Interview: Erik Spiekermann, Type Designer

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Erik Spiekermann is a type designer, typographer, information designer, author, businessman, and legend in the design community. He co-founded MetaDesign, a global design consultancy, as well as typeface publisher FontShop. He is now a partner with Edenspiekermann. FF Meta, his most influential typeface, became almost ubiquitous in the ’90s. Erik graciously took the time to share his everyday carry photo with us, immaculately knolled with the attention to detail you’d expect from a design genius:

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View Erik Spiekermann’s Full EDC

What’s in your EDC?

Sketchbook, pencil, Montblanc fountain pen, Faber Castell felt tip pen, small camera (Sony RX100), iPhone, keys, wallet with credit cards, driver’s license, ID card, small pencil, small notebook. Sometimes an iPad or even a laptop computer. Sunglasses when necessary.

It’s not surprising to see your eye for design reflects even in the essentials and tools you use every day. What kind of work are you using your EDC for these days?

I am an information designer, type designer, and author. Now officially retired from my company Edenspiekermann, I design typefaces, books and magazines (e.g. The Economist) and write articles and columns. I live in Berlin, San Francisco, and London. I also run a letterpress workshop in Berlin and have started to make typefaces for that purpose.

FF Meta and FF Meta Serif via FontShop Gallery

From where do you draw your inspiration?

It’s called Life — looking around, listening, reading, and talking to people.

Aside from your career, what else are you passionate about?

Communication, cycling, taking pictures, and reading everything I can get a hold of. I am not passionate about my career because at 67, that is behind me.

Why do you EDC?
I need a bag to carry newspapers and magazines and other things I may pick up along the way. As I ride my bicycle more often than not, this is the best way to carry anything I bring back home, sometimes even milk and food.

Corporate typefaces designed by Spiekermann via spiekerblog
Corporate typefaces designed by Spiekermann via spiekerblog

Where can we see more of your designs?

Read my blog or follow me on Twitter: @espiekermann.

If you could give any advice to our readers, what would it be?

Keep your eyes and ears open. Travel and learn at least one other language. Read.

Photos courtesy of Erik Spiekermann

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