Tag Archives: “typography”

Poster on sale at Hacking Gutenberg/P98a

This quote by Jean-Luc Godard has always intrigued me. The discussion about style versus content is as old as the profession of graphic design, and he puts it into perspective.

This is a longish quote which uses quite a few characters (eight lower case /e and five /o – all we have in that size), so we couldn’t resort to our larger Akzidenz Grotesk, but had to go to 12 cicero instead. In the end that turned out to be a wise move as the copy wouldn’t have fitted the page at the 16 cicero (i. e. pica or lines in English) size that we normally use for short quotes.

As always, the poster is printed on MetaPaper Rough Warm White 160 gsm in Black and Pantone Warm Red ink. From original wood and metal type on our Korrex Frankfurt, 50×70 cm.

The 50 posters each are num­bered and signed by Erik Spiek­er­mann. We ship every­where and you can pay by Pay­Pal or credit card. This poster as well as a few others is on sale now for half price. Please go to p98a to order.


The human impuls to make something for its own sake, to do it as well as you can.

The craftsman’s realm is far broader than skilled manual labor; the computer programmer, the doctor, the parent, and the citizen need to learn the values of good craftsmanship today. The result of physical work, made from things which have passed through many hands, is imbued with its process. It carries a message beyond the mere practical application.

In English it’s called “coming to grips with something”. In German the word is “begreifen”. Without our hands, our brain does not work properly. At p98a we call our craft Post-Digital Printing or Hacking Gutenberg. 

Preservation through production.

Digital pre-press enables us to make productive use of the old equipment which connects us with our industrial and cultural heritage. Apart from looking after old hardware, we need to maintain expert knowledge and professions otherwise threatened by extinction. Quite a few of the old machines and processes are still around; they are in working order and will probably survive all of us, but using them for commercial projects is difficult. Taking part in one of our workshops in Berlin will reconnect you to the basics of the design process; you’ll realize that slowing down is fun, constraints are relaxing and using your hands is a skill you may have forgotten but will quickly appreciate again.

Workshops at p98a can accommodate up to 12 participants.

New Year’s Cleaning Up.

While cleaning up my hard drive I found several videos that may not be totally up-to-date, but could be fairly amusing. As long as I haven’t figured out how to insert the html code for streaming full-size movies, I’ll just post small versions here. If anybody is really interested, I can always provide downloads for bigger files.

That reminds me of why I started the SpiekerBlog in the first place: I still get requests from student almost every day. They have to write an essay or a term paper or even a thesis. Sometimes the subject is me, sometimes one of my typefaces and sometimes a bigger typographic subject. This is why I have archived several interviews and other writings. The questions are never identical, but they certainly cover the same ground, more often than not. The published answers thus save time, both for me and the students.

The first little video was my apology to a conference in Athens last year. I had just been elected into the European Hall of Fame for Communication Design by the readers of several European magazines, but had to cancel going to receive the prize at the last minute. This video was recorded via iChat on my Powerbook. That’s why voice and images are not in sync. I also didn’t have any time to practise, as witnessed by the fact that the signs I hold into the camera are never in the center and hardly in focus.




This video is from the mid-eighties. Jonathan Dorney sent me a copy of a copy a few years ago. The quality is atrocious, but the content still amusing. Some people think so, anyway, as they keep asking me for a better version. There isn’t one, but there is this crappy 50mb one here as a download.