I am a graphic designer, typographer and type designer.

My Story

I have been suf­fer­ing from Typo­ma­nia all my life, a sick­ness that is incur­able but not lethal. I see most things from a typo­graphic perspective.

As most of what we find out about comes to us by typo­graphic media – i.e. vis­i­ble lan­guage – any­thing and every­thing may be reported. My observations may often seem very nerdish to non-typomaniacs. 

Look at the picture below: Perpetua is the name of a typeface, but the one shown is not Perpetua. When a wrong font would appear in a printed piece, the editor would mark it up with WF. Real typomaniacs read WTF as What The Font, not as what it is meant to abbreviate.

I was a printer and typesetter while at university studying art history. When my printshop burned down in 1977, I became a graphic designer – essentially a printer without hardware.

I founded the multidisciplinary design consultancy MetaDesign in Berlin, 1979, opening a major San Francisco office in 1992, and another in London in 1995.

In 1989/90 I co-founded FontShop International with Joan Spiekermann and Neville Brody. My own brand of fonts is called FontFont. My design firm is Edenspiekermann with offices in Berlin, Amsterdam, Singapur, Stuttgart and San Francisco.

Now, after 40 years in front of computer screens, I’m back using my hands and not having all the type in the world at my fingertips. I thrive on constraints. Using real, physical type makes you aware of how not everything is possible in the world away from the screen. In our workshop in Berlin (see http://p98a.com) we won’t ignore our digital knowledge but bring together the digital and the analog, like making new wood type from digital outlines

You can see the studio and my Berlin apartment here: http://www.freundevonfreunden.com/interviews/erik-spiekermann/

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