Video by Marc Donahue. I’ll be leaving for Berlin at the end of February. Back soon.
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.
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.
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.
When I was last in Amsterdam, I took the opportunity to go over to the office of Paul Mijksenaar, my favourite information designer. And Paul used the opportunity to make a short interview on video. Dutch subtitles make it more useful.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Lots of new content, new images, more pages and, of course, new fonts.
This is the video of my conversation with Jeff Veen at the Gigaom conference in San Francisco this week:
We will have six proof presses in the shop:
1 Korrex Nürnberg 35x58, 1 Korrex Berlin 50x65, 1 Korrex Frankfurt 61x86, 1 FAG 35x58, 1 Grafix 35x58 and one more FAG coming next week.
The Heidelberg Windmill is waiting to be put together and all the type needs sorting.
Ready to go any day now.