Erik Spiekermann


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Erik Spiekermann is a legendary German-type designer and information architect. Besides, he has published numerous books and articles on the subject of typography and other cultural issues for magazines. Born on May 30, 1947, Erik Spiekermann grew up in Stadthagen, Germany. He received his formal art education from the Free University of Berlin. 

He paid his tuition by running a letterpress printing press in the basement of his residence. During the 1970s, he moved to London and spent an entire decade freelancing as a graphic designer and teaching. He freelanced for several consultancies, including Filmcomposition and Wolff Olins, and taught at the London College of Printing. In 1979, Spiekermann returned to Berlin and, in partnership with two designers, founded MetaDesign. 

The firm now has offices in London and San Francisco as well. The studio aspired to combine Teutonic-looking information design and complex corporate design systems. Some of the notable projects undertaken by the design studio for clients include Audi, Volkswagen, Skoda, Berlin Transit, and Heidelberg Printing, and it served a number of other leading clients.

During the late 1980s, Spiekermann, with his significant other, Joan Spiekermann, launched the FontShop. It was the first mail-order producer and distributor of electronic fonts. The extension of the company by the name FontShop International was established, which deals with the publication of the FontFont range of typefaces. 

In addition to that, Spiekermann received an honorary professorship at the Academy of Arts in Bremen. The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena awarded him an honorary doctorate for his valuable input into graphic design. He also holds membership on the board of the German Design Council. In 2001, he redesigned the British magazine The Economist. 

The following year he published his book on the typeface, titled Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works, for Adobe Press. The book was later published in several other languages, including Portuguese, German and Russian. Spiekermann created and released corporate font family for Nokia, which was greatly praised. Later he collaborated with Christian Schwartz and introduced his typeface family for Deutsche Bahn (German Railways). 

In 2006, he was awarded the most prestigious German award, a Gold Medal at the German Federal Design Prize. The award jury declared Spiekermann’s new type of system a masterpiece as it helped spread information culture in Germany. His typeface is characterized as displaying an updated and refined brand image, which made sure to easier intake of information for customers. In 2001, Spiekermann gave his resignation to MetaDesign following a policy disagreement issue. 

Best author’s book


Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works