Verena Gerlach


Verena Gerlach was born in Berlin West, and studied Visual Communication at Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee. Shortly after graduating in 1998, she founded her own studio ( for graphic design, type design and typography. Between 2000 and 2006, Verena also art-directed several video clips and worked on the typographic production for international, contemporary artists. Since 2006, she has been working as a freelance book designer for the Germany-based art book publisher Hatje Cantz. She started lecturing in type design, graphic design and typography in Berlin in 2003, and she now gives lectures and workshops all over the globe. 


BITS MMXV International Workshop
Verena Gerlach
Presented by Goethe-Institut Thailand
October 30, 2015.
1.00 pm. - 3.00 pm.
Auditorium A, TCDC
Available slots : 10 person

“From the inspiration to the font”

The task is to get the essence of the found letters, and adapt the few found shapes into an alphabet.


Attendee requirements:
1. The participants need to bring printed (!) photographs from their favorite lettering, shop sign or other handmade (!) letters, they found in the streets (from all over the world). The letters should be taken from Latin alphabets.
2. Pens and paper
3. Laptops with Illustrator and »Glyphs«


BITS MMXV International Conference
Verena Gerlach
Presented by Goethe-Institut Thailand
November 1, 2015.
Morning session
5th fl Auditorium, bacc.

“Search, find, and make: The city as open source for type design”

It was the shop signs, inscriptions and murals — painted mostly during the 1920s and 1930s – on the facades of buildings that inspired graphic designer Verena Gerlach. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Verena, who was a student of visual communication, explored East Berlin, specifically Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte. She took photographs of facades and shop signs in the 1990s, which found expression in her creation of a unique typeface, FF Karbid.

Being also a trained screen printer, it is very important to Verena to do all the preparation for the printing (and mostly the printing process) herself.

She works on the templates for the screens mostly by hand, using the computer only as a tool and not as a design instrument. The effect of overprinting colours and layers is one of the main features of her graphic designs and posters. She sees already the whole workflow of this unique technique as an art form itself; not just the result. Beside silk screen, Verena is also very passionate about other printing techniques, like woodcut, linocut and letter press, and she experiments with everything one could print with. In her classes and workshops, she encourages the students to use these printing techniques, and supports them with her expertise.

In 2014, India’s world famous tradition of sign painting and lettering was the main incentive for Verena to spend two months in the Goethe bangaloREsidency summer 2014, Initially, Verena conceptualised a poster series based on the needs and desires of young women from the weaker economic section of Indian society. Based on this lettering, she decided to delve even deeper into the world of Indian decorative craft, adding punch to her already powerful designs.

Starting with raw silk, Verena worked with the craftworkers to embellish posters with words from hand-painted Kannada and English shop signs and ornament them with beads and sequins. She also documented the entire silk-production process in photographs.