The Public Domain Review

Among millions of other goodies, http://publicdomainreview.org also has a collection of animated gifs like this one:

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That site is a project of the Open Knowledge Foundation. They trawl through collections of images, books, films, audio, essays and pick stuff that is obscure (i.e. well-hidden), amazing, insane even. But always interesting and not easily found elsewhere. And everything they publish is under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license. In other words: they charge no money so they make no money. I’ve put my money where my mouth is and donated. You should do likewise, or else an amazing resource like this one cannot exist.

Letterpress will save the world

We (my new gallery and letterpress workshop, P98a in Berlin) printed a poster as a New Year’s gift for clients and friends at Edenspiekermann. Set in 16 cicero (approx. 17 pica) Akzidenz Grotesk Halbfett (aka Medium) type made from Plakadur, Berthold’s resin-based material for large display type. Two colours, 50x70cm (work it out for yourselves), printed on our Korrex Frankfurt. 100 posters, signed and numbered. Here it hangs on the wall of Ferdinand Ulrich’s office at the University in Halle.
The poster next to it is by Alexander Roth who works at FontShop International in Berlin and designs cool stuff, e.g. this site for FF Mark.
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More bicycles

Well, one more for now. Here in San Francisco one needs a few more gears. I had a bicycle put together for me by Brad Woehl at American Cyclery in the city. The frame was made by Waterford Precision Cycles in Wisconsin. I like Campagnolo and need 11 gears here in the hills. Athena is good enough for my less than professional needs.

I published these pictures before on this site, albeit smaller and with a warning to bike thieves.

Still rides like a dream.

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Bicycles

My remarks in interviews and videos about owning 13 bicycles has created quite a correspondence. Here now the proof, or rather, some proof that these bicycles do exist. I recently took pictures of the ones in Berlin (the others will follow). As you’ll see, there are only nine bikes here. Two more are in our little house in California, two others at my son’s house in London and one more in Amsterdam, parked downstairs from the Edenspiekermann offices there. Which would actually make it 14 bicycles if it wasn’t for the fact that one of them is not mine, but Susanna’s. I had it made for her birthday, so it gets a picture here but no count.

The Swiss Cresta is the all-purpose bike for Berlin when the weather is bad (like now in snow and ice) and when I have to carry more than my iPhone.

The Swiss Cresta is the all-purpose bike for Berlin when the weather is bad (like now in snow and ice) and when I have to carry more than my iPhone.

The Stevens trekking bike has been with me on the week-long rides somewhere in Germany every year. It is rugged enough for dirt roads and has enough gears to climb comfortably.

The Stevens trekking bike has been with me on the week-long rides somewhere in Germany every year. It is rugged enough for dirt roads and has plenty gears to climb comfortably.

I bought this from my friends at Cicli Berlinetta, mainly for its colour. It rides well but is a little short for me and actually a little too shiny and flash.

I bought this Wilier from my friends at Cicli Berlinetta, mainly for its colour. It rides well but is too short for me and actually a little too shiny and flash.

The De Rosa is also a little short for me but rides well. Its main attraction, however, are the infamous Delta brakes. They look great, but don’t ever try and adjust them – takes the best part of a day.

The De Rosa is also a little short for me but rides well. Its main attraction, however, are the infamous Delta brakes. They look great, but don’t ever try and adjust them – takes the best part of a day.

The infamous Delta brakes on the De Rosa.

The infamous Delta brakes on the De Rosa.

I bought this electric bike just to see whether it actually works. It doesn’t look as heavy as other pedelecs, but the battery on the handlebars doesn’t exactly look elegant either. It was designed by an architect, Hadi Teherani, and looks great, but at the expense of function. Quite frankly: I have never really used it, apart from around the block. But perhaps one day I’ll be grateful for some electric assistance.

I bought this electric bike just to see whether it actually works. It doesn’t look as heavy as other pedelecs, but the battery on the handlebars doesn’t exactly look elegant either. It was designed by an architect, Hadi Teherani, and looks great, but at the expense of function. Quite frankly: I have never really used it, apart from around the block. But perhaps one day I’ll be grateful for some electric assistance.

This is a single speed, converted from an old Viner frame. 48x16 gearing makes it slightly heavy to get going but fast once up there. My favourite bike for running around Berlin. Light enough to take it inside instead of locking it.

This is a single speed, converted from an old Viner frame. 48×16 gearing makes it slightly heavy to get going but fast once up there. My favourite bike for running around Berlin. Light enough to take it inside instead of locking and losing it.

This single speed was also made from an old Patelli racing bike. Susanna got it for her birthday in 2012. It has 48x19, so lighter to start but not quite as fast as the other single speed.

This single speed was also made from an old racing bike, a Patelli. Susanna got it for her birthday in 2012. It runs 48×19, so lighter to start but not quite as fast as the other single speed.

This was made for me by Dustin at Cicli Berlinetta. I take it out into the Grunewald but not around town.

This was made for me by Dustin at Cicli Berlinetta. I take it out into the Grunewald but not into traffic around town.

Sheep 3.0

An interview I gave to the people from Peachpit when the third version of my book Stop Stealing Sheep and learn how to use type properly came out.

1. How did you first become interested in typography?
A printer in our neighbourhood gave me a small tabletop platen press and some type when I was 12.

2. Do you have a favorite typeface? Which one is it and why?
Historically it would be Berthold’s Block, because that was the first one I ever looked at closely and later redrew one of its variants as one of my first excursions into typedesign. But my favourite typeface of the day is the one that works really well for a project, whether it’s designed by myself or by one of my colleagues. It helps that I am friends with a lot of type designers, so using their faces is also very personal.

3. Your book, Stop Stealing Sheep, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. How has the design world changed over the past 20 years?
Do we have 500 pages and doesn’t everybody know the answer? Seriously, that is too big a question to answer in one paragraph. The good news is that design becomes ever more important as the world grows more complex. Designers are interpreters: we need to translate the world to people by making complex issues and processes visible.
Continue reading

P98A: our new workshop and gallery

We now have two FAG proof presses, one Grafix, a Korrex Berlin, a Korrex Nürnberg, a Korrex Frankfurt and a Heidelberger Tiegel (platen). We won’t even mention all the small platens in the shop. And as off last week, all the presses are up and running, although the latest FAG needs cleaning up and repainting.
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On top of that a surprising amount of large display type, made from wood or Plakadur, Berthold’s resin material from the 50s. And lots of lead type, old and new, including freshly cast Akzidenz Grotesk and Block in sizes from 8 to 24 point Didot. Reglet, quads and furniture, iron and aluminium, are waiting to be sorted. A second row of cabinets is on order.
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Sheep book 3.0 ready

The English version of “Stop Stealing Sheep and learn how to use type properly” has been out for a while. Peachpit still offer a big discount if you buy from them direct:

Buy at Peachpit.com

Lots of new content, new images, more pages and, of course, new fonts.

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Roadmap 2013

This is the video of my conversation with Jeff Veen at the Gigaom conference in San Francisco this week: