Workshop at P98a

We finally have a new date for the workshop:
October 17–18, 2014
at P98a, Potsdamer Strasse 98a, Berlin Schöneberg

Letterpress workshop at P98a

As just announced by Gestalten Verlag, we’ll have our first workshop on July 25 and 26, friday and saturday, 10:00 – 18:00 (that’s 10am until 6pm for the metrically challenged).

Check this video, which was produced by Ole Wagner for Gestalten. Ole made a video interview with me years ago, when I received the German Federal Design Award.
This little movie also mentions the forthcoming monograph that Johannes Erler wrote about me. It’ll be back from the printers mid-August. So they say.

Farewell Fest

On friday evening, more than 50 people turned up at the P98a printshop: my friends & colleagues from Edenspiekermann across the street (literally).

They had decided to celebrate my promotion from CEO to the Supervisory Board of the company (i. e. quasi-retirement) and brought food & drink with them. They also made a movie with short interviews which will be made public once we have it subtitled – a lot of them are in German, as befits a company with an office in Berlin.

In return, my friends at P98a printed a small poster for everybody which I signed. It had the first paragraph of our internal manifest on it which I had written some seven or so years ago:

We don’t do decent work.
Decent work is not good enough.
We need to do great work.

Christoph Rauscher posted some photos on his blog. This one comes from there:

Letterpress in Berlin

Letterpress printing at P98a from erik spiekermann on Vimeo.

The workshop is almost ready. Some wood type still needs sorting (let alone identifying) and the small type like Akzidenz Grotesk in several text sizes as well as Block is waiting to be distributed. Our Korrex Berlin has new rollers and the other presses are also ready, so come June, we can start printing.

Helvetica, the movie

Apparently there are still people who haven’t seen this movie. You can rent it from here or even buy it and inflict it upon your mother, children, students, dogs – whomever you are trying to impress, shock or simply bore.


Ever since I used my first numbering stamp as a schoolboy, these clever mechanical devices have fascinated me. I now print one on every piece that leaves our workshop, even though they are really difficult to print on a proof press. They require a lot of pressure and the plunger will eventually destroy the cylinder because it is much higher than type and will also print on the trip back (if you don’t understand this jargon, this may not be for you).

Which didn’t stop me from trying to build a forme with 60 of these little suckers. It’ll take a lot of arrangement, adjusting the makeready and other parameters to get them all to print fairly evenly, but I am not going to give up easily. These photos are from the first run which hasn’t yielded any presentable results so far.

The cool thing will be that every time it prints, all 60 stamps will rotate by one digit. Every print will be randomly unique.

(the two top pictures are by Max Zerrahn)
First proof

Steepest US streets

If you’re on a bicycle, this information could be vital. As far as I experienced from cycling around San Francisco, they missed quite a few streets.

I like the fact that the graphic uses FF Meta.

Click the image to enlarge
Top 10 US steepest streets
Via fixr

The Public Domain Review

Among millions of other goodies, also has a collection of animated gifs like this one:


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.