Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava/Otava Publishing Company Ltd. was founded in 1890 by Hannes Gebhard and Eliel Aspelin-Haapkylä to publish Finnish national literature. Now it publish over 500 titles a year; fiction, non-fiction, children books, school books etc. Beautiful, art-nouveau Otava headquarters building in central Helsinki, designed by Karl Lindahl and Walter Thomé was built in 1905. In the darkest night-time you can also see this blue neonlight shining like a stars over Uudenmaankatu…
Pharmacist Yrjö Wilhelm Jalander bought a corner plot of Korkeavuorenkatu and Ratakatu, where he built in 1920 a residential building, well-known as a Jalander house. In this house he opened a pharmacy, which served in the same place until 2007. This Leo-pharmacy represents the Danish brick architecture style. Granite relief above the entrance is designed by sculptor Viktor Jansson. Unfortunately, I do not know who designed this fine glass sign with its golden letters.
This small and free museum is devoted to the Helsinki trams and located at the City´s oldest tram depot (from 1900), which is a part of Korjaamo Cultural Factory. The museum presents tram history on grassroots level, from a passenger´s point of view. They have historic trams on display that you and your kids can climb around on and stamp your own tickets there also. On the wall there are lot of old, wooden and handpainted signs from 1920-30´s. I really love the colors and style of the these vintage signs.
For some reason, this yellow, plastic barber shop sign with missing and repaired fonts and very old phone number fascinates me. Such varying typography from 60´s looks actually quite trendy to me. This small barber shop, J&S Parturi is located in Töölö, at Vänrikki Stoolinkatu 10.
Before the First World War, more than half of the apartment buildings in Helsinki was designed by contractors. This was due to very high demand for small housies, as well as architects’ lack of interest of designing them. Leuto A. Pajunen was one most popular of the building contractors. He designed and built over 30 buildings for the middle class, mainly at Töölö, and created solutions for self-employed and increasing working women set of needs.
In this picture you can see the name of the house ”Fred-Karia” and the designer ’s initials ”LaP”, on the wall at Arkadiankatu 16, Helsinki.
Here is another beautiful wall signature of contractor Leuto A. Pajunen at Arkadiankatu 14, Töölö. This green house was built in 1921 and the famous sculptor Gunnar Finne had his ateljé there in that time. In the 1960’s his ateljé was transformed into a restaurant and nowadays you can find one of the best Finnish restaurants, Ateljé Finne, over there.
Restaurant Lehtovaara is among Helsinki’s longest-established restaurants. Founded by Confectioner Emil Lehtovaara in Vyborg in 1916, it was sold to Stockholm-born Ragnar Hansson in 1922. When the Winter War (1939) began, most of Vyborg’s citizens were evacuated and Hansson moved Lehtovaara to Helsinki in 1940. The restaurant has occupied the same premises ever since, in the Taka-Töölö neighbourhood next to the Sibelius Park. This beautiful neon sign above the door is probably designed in 40´s, too.
”Privata svenska flickskolan” building company bought up a plot in Töölö, at the corner of Apollonkatu 12 and Minervankatu 3, and in the autumn 1927 they released an architectural competition, which was won by architect Eva Kuhlefelt-Ekelund. In spring 1928, construction could be started and in september 1929 students could move in and schoolwork could begin. This beautiful, functionalist building is absolutely one of Töölö´s landmarks. The architect seemed to had had a very good eye for graphic design and typography also.
With a history dating back to the 1850s, Ekberg is considered a beloved veteran of the Finnish café and confectionary culture. Today their business includes a café and patisserie with own bakery, as well as a catering service and a rental space for private events. I do not know the history of this sign; it’s quite showy but still suitable for the colors and architecture of the building.