019 we offered a type walk and a tour of the Buchstabenmuseum – among other things.
This year the festival will happen at silent green in Berlin-Wedding.
The location makes half the event. The first Berlin Letters festival in 2019 took place Colonia Nova – a beautiful, bright loft space in the Neukölln neighbourhood. But we were sold out, and while it was cosy with so many people in one big open space, it also got pretty crammed. So for 2020, we went hunting for a new location.
Finding a medium-size space that is both charming and practical is a challenge in Berlin. We’re super happy silent green offers all we need – a hall for an audience of 250 people and room for running hands-on workshops in parallel. And silent green is charming indeed: the historic building used to be a crematorium – sounds spooky, but the former mourning hall has a particularly beautiful atmosphere.
Organizing a festival for 250 people and coordinating is a ton of work, so, unfortunately, we are unable to help you with finding accommodation during the festival.
Please note that 31 May and 1 June 2020 are public holidays in Germany (Passover), and hotel prices risk being high. Make sure you book early or get back in touch with your high school sweetheart who moved to Berlin 20 years ago and who you haven’t heard from since. Maybe they have a couch.