Threw away a lot of paper and plates,” he says. He and his family moved to London in 1973 for a job, leaving his gear behind. Erik Spiekermann Susanna Dulkinys ... Ironically, I said to my wife, that I want my tombstone to be set in Rotis, because that would be ironic and my friends would get it. GO Home Takes the Passive House Approach to Prefab. There are so many things that pop up. Letterpress isn’t an easy choice in 2017, and Spiekermann didn’t underestimate the effort to print a short run of a 448-page book, even on a classic, well-maintained Heidelberg sheet-fed cylinder letterpress. Flexo plates rely on a substance called photopolymer, a resin that’s light-activated. The shop occupies a small space, and they have to shift 29 palettes of 1,000 sheets of roughly 20 by 30 inch sheets around — one for each signature. A dwindling number of shops can produce the high-contrast film from an imagesetter or filmsetter, and it’s not cheap, especially compared to unexposed photopolymer. Despite the cost of research and development, Spiekermann says creating photopolymer like this is much cheaper and enormously faster than using the film method, while also offering the consistency he needs. In addition he is a founder of MetaDesign and the driving force behind SpiekermannPartners. As a co‑founder of international design companies such as MetaDesign, United Designers and Edenspiekermann he has been directing corporate design and signage projects for the likes of Volkswagen, Bosch and the German railways. Ana Bogdan The Talks. In 1989 he and his wife, Joan Spiekermann, started FontShop, the first mail-order distributor for digital fonts. Well, you can: I just finished printing a book on a classic proof press, a Vandercook, and the limitations can be overcome. By Sally McGrane / Photos by Pia Ulin – June 28, 2010. Along the way, he and Daniel Klotz, the main printer and platemaker, have had to learn more about printing books. It took off in the early 2000s after the industry created a form of photopolymer resin that could be washed out with water, making it feasible for shops and individuals without the ability to handle hazardous chemicals. Erik Spiekermann is a renown German type designer and information architect. (Some imagers pair the burning stage with the exposure stage, reducing human intervention.). A letterpress printing plate. That solved the printing side for book-length production, but not the type. For registration, consistency, and speed, you need a large, motorized press with an automatic paper feed. (Photo: Hello, I am Erik) Small may be beautiful, but big is successful, he explains in Hello, I am Erik. They launched a Kickstarter in August 2017 to fund a limited-edition version of the book, which was a rousing success. When attached to an offset press, the plates rotate through baths of water and ink, and then contact a rubber blanket, onto which the intended printed image offsets. And what does a creative's life look like on an A3 sheet of paper? Spiekermann knows about this transition quite well. “It’s kind of half handmade.”. FontShop was the first manufacturer-independent font supplier, and since its inception in 1989, FontShop’s talented team of type enthusiasts have pioneered a string of highly influential projects, including the experimental font box FUSE, the FontBook catalogue, and the esteemed FontFont font library. Changes can be made quickly on the fly, making them great for artistic work, and most are large enough for posters and larger waybills. The result is faster and more precise, doing away with film chemistry entirely and intermediate step. Voila! One of his latest projects, however, involved creating something else altogether: a brand-new, environmentally conscious town house on an empty lot in Berlin. In the late 1960s in what was then West Berlin, he was a hand compositor who started collecting letterpress equipment. Spiekermann has made many improvements to the design industry especially through typography. Information and translations of Erik Spiekermann in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. In November, Spiekermann and colleagues printed 2,500 copies. During that time, he’d also been perfecting a new method of modern letterpress printing with a small team of colleagues and experts in Berlin. Erik Spiekermann: “A good concept will survive forever” September 9, 2020 . Meaning of Erik Spiekermann. Erik Spiekermann was inducted into the European Design Awards Hall of Fame and became the first designer to receive the honor. Retweet on Twitter erik spiekermann Retweeted 8h Jeff Bezos has become billions of dollars wealthier during the pandemic, while Amazon workers across the world struggle to get by. Erik Spiekermann, master typographer, is responsible for everything from the German National Railways’ iconic "DB" insignia to the typefaces used by Volkswagen, Nokia, and Audi; the entire 2001 redesign of the Economist; and a generation of designers’ ideas about type. Team Lagom. “For letterpress we always go down one weight to allow for that slight squeeze and use the regular weight,” he says, aside from the blackness of the ink. See more ideas about Erik, Typography, Font shop. He moved on. However, each page is a uniquely made interaction of plate and pressure — not an art book, he says, but a new category that will be meaningful to own, yet not a precious object. Subscribe to Dwell+ to get everything you already love about Dwell, plus exclusive home tours, video features, how-to guides, access to the Dwell archive, and more. Spiekermann studied art history at Berlin's Free University, funding himself by running a letterpress printing press in the basement of his house. His work ethic and strongly held opinions are well known. By contrast, offset printing, using photo-sensitive flat thin metal plates, is planographic, or flat. An ebook that contains all the articles in the letterpress edition plus four more of the same is now available for purchase. Spiekermann turned to a kind of plasticky substance to produce plates for letterpress printing. Copies of Change Is Good start shipping to Kickstarter backers shortly, and Spiekermann and his colleagues already have digital letterpress books scheduled to print for months ahead. Erik Spiekermann
Graphic Designer
2. This kind of film-exposure photopolymer wasn’t precise enough for Spiekermann for book work, for a variety of reasons. The only practical way to set enough letterpress type today would be through a hot-metal composition machine, like the Linotype p98a has in its shop. He used a 6-point line above the page numbers (a “rule above folios” in design jargon), which they hit hard with black ink. So, being Spiekermann, he invested a substantial amount of his time and money to bend the technology to his will. Brody along with Erik and Joan, his wife, founded FontShop in 1988. But he can’t predict whether others can duplicate the method he and his colleagues have pioneered. Erik was one of the co-founders of the Berlin (and later London and San Francisco) design agency MetaDesign and a co-founder of FontShop with his former wife Joan Spiekermann and Neville Brody. He is an honorary professor at the University of the Arts Bremen and ArtCenter College of Design. He tried adjusting every variable and couldn’t get a result that matched the quality he needed. His design insights are respected, his typefaces have become standards and he has developed design systems for global brands. He’d acquired some presses for homes in both California and Berlin in preparation for “retirement,” but ultimately set up a full-scale studio in Berlin in 2013. He had already finished designing a book for Louis Rossetto, one of the founders of Wired magazine and a long-time friend. As printing shifted digitally, designers could eventually deliver files which would laser etched onto plates directly, saving both manual and intermediate exposure stages. A winner of three lifetime achievement awards needn’t brag, and Spiekermann doesn’t, though he is aware of his worth through and through, speaking with enthusiasm and no remorse for his spirited and unflinching rules and ideas, like his famous dictum: “Don’t work for assholes. He was relying on the evolution of a technology developed over decades for flexography, or “flexo,” used for printing plastic films, wallpaper, corrugated cardboard, even ceramic tiles — things that generally aren’t compatible with offset printing. Spiekermann looked into these systems, which can cost from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Create a digital design, output it to a high-contract negative — black and clear, no intermediate tones — as you would in the not-far-back days to make an offset printing plate. He founded the multidisciplinary design consultancy MetaDesign in Berlin, 1979, opening a major San Francisco office in 1992, and another in Zurich. Erik Spiekermann, master typographer, is responsible for everything … That’s why they love the supersleek Berlin domicile they constructed to have just the right lines—and a host of energy-saving features behind the scenes. They own both powered and manual machines, including clam-shell (platen) and hand-fed proof presses. (Modern typefaces may come in several weights in a range across thin, light, regular, medium, bold, extra bold, and heavy, or using a corresponding gradation of numbers from 100 to 900.). They added additional suction and cooling to handle the quantity of material removed and width of plates being exposed at once. Erik Spiekermann (born May 30, 1947 in Stadthagen, Lower Saxony) is a German typographer and designer. It just requires a metal base —which can be magnetic in order to pair with metal flexo plates — that’s the right difference in height between the plate and the standard 0.918-inch/2.33cm (“type high”) distance to properly ink and print material on a letterpress. This marriage relied on technology that already existed, but couldn’t fit his needs. For Erik Spiekermann, it came down to the color of black and a kiss of type. Printers originally used proof presses only for pulling test prints of type for proofreading and correction before it was printed for real on high-speed presses. He founded FontShop and the hugely influential FontFont typeface library. When I went to Berlin a couple of years ago, in preparation for Eye 74, our Berlin special, I kept running into Erik Spiekermann. After the fall of the Wall in November 1989, Neville Brody, a friend of Spiekermann’s for years, visited Berlin and wanted to see the changes for himself. But I quickly realised that I couldn’t avoid encountering Erik and his legacy. Typography guru Erik Spiekermann and his wife, designer Susanna Dulkinys, hate clutter. Even the contact exposure in a vacuum frame adds variation. What makes a creative mind tick? But at 70, technically “retired,” he’s just poured more than a year and about $180,000 (€150,000) into trying to reboot letterpress book printing with modern technology. He calls his group’s approach “digital letterpress.”. He instructs readers on typographic principles in his co-written title Stop Stealing Sheep and Find Out How Type Works, which improved the typographic knowledge of a generation. Rossetto’s book is larger in every way. “We customized the laser mechanically, hacked the driver software, had the magnetic base made, and special ink and rollers, and then tried and tested for a few months. View 16 Photos. There’s something missing in offset printing, he says. After a career as one of the world’s best-known graphic designers, Erik Spiekermann has returned to a teenage hobby and, almost by accident, ended up reinventing the printing process. Letterpress printers trying to keep the art alive with scarce and diminishing supplies of type started experimenting with photopolymer plates in the 1980s, when the washing stage required solvents. “The deep black is the thing that everybody notices and that is what we also tell everybody as the main difference between watery offset and letterpress.” The type on a page is palpable, the blacks are blacker, and each book is unique, even when produced en masse. In 1979, Spiekermann co-founded MetaDesign in Berlin, and in the 1980s, at the cusp of the PC revolution, he … With his wife, they launched FontShop which was the first distributor of electronic fonts. He was also one of the artists to sign and endorse the First Things First 2000 manifesto. Offset paired neatly with phototypesetting, which replaced cast metal and carved wood type with letters exposed onto high-contrast paper. In 1977, he had it packed into a truck and brought back to London to set up a new printing operation. He earned Lifetime achievement award from German Design Prize for his generous contribution to design industry. But because they are simplified presses with large, flat horizontal press beds, they have a small learning curve for beginning printers with supervision. Just as platemaking shifted in offset from film-exposed plates to computer-to-plate direct exposure, so did the flexo world shift to “imagers” that burn away photopolymer material. Spiekermann notes that despite the automation he’s relying on, this scale of letterpress involves a large amount of physical work. When he told Rossetto about this work in 2016, Rossetto asked Spiekermann if his novel, Change Is Good, could use the new printing method. That’s why they love the supersleek Berlin domicile they constructed to have just the right lines—and a host of energy-saving features behind the scenes. This phototype would then be cut up and assembled onto a layout board with illustrations and halftones, and photographed as a single piece onto film, which was in turn exposed onto an offset plate. Name: Erik Spiekermann DOB: 30 May 1947 ... You can look at these tough times as an opportunity to get closer and to learn from each other. Initially, he gave his work away to artists and musicians, but his posters and other pieces eventually became part of how he and his wife at the time cobbled together an income from various jobs. Erik Spiekermann A type, information and graphic designer by trade, he began his career teaching at the London College of Printing in the 1970s. Freelance writer Glenn Fleishman writes about technology, typography, laser-cutting, and much more for the Economist, Fast Company, The Atlantic, Wired, and many others. © 2020 Dwell Life, Inc. All rights reserved. The rubber blanket then rolls in turn onto paper, creating the final printed piece. That is sort of the last word. I learned a lot from my wife. ... graphic designer in London before returning to Berlin and founding MetaDesign with two partners.In 1989 he and his wife, Joan Spiekermann, started FontShop, the first mail-order distributor for digital fonts. When Erik Spiekermann founded FontShop International with his wife Joan and Neville Brody, he helped establish the internet as a source for buying fonts. When I asked him if I could photograph his and his wife’s home in berlin, his answer was: “yes, come this weekend”. One day he’s in his hometown of Berlin, where he’s currently overseeing his experimental letterpress workshop, galerie p98a.The next he’s off to San Francisco, where Edenspiekermann, the digital branding and product company he founded, has an office. Biography
Born May 30, 1947 in Stadthagen, Lower Saxony, Germany
Known as a designer & a typographer
Lecturer at University of Arts Bremen
Studied Art … Short Profile. Find Spiekermann trees, crests, genealogies, biographies, DNA projects, and much more at the largest directory to free and pay genealogical sources. In 1979 he co-founded MetaDesign, followed by FontShop in 1989 (with his wife, Joan Spiekermann) and Edenspiekermann in 2002 (with Susanna Dulkinys). The metal plates are exposed and developed, and retain areas that retain ink where printing should appear or reject ink where it shouldn’t. Erik Spiekermann is prolific, even famous, in some circles. The novel was the first large-scale test of Spiekermann’s workflow, and it went well. He and his colleagues have assembled an array of letterpresses and a collection of type as well as a Linotype hot-metal typesetting machine, and regularly offer workshops and welcome visiting printers. Letterpress is a relief method, in which raised type and image blocks are lightly inked and a press pushes paper against them. Spiekermann is a renowned graphic designer, known for a wide array of projects across a 50-year career: bold advertising work, corporate design systems, and book design and book writing. He had already finished designing a book for Louis Rossetto, one of the founders of … Typography guru Erik Spiekermann and his wife, designer Susanna Dulkinys, hate clutter. Letterpress fell out of fashion after nearly five centuries, from the mid-1400s to mid-1900s, when two photographic-based processes supplanted it. Erik spiekermann 1. By the late 2000s, letterpress service bureaus started producing it for hire. For now, they have a unique process, but they hope it doesn’t remain so. We hope we can not only save them, but make them useful again,” he says. It’s coated onto a substrate of plastic or metal. He handed the bookbinding off to a Leipzig firm, which created a die-cut slipcase, and a die-cut and foil-stamped cover in two versions, depending on whether a backer got in early or later in the project’s funding period. Erik Spiekermann is prolific, even famous, in some circles. To this end, Spiekermann works with friends at an allied studio, Der Lettertypen, who among other presses have an 1950s Original Heidelberg Cylinder that offers the necessary mechanical automation and takes paper of sufficient size. When I first spoke to Spiekermann in September, he had just spent a recent Sunday in frustration. Typography guru Erik Spiekermann and his wife, designer Susanna Dulkinys, hate clutter. Erik Spiekermann is a legendary German, typographer, type designer and information architect and author. This is the story of FontShop, founded 30 years ago by Joan and Erik Spiekermann in Berlin. They eventually did, at a later date. Both editions attracted signatures from practitioners and thinkers such as Rudy VanderLans, Erik Spiekermann, Ellen Lupton and Rick Poynor. His typefaces FF Meta and ITC Officina have been bestsellers for years and are already considered modern classics by typographers worldwide. Erik Spiekermann Internationally renowned graphic designer, typographer and type designer. so I packed the camera and visited Erik in their … It’s not practical. Not literally, though I did later spend a pleasant evening in the company of Erik and his wife Susanna. However, Linotypes were designed for newspaper-quality work, not books, and limitations in its available type designs show it. Elliot Jay Stocks — Co-editor & Creative Director; Samantha Stocks — Co-editor & Editorial Director; Erik Spiekermann — Resident Typomaniac While in temporary storage, however, a fire broke out and ruined all the equipment. Lagom was founded in 2014 by Bristol-based husband-and-wife team Elliot and Samantha Stocks, and the magazine is created by a team of contributors from around the world. Some of Glenn’s recent research and reporting on printing, punctuation, and typography: run of books for the publisher Suhrkamp Verlag, How Letterpress Printing Came Back from the Dead, Meet The Font Detectives Who Ferret Out Fakery, The Crazy Stories Behind 6 Of The World’s Rarest Colors, Processing My Korean-American Identity as an Artist, Painting Blind With Visually-Impaired Visual Artist John Bramblitt. He letterpress printed a book as part of his stint as Designer in Residence at the School of Visual Concepts in 2017. Typefaces can be classified to a particular purpose by the … “If you’re tired, you pay less attention,” he says, and, suddenly, “you can run a complete page upside down before you notice,” and have to reprint the entire signature. In 1989, he and his then-wife Joan Spiekermann started FontShop, the first mail-order distributor for digital fonts. Flexo is a relief method, like letterpress. He assembled a letterpress studio piecemeal and taught himself to design and print. Some of the type in the book, like FF Real and Fira Mono, he designed with Ralph du Carrois. Sandwich it with a sheet of plate material in a vacuum frame, expose it to ultraviolet light to selectively harden those areas of the resin, and then wash out the unexposed parts. I have no idea why I haven’t thought about photographing Erik Spiekermann’s new home before. Erik Spiekermann is one of the world’s best known faces in graphic design. But you can’t effectively print a book on a hand-fed proof press. “We print with enough impression to get the deep black, but without the impression showing through on the verso [reverse],” he says. His ITC Officina Sans and Officina Serif are among the most widely used typefaces for business in the world. In the web serie "From Sketch", the Berlin based… Spiekermann sees his effort to make digital letterpress something reliable, repeatable, and affordable for runs of books around a few thousand as a way to keep letterpress vibrant at a bigger scale than the purely craft level. Erik Spiekermann insists he’s retired, that his whirlwind schedule and backlog of projects is all just a hobby. A Measured Approach. MetaDesign is an international design consultancy known for branding and brand strategy, founded by Erik Spiekermann, Uli Mayer-Johanssen and Hans Ch. Spiekermann has written multiple books about typography. It puts typesetting back into his studios, alongside the hundreds of cases of wood and metal type, where he can press a button and “set” the type that go on his presses. He wrote London Kerning in early 2018 about type design, letterpress, and signage in London, visiting two remarkable type and printing archives in that city that trace England’s typographic history. You can download an excerpt. Due to variables of film chemistry, film output density can vary across a day or between different days, affecting the consistency of type and image output. erik spiekermann Apr 02, 2004 at 7:35PM If anyone still really believes that people put stuff on the web solely for themselves, unplug their phone/cable/ethernet connection and let them blog in … “[T]ype cases were literally being thrown out of windows in Kreuzberg, an area full of printing presses,” he told a biographer in the 2014 book, Hello, I am Erik. And while he could have found or hired Monotype composition, a book the length of Rossetto’s would require inordinate amounts of time and money to set, and requirement room to store and manage thousands upon thousands of pounds of metal.
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