METROPOLISES HAVE TAUGHT ME THAT OUR CREATIONS ARE INTERVENTIONS, INVOLUNTARILY EFFECTING EVERYONE.
Recklessness vs. thoughtfulness is a battle which is also fought on the visual front. The way we design and build, is merely another form of human interaction. And it’s a direct and powerful one.
“Quest – Im Wandel der Zeit” is a growing collection of stories, captured around the world and told in photographic, written and audio-recorded language. On countless expeditions mostly on foot but also by bicycle, public transportation, car or boat, I explore and document the immense diversity our cultures and man-made environments have to offer. How space is organized and designed and how written language comes across, tells tales about the folks and point in time behind it.
This project is about people in the sense of the known saying “Show me how you live and I tell you who you are”. Just like the choice and application of a particular typeface delivers a specific, underlying message or mood, so do the selection of building materials and architectural layouts, works of art or design solutions in general. As the river of inspiration keeps flowing, my desire for exploration and discovery will spark new ideas and stories involving signs, calligraphy, typography, architecture, art, industrial design and technology.
From small town to mega-city a global, corporate unification process can be witnessed. It has progressed so aggressively and spread with such paste, that it’s sometimes hard to tell in which city you’re in because the city center increasingly looks alike. Let’s admit that we have submissively surrendered to the persistence of the (visual) contamination, caused by global “profit-only” players. I walk far and travel further to find and capture and sometimes even preserve, individuality and character. Because I know that once a neighbourhood is destroyed and it’s residents are driven out, neither money nor effort will bring back it’s former glory.
Austrian born, 1972
Parsons School of Design, New York
New York, United States 1994 – 2004
Berlin, Germany 2004 – current
Event, travel, architecture
typography & signage photography
Partner & founder of the
Olex Digital Branding & Design Company
New York – Berlin – Feldkirch
Preserving enthralling typography
PAGE magazine interview, 2014
Photographing urban typography is a passion of Oliver Lins. Luckily he shares his findings with us via his agency blogs www.olex.org/news, www.olex.org/blog. We talked to the Berlin based creative to find out more about his motivations.
On your blog you show a whole lot of beautiful and inspiring typography from around the world. How did this come to be?
The idea to capture typographical impressions from any location was in our heads since the nineties. In those days we were still all in New York and I started to think about collecting exciting typographical gems for a future book publication which would be closely related to our design agency OLEX. With the rise of the “new” media, we instead picked up that idea again in 2008 to form our first company blog.
Who is working on this project?
We exclusively use material which we create ourselves. While my brothers initially contributed as well, the blog soon became my sole responsibility. Blessed and able to do extensive travels enabled me to collect large bodies of photographic work over the years.
Which cities can we look forward next?
Keeping my eyes open anytime and anywhere turned out to be the ideal strategy. Wherever I travel and go I plan for enough exploration time. In the near future Paris, New York, Istanbul and Berlin and Vienna are on my radar.