In my last trip to Berlin I was lucky enough to come across an exceptional example of design in its purest form. A place where old and new, digital and physical, commercial and non, merge in a luxurious mix of beauty and nostalgia. Through a constant search for handmade and craft, TYPE HYPE is an innovative space in the heart of Berlin. A place where type dictates every aspect of the business. A place to get inspired, educated, relaxed and satisfied through type. A type kingdom if you wish. From the cups for your coffee, to the wine you’re drinking and the pillows you sitting on, every aspect of the store is closely interrelated and dependent on typography.
To better understand the philosophy behind TYPE HYPE I paid a visit to Christiane Gillissen, project manager at TYPE HYPE.
Could you describe TYPE HYPE in one word?
Could you describe TYPE HYPE in a sentence?
Type Hype is dedicated to the spirit of the personal character.
Now describe it as you like it.
It is a dream. A dream place where typography is at the centre of every decision. A place to enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine surrounded by excellent design, extreme attention to details and exquisite local produce.
How did it all started?
The project is an old dream of Kirsten Dietz andJochen Raedeker, owners of the design agency Strichpunkt. With this project they wanted to create a place entirely dedicated to typography for designers but most importantly for the general public, maybe not so used to the beauty of type. The original idea was to create an online shop dedicated to top quality typography products. Upon several discussions and meetings we decided that additionally opening a real store was a great idea giving people the opportunity to experience type in first person. After one year of intense work we finally opened to the public on December 2014.
What is the philosophy behind TYPE HYPE?
Here at TYPE HYPE we strive for premium designs made for all of those who are “touch” persons in the digital age. We value and support craftsmanship collaborating with the greatest artists in Germany and nearby countries. Every product in the store is the result of hours of meticulous work.
I’m particularly interested in craftsmanship, the values it carries and the way it relates to people in a globalized world colonized by seamless H&M rags and plastic McDonald’s burgers. Who do you collaborate with and why?
We believe in quality. And quality is often the result of time consuming crafts. The inner value tiny imperfections carries with them is invaluable in the face of homogenization. To ensure this top quality we collaborate with top quality craftsmen throughout Germany.
Our partners, producing exclusively for TYPE HYPE, include Büttenpapierfabrik Gmund, a German based, family owned papermill producing some of the best papers. Handweberei F. X. Moser is a weaving mill located right at the Austrian border entirely devoted to high quality fabrics and the environmental impact of it. RIESS from Austria delivers us with traditional enamel. Porzellan Manufaktur Reichenbach porcelains makers ensuring the best products through a mix of innovation and tradition.
At TYPE HYPE we owe great respect and appreciation for this incredible artists constantly striving for excellence.
As well concerning food, we are working closely together with local suppliers such as Ökodorf Brodowin or Andraschko Kaffeemanufaktur Berlin. We are member of “Slow Food Berlin”, an association which commits itself to the fundamentals: good, clean and fair.
Is there any typographic mantra at TYPE HYPE?
Yes, totally. In our store we only use 4 types.
DIN Berlin, the historical type born over 100 years ago in Berlin is one of them. This type has been used for decades for all relevant public labels such as car numbers and place names and is still an expression of concentration, aesthetics and maximum functionality. TYPE HYPE combines this classic font with fine, contemporary design elements on high-quality materials to create a contemporary quality statement and is used in black, white and gold.
MADE IN MITTE, is dedicated to all the artists making Berlin one of the best cultural city in the world. This type exists in two forms: colorful as a tribute to the creative neighborhood or MADE IN MITTE B/W as the snow in Torstraße on a winter morning.
LUISE is a lustful and playful design type that takes us back to those times when the popular Prussian Queen Luise was strolling in Berlin’s Tiergarten with her son, the future Kaiser Wilhelm I.
HAUPTSTADT is an handcrafted type combining the 26 letters of the alphabet with the main attractions of Berlin- from A like Alexanderplatz to Z for Zoo. Pastel tones, a clear language and smart abstractions are the ingredients to this line, which does not hide its roots in the design language of the Bauhaus and the book design tradition of the GDR
Is TYPE HYPE exclusively for designers?
No, absolutely not. TYPE HYPE is a place for a variety of people. People that loves letters of course, but also people in search for good products, excellent food, wonderful wine or a tasty coffee. What is interesting though, it’s to see the cross cultural appreciation of the handmade nature of our products. People from all walks of life stops, touch, feel and experience the inner values of craftsmanship.
Do you do collaboration with artists for exhibitions or events?
Yes, here at TYPE HYPE we’re constantly looking for collaboration with amazing artists and designers to evolve our lines of products.
How does TYPE HYPE fit in the bigger picture?
It is a place to give people a feeling of quality. To invigorate an understanding and recognition of the inner qualities of handmade products and designs. It also aims at re-evaluating the importance of craftsmanship in a globalised economy.
What is the best thing that came out of TYPE HYPE?
Definitely the reaction of people. To see people relaxing in a beautiful and peaceful place. To see that people totally understand and embrace our concepts is an extraordinary feeling.
Was there anything that went wrong?
Ahah…Of course lots of things went wrong in the beginning, we are a design firm with no experience in retail whatsoever. I have to say it was an incredible learning curve. It was a great challenge with every new mistake bringing you a step further towards your final goal. Sincerely, in october I thought to myself “Christiane, we cannot make it”. But eventually the grand opening party on December the 6th was a fantastic success and reward for all of us.
Where do you see TYPE HYPE in the future?
I can image the concept expanding and migrating in other European cities. I’m sure people from Barcelona, Amsterdam, London or Paris would greatly receive the TYPE HYPE concept. Hopefully in five year we will see more TYPE HYPE across Europe.
Next time you’ll find yourself in Berlin for an arty holiday, some brain melting techno event or to attend your mate’s vernissage make sure you allow yourself an hour to visit TYPE HYPE and experience first hand the beauty of type, handmade crafts and good quality coffee.