My EDC

In case you didn’t know what my EDC is, don’t worry, I didn’t either until a gentleman from everydaycarry wrote and asked for a photograph of the contents of the bag I carry every day. That request seemed harmless enough and offered an occasion to go through said bag and clean it out. Once all the old receipts and boarding ticket stubs were gone, I was left with the bare essentials. So I spread them on a cutting mat and took a photograph. As the little Sony RX100 that I always carry with me had to be in the photo, I took it with my Leica M. Made for a sharp picture although it was handheld from an awkward position.

And, yes, I do use all those pens: they’re all different and each one serves a different purpose. Just like my bicycles, albeit cheaper.

spiekermann_EDC_604

Three-letter words

Characters make words, and words make sentences. If you had all these words printed on paper in front of you, you couldn’t help yourself but would want to arrange them into sentences. So we intend to print these and more words, regardless of whether they’re nouns, pronouns, adjectives or verbs. We’ll also do a similar exercise in German but may have to go to four-letter words as German is not known for too many short words. As Mark Twain famously said: “German words are so long, they have perspective.”

Not sure whether it’ll be in the HWT Artz typeface (which only has upper case so far) or in a new one we’re about to cut, but print we shall.

3letterwords_loop

January poster

The first poster for 2015 poster is, as always, 50×70cm in size (approx 20×28in), printed 2 colours on 160gsm Meta­Pa­per Rough. In case you didn’t notice: it’s in German, meaning Everything will be fine (for once, German is shorter than English). And for the people living in Berlin, we have a special version in the local dialect; this one only got printed 15 times.

The type is Akzidenz Grotesk Black, a particular cut only available as display type, made from Plakadur, Berthold’s high quality resin. The type is sharper than normal wood type, but as large: 20 cicero (approx 22 pica)

There are 50 prints of each poster, num­bered and signed by Erik Spiek­er­mann. We ship every­where and you can pay by Pay­Pal. Price is the same in these cur­rencies: £, $, €; always 98, includ­ing tax (where applic­a­ble) and ship­ping, wrapped in a solid card­board tube.

Orders with shipping address please to info@p98a.com. We should have a proper shopping basket for this site soon, which will make buying a poster much easier.
alles-wird-gut allet-wird-jut

December poster for 2015

This month’s poster is, as always, 50×70cm in size (approx 20×28in), printed 2 colours on 160gsm Meta­Pa­per Rough. The type comes from several collections. We only have a few characters of each size, so this arrangement owes more to chance than design. We didn’t have a P, L, G or a second U in the big size (that type comes from an Italian village printer), and the only other U was this very tall and thin one. The horizontal red bar is a Cap I.

There are 50 prints of each poster, num­bered and signed by Erik Spiek­er­mann. We ship every­where and you can pay by Pay­Pal. Price is the same in every cur­rency, £, $, €: always 98, includ­ing tax (where applic­a­ble) and ship­ping, wrapped in a solid card­board tube.

Orders with shipping address please to info@p98a.com.

Unplug_mitimpressum

November poster hot off the press!

This month’s poster is, as always, 50×70cm in size (approx 20×28in), printed 2 colours on 150gsm Meta­Pa­per Rough. The type is 16 cicero (approx 17 pica) HWT Artz, the one I designed for the Hamilton Wood Type Museum to cut in wood for us.

There are 50 prints of each poster, num­bered and signed by Erik Spiek­er­mann. We ship every­where and you can pay by Pay­Pal. Price is the same in every cur­rency, £, $, €: always 98, includ­ing tax (where applic­a­ble) and ship­ping, wrapped in a solid card­board tube.

Orders with shipping address please to info@p98a.com.

p98a-poster-2014-nov

October poster is ready

After a long fight with the brand new rollers (new is not always better!) at Galerie P98a, Ferdinand finally managed to print the red forme for our October poster. It is, as always, 50×70cm in size (approx 20×28in), printed 2 colours on 150gsm Meta­Pa­per Rough. The type is our favourite Akzidenz Grotesk 16 cicero, the type made from Plakadur, Berthold’s superb resin material that lasts longer than wood and prints much sharper. If anybody has any more of that type in sizes between 12 and 24 cicero, we’d like to hear from you.

There are (barely this time) 50 prints of each poster, num­bered and signed by Erik Spiek­er­mann. We ship every­where and you can pay by Pay­Pal. Price is the same in every cur­rency, £, $, €: always 98, includ­ing tax (where applic­a­ble) and ship­ping, wrapped in a solid card­board tube.

Orders with shipping address please to info@p98a.com.

p98a_designwillsave72

P98a posters

Over at Galerie P98a, we print a poster every month to help pay the rent. P98a is not a commercial studio but we have expenses just like any other.
The posters are 50×70cm in size (approx 20×28in), printed 2 colours on 150gsm MetaPaper Rough. There are 50 prints of each poster, numbered and signed by Erik Spiekermann. We ship everywhere and you can pay by PayPal. Price is the same in every currency, £, $, €: always 98, including tax (where applicable) and shipping, wrapped in a solid cardboard tube.
The posters are printed from original wood type which can show slight imperfections. Sometimes those imperfections are also the result of us being too lazy to renew the packing on the machine, badly adjusted ink rollers or any number of mechanical surprises that are bound to happen with machinery from the 1950s. The press is a Korrex Frankfurt, maximum paper size 78×65cm on a good day.
The type for the September poster is 24cicero (approx. 25pica) Schmalfette Grotesk.
If you want to buy one of the posters, write to info@p98a.com.

Watzlawick’s First Axiom of Communication is the September poster.

Watzlawick’s First Axiom of Communication is the September poster.

The previous 3 posters and the Korrex in action.

The previous 3 posters and the Korrex in action.

Being obsessive about detail is being normal

Obsessive attention to detail is a pleonasm or a tautology. The very nature of detail means that one cannot deal with it without being attentive to it. I get asked about this a lot because to some (most?) people typography seems all about detail. When Matthew Knott-Craig from Design Indaba sent me his questions, I had to point that out to him.

Question:
The meticulousness of typographic work seems to require an obsessive attention to detail. Would you describe your work in typography as an obsession and, if so, why does this particular discipline require this level of engagement?

Wrong question. Every craft requires attention to detail. Whether you’re building a bicycle, an engine, a table, a song, a typeface or a page: the details are not the details, they make the design. Concepts don’t have to be pixel-perfect, and even the fussiest project starts with a rough sketch. But building something that will be used by other people, be they drivers, riders, readers, listeners – users everywhere, it needs to be built as well as can be. Unless you are obsessed by what you’re doing, you will not be doing it well enough. Typography appears to require a lot of detail, but so does music, cooking, carpentry, not to mention brain surgery. Sometimes only the experts know the difference, but if you want to be an expert at what you’re making, you will only be happy with the result when you’ve given it everything you have.

I strongly believe that the attention someone gives to what he or she makes is reflected in the end result, whether it is obvious or not. Inherent quality is part of absolute quality and without it things will appear shoddy. The users may not know why, but they always sense it.

I admit to being obsessive about my work, but I refuse that to be classified as weird and unusual and obsessiveness being limited to certain disciplines.

Workshop at P98a

We finally have a new date for the workshop:
October 17–18, 2014
10:00–18:00
at P98a, Potsdamer Strasse 98a, Berlin Schöneberg
http://shop.gestalten.com/spiekermann-workshop.html