I’ve been in Berlin for almost two months now and, as in any city, I am constantly coming across a unique visual language that identifies this city, giving it a character of its own. As I walk the streets, I am often stopped by the smaller details like iron work on bridges and signage on restaurants. These things are the things we take for granted. Maybe it’s a bit easier to notice them when you are in a new place, and they are not so common as they are to someone that is used to seeing them every day.
The simplest of visual cues often have a large part of forming our surroundings. They can make us feel comfortable or, conversely, they can make us incredibly aware that we are nowhere near home. Coming from a land of blue and green street signs with white text, these typical Berlin street signs are just one more visual sign that I am no longer in America.
Whether welcomed or not, hand-drawn signs (or graffiti covered buldings) are another unique identifier helping us identify where we are. These are two common examples. When I pass them, I know right where I am.