Erik Spiekermann

by Thursday, August 10, 2017

Erik Spiekermann is art historian, information architect, type designer and author. Two of his typefaces, FF Meta and ITC Officina, are considered to be modern classics. He founded MetaDesign (1979) and FontShop (1988). He is behind the design of well-know brands such as Audi, Bosch, VW, German Railways and Heidelberg Printing, among others; information systems for Berlin Transit and Düsseldorf Airport and for publications like The Economist. He designed exclusive typefaces for corporations like Deutsche Bahn, Bosch, ZDF (German TV), Cisco, Mozilla and many others.

Erik is Honorary Professor at the University of the Arts in Bremen and in 2003 received the Gerrit Noordzij Award from the Royal Academy in The Hague. In 2006 he was awarded an honorary doctorship from Pasadena Art Center. He was made an Honorary Royal Designer for Industry by the RSA in Britain in 2007 and Ambassador for the European Year of Creativity and Innovation by the European Union for 2009.

In 2011 he received the German National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement as well as the TDC Medal and a Lifetime Award from the German Art Directors Club.He has written books about type and typography, starting with »Rhyme & Reason, A Typographic Novel« which came out in 1987, while the original German version appeared in 1982. His book »Stop Stealing Sheep & learn how to use type properly« was written for Adobe Press in 1993 and has been reprinted several times: 180,000 books were sold of the first two editions. A third edition came out at the end of 2013. It has also been translated into Polish, Russian, Portuguese and German.

Erik wrote 48 columns for Form, the German design magazine. Since 2008 he has had a column in Blueprint magazine. He has more than 300,000 followers on Twitter and is frequently asked to contribute to books and magazines on topics from visual language to bicycles (he owns 13 of them).

Spiekermann was managing partner and creative director of Edenspiekermann with offices in Berlin, Amsterdam, San Francisco and Los Angeles until June 2014 when he moved from that position to the supervisory board. He now runs an experimental letterpress workshop in Berlin: galerie p98a. Erik splits his time between Berlin and San Francisco and often visits London where his son Dylan lives. A monograph about Spiekermann’s life and work “Hello, I am Erik” was published by Gestalten Verlag in 2014.

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