Typographer of the Week | Erik Spiekermann

About the Typographer

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Image of Erik Spiekermann

Erik Spiekermann is a renowned typographer, type designer, and author. He is most known for co-founding MetaDesign in 1979, FontShop in 1989, as well as Edenspiekermann in 2002. In addition to having offices all around the world (there’s one in Singapore too!), he has designed an array of different typefaces including FF Meta, ITC Officina, FF Unit, and even customised fonts for The Economist, Deutsche Bahn, Cisco, Bosch, Mozilla, and Autodesk.

His Works

I. TyPographical Works
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Fonts for The Economist

Spiekermann had a hand in designing many commercial typefaces and those as part of corporate design programmes. In addition to heading corporate design programmes for big names such as Audi, Skoda, Volkswagen, Lexus, Heidelberg, and way finding projects like Berlin Transit and Dusseldorf Airport, he has also designed typefaces for companies such as The Economist magazine and the font family for Nokia.

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Font used in way finding signs in Dusseldorf Airport

With regards to designing typefaces, Spiekermann sees himself as “more of a problem solver than an artist”. He approaches design by identifying a problem then finding typefaces that almost work but could be improved, he says “study them, note the approaches and failings, sleep on it, then start sketching without looking at anything else”.

Learning Points

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Image of Meta, a font by Erik Spiekermann
  • I agree with Erik Spiekermann’s approach to designing typefaces. I feel that typeface design has a purpose in pushing a piece of collateral further in conveying its intended message or helping enhance its overall visual aesthetic. Therefore, designing or picking an appropriate typeface is much like solving a problem.
  • Looking at his typefaces, I really like the modern element of each font. The slickness and simplicity of each font makes for easy readability and versatility. Furthermore, the success of his works in famous corporations around the world also emphasises how simple and modern fonts have the ability to be iconic.





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