Johannes Erler was born in 1965 in Hamburg. While studying graphic design in Kiel, he worked with Lo Breier in Hamburg and on joint projects with Neville Brody. In 1992 he graduated as communication designer and became a trainee at MetaDesign where he met Olaf Stein. In 1993, they founded their studio Factor Design in Hamburg. In 2011, Johannes Erler left Factor Design and founded Bureau Johannes Erler.