Lettering vs. Calligraphy Live

On Thursday at 8 p.m. the ring is cleared at TYPO Hall. Martina Flor, lettering artist appears on the one side and Giuseppe Salerno, calligrapher, on the other.

For over half a year they run the online battle Lettering vs. Calligraphy. Each day Martina draws and Giuseppe writes one letter. The letter is chosen by both of them, its attribute by different guest specialists. Many of them are not-so-unknown type-related professionals or calligraphy artists from all over the world like Jan Middendorp, Nina Stössinger, Stephen Coles or Nate Williams, to name just a few. Visitors of the site can vote for their favourites.

Martina Flor and Giuseppe Salerno are battling on stage: Lettering vs. CalligraphyDecorative C: left Martina’ Lettering, on the right Giuseppe’s Calligraphy

At TYPO it’s the audiences turn to vote their favourites. Which kind of letter do you want to see Martina and Giuseppe draw live at TYPO Berlin? Vote on their website: TYPO Berlin Battle. You’ll then get a card at the entrance to TYPO hall: the red for lettering, the blue for calligraphy. Also on stage: Nina Stössinger, Stephen Coles, Yves Peters and many more who will moderate the battle.

Martina and Giuseppe, who are both not originally from Berlin, met at the Typostammtisch, periodical Type-themed meetings, organized by Ivo Gabrowitsch, Marketing Director at FSI. Both admired their work and so they decided to share experiences and knowledge and to allow others to participate.


Martina Flor

Martina Flor combines her talents as both a designer and an illustrator in the drawing of letters. She grew up in Buenos Aires and graduated from the Type & Media Masters program in the Netherlands. Based now in Berlin, she works with a focus on type, lettering and illustration. She is also known as the letterer behind the mask on the project Lettering vs Calligraphy and the creator of the series of workshops Good Type.

Giuseppe Salerno

Giuseppe Salerno is an italian Graphic Designer and Calligrapher. He has studied calligraphy since the age of 15 and integrates it often in his design work. Salerno grew up in the Italian city of Torino and after moving to Valencia he founded the design studio Resistenza together with Paco Gonzalez. He is also a member of Calligraphi.ca, a collective blog about calligraphy and the co-creator of Lettering vs Calligraphy project.

Martina, who grew up in Buenos Aires, graduated in the Type & Media master’s program in The Hague. She specializes in design and lettering. She draws her characters by hand, digitizes them to refine them on the computer.

Supernova: Martina Flor’s Master project, available at Typotheque


In contrast to Martina’s process, Giuseppe’s letters are rather loosely written. His technique requires writing a letter or a word repeatedly until finding just the right composition. Giuseppe studied graphic design in Torino and has been working in the field of calligraphy for the past 15 years.

Giuseppe Salerno: Love is in the air
Lettering vs. Calligraphy

In March 2013 they exhibited the Lettering vs. Calligraphy project at Mota Italic in Berlin, a gallery dedicated to type, letters and typography.

Lettring vs. Calligraphy at Mota Italic; photos © OliverLins

Martina Flor and Giuseppe Salerno will be giving a workshop at Betahaus on 11 May 2013 from 1 to 7 p.m. The topic? Lettering and calligraphy.

In a one day intensive session, the participants will explore the two technical approaches as combinatory tools within the same design process.

The workshop consists in theoretical input combined with hands-on-work and critique rounds. It is ideal for art and design students and professionals who want to explore the possibilities of calligraphy in combination with drawing techniques. In a few words, they’ll use writing and drawing for creating an unique typographic unit (or more).

Martina Flor & Giuseppe Salerno: Workshop at Betahaus on 11 May
Paper, ink and calligraphic tools will be provided. You can get the early bird price until 30 April. TYPO Berlin attendees can save another 10%.