Tobias Saul – “I admire the passion for detail and craftsmanship”

November, 2018
Reading Time
4 mins
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Image © The Interviewee

Creative Chair talks type with Tobias Saul

This week, Creative Chair is in Düsseldorf, Germany, where we’re talking with exceptionally talented Tobias Saul.

Tobias combines traditional hand-lettering design skills with modern techniques to create designs that are simultaneously vintage and contemporary.

You can see a lot more work from Tobias Saul on his website, Behance, and Instagram.

Tobias Saul

How would you describe your work?

I think it is a hybrid of graphic design, illustration and type design. I mainly draw letterforms and illustrations with a vintage vibe but in a modern way. And it can be used for almost any design category, from branding to packaging, book covers, posters etc.

Come Together

“Graphic designers from this era or earlier were so unbelievably perfect”


You demonstrate a number of styles but show a particular passion for c1920’s typography. What inspires you about that era?

Yes, that’s right. I admire the passion for detail and craftsmanship you see in almost every design product from this era. Graphic designers from this era or earlier were so unbelievably perfect and also creative especially when it comes to lettering, layouts and illustration. And the most unbelievable thing – they did it by hand, without computers.

Hand Lettering Katt Phat

So, looking at vintage packaging, postcards or whatever brings me to new ideas and gives me a different perspective for design as we see it today.

Style Shock

Why do you think the demand for your work is greater in the US, and UK than in Germany?

I think it’s because of the historical background. The sign painter and glass gilder culture was (and is still) much stronger in the US and UK than it was in Germany. I think these people have a bigger relation to this style and craftsmanship in general.

Stay Positive

And I think that Germany is more influenced by the Swiss typography from the 50s and 60s, which was much more minimalistic and strict in contrast to the playful and ornate style from the US and UK. Therefore, it is understandable that the demand and the acceptance of my work is higher in these countries.

“when I check my Instagram and see the twentieth lovely brush lettering piece I’m bored… maybe I follow the wrong people haha!”

Seven Seas

Are there any trends in the world of hand lettering which don’t like?

Well, anyone can do what he wants. But when I check my Instagram and see the twentieth lovely brush lettering piece I’m bored… maybe I follow the wrong people haha!

The 143rd 366 Award goes to Tobias Saul for his outstanding creative work.


And finally, if you died and got reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Man on fire

Man on Fire"
Man on Fire (2012)
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Play on Apple Music
Play on Spotify
Play on YouTube
What began as a fun question to end an interview, has now become a wonderfully eclectic playlist featuring 160 songs and counting.

Since you’re here

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Thank You

Creative Chair Founder
Tobias Saul