We were lucky enough to catch Erik Spiekermann, German typographer and designer, while he was on a trip to San Francisco. He talks about his role in the digital type revolution with FontShop and shares his opinions on a number of issues facing designers including specialization, perfectionism and procrastination.
On the heels of the Cusp Conference, it’s business as usual at DesignChat this week; fantastic guest, amazing work, sprinkle in some beers and hilarity shall ensue. Tomorrow, Wednesday September 29th at 8pmCST join us as we welcome the mystifying typographic talent that is called Jessica Hische. Her Drop Caps will stupify you. Her public digital sharing mechanism will webify you. Once you’re finished being webified, here are some pixels to drool on:
Something that is both wonderful and surprising will happen in October. Students at the Cooper Union in New York will attend classes as part of a new masters degree program in typeface design called Type@Cooper. The wonderful part is that its happening at all; the surprising part is that its the first of its kind in the United States.
Cara Di Edwardo, professor and coordinator of Type@Cooper notes a resurgence in hand-lettering through digital media as one of the motivations behind the new program. Students can still register for this program through August 31st, but must have an undergraduate degree or professional experience in type design, graphic design or related fields.
There is a part of that last sentence that I also find interesting. “…or professional experience…” implies that no formal education is needed to take this masters class. Some may find it controversial, but I think this is a positive trend in the design community. Think about it; how many amazing design practitioners and creative minds admit during interviews that they’ve had little to no formal education? And this is not to downplay college design programs- I value the design education that I experienced. Humans are still learning about LEARNING, so it is a plausible conclusion that not every creative mind needs to obtain a bachelors of fine arts to be successful as a professional designer.
Here’s a list of classes that they offer as part of the program. If you love type like Kanye, you might cry while reading the following:
Introduction to Typeface Design
Tools and Technology
The Drawn Letter
Experiment and Expression in Letterform Design
Turning Lead into Gold: 19th-Century American Type Foundries & Their Specimen Books – Stephen O. Saxe
Type Design & Production, The Revolutionary Years – Mike Daines
The Guardian Egyptian – Christian Schwartz
Round Pegs in Square Holes: Developing Type for Screen-based Media – Roger Black
This Wednesday, August 11th, at 8PM CST, DesignChat welcomes the universally-respected creative director, typographer and design advocate, Erik Spiekermann to the conversation. Original designer of typefaces like ITC Officina, Unit, and even Meta— called one of the most successful humanist sans serif typefaces of the previous decade. (The Helvetica of the 90’s?).
Spiekermann has lead the industry with game-changing innovations like FontShop — the first independent digital font distributor — started in 1989 with Neville Brody and wife Joan Spiekermann.
He also founded Germany’s largest design firm MetaDesign in 1979, branching it to London, Berlin and San Francisco. His work there included way-finding projects for the Düsseldorf Airport as well as identity and brand-image projects for internationally-known companies like Audi, Volkswagen, Lexus and Heidelberg Printing. In 2001 he left MetaDesign and is now a partner in Edenspiekermann with offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, London and San Francisco.
On any given day you might find his likeness providing color commentary on fonts in movies like Helvetica…. or even advising the members of the European Union in matters of design. It’s a long way from “…redrawing old hot metal faces from the Berthold library, back in the 70s.” (Responsible for the original modernization of fonts LoType and Berliner Grotesk.)
With his book “Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works” in its second edition and a list of international associations and board memberships and too long to type, we know he’s one of the sharpest design-minds out there.
There’s so much to this guest that we feel inadequate to cover it completely; so, please…
Join us, and Erik Speikermann, this Wednesday at 8pm CST here at http://designchat.info/chat for a live video and text chat.
We feel honored to have him and hope to see you there too.
Additional Interview From the DVD version of Helvetica
After perusing the Apple Safari Extensions, the GoogleFonts in Safari extension from Julio Di Nicola caught my eye. It switches fonts that are available directly from Google and allows you to check how they’ll look on your site. Best part is, the fonts are free to use on your site!
Take a look at the Google Font Directory and see what’s available.
For years, the wine industry has lobbied its way into mainstream entertainment. It’s about time we saw some type being discussed! Check out this wonderful clip from White Collar, where detectives identify a suspect by the typography he leaves behind.