Tagged: Helsinki

Otava Publishing Company Ltd.

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…



Signs in the Tram Museum

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.

Tram Museum



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.

J&S Parturi



Arkadiankatu 14

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.

Arkadiankatu 14



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.

Ravintola Lehtovaara


Karl Fazer Café

Karl Fazer Café is a modern classic café where the entire history of Fazer started in 1891. It´s the flagship café for the mighty chocolate empire and it´s an ideal place to buy Fazer confectionery, fresh breads and cakes. Karl Fazer Café is located in Helsinki on Kluuvikatu street.

Karl Fazer Café and this impressive chrome sign from 20´s above the entrance are familiar for everybody in Helsinki. The building was designed by Gösta Juslén.

Karl Fazer Café

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Lutherinkatu 14B

Last sunday i was cycling around town and found this very stylish iron gate at Lutherinkatu14B, Töölö area. This house near Temppeliaukio is built in 1927 and the condensed sans serif typography must be from that time also.

Lutherinkatu 14

Lutherinkatu 14B

Bio Rex

This is one of my favorite neonsigns in Helsinki. Lasipalatsi, ”The Glass Palace” is a functionalist office building designed in the 1930s, located at Mannerheimintie 22, Kamppi district of Helsinki. An earlier building at the same location was the Turku barracks, which was destroyed in the Finnish Civil War in 1918. Lasipalatsi, designed by three young architects Viljo Revell, Heimo Riihimäki and Niilo Kokko was built on the same site in 1936. Bio Rex is one of the oldest movie theaters in Finland.



Privata svenska flickskolan

”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.


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This decorative entrance, made of soapstone,  is definitely one of the most beautiful in Helsinki. This Art Nouveau -style house was designed by Gunnar Stenius and built in 1907. This classic serif font supports the style of the building very well.


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