Amsterdam in Letters

Amsterdam in Letters is a photo book by Dutch photographer Maarten Helle, documenting typography on buildings throughout the city of Amsterdam. In particular, the book concentrates on typography that is integrated with the architecture, and it is divided into sections that deal with lettering realized in metal, stone and ceramics. The book covers both historical and contemporary sites and is in part an archeological project, looking at the remnants of businesses or institutions that are no longer, but that are remembered through the signs and slogans that remain. The site changes identity, the text remains, the relationship between building and text becomes destabilised, mysterious, maybe even unintentionally ironic.

The book includes an introduction/contextual essay by Willem Ellenbroek, in both Dutch and English. It is visually rich and is an interesting contribution to the ongoing research into urban environments.

More information on Maarten Helle's work can be seen at his website, and there is a short video on the same subject (in Dutch, but it's also quite visual) on You Tube.

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