19th International Eyes & Ears Awards

Erik Spiekermann

Eyes & Ears of Europe
Prof. Dr.h.c. Erik Spiekermann, Berlin

"I've always hadtypomania, an incurable but not fatal disease." This sentence by ErikSpiekermann describes his magical fascination and his great passion for fontswith pinpoint accuracy. Spiekermann founded the design agency MetaDesign in 1979and worked primarily for companies in the graphic arts industry. In 1989Fontshop AG was founded, one of the first mail order companies for computertypefaces, followed by founding FSI FontShop International together withNeville Brody in 1990. It is Erik Spiekermann's achievement to have made theclassics among fonts fit for digital use - even more importantly - to designfuture classics directly for computer typesetting. With Meta and Officina,Spiekermann has designed two fonts that are now used globally. They havetransformed the traditional ideals of typography into a new media age.Spiekermann left MetaDesign in 2000. He took over the redesign for TheEconomist and founded the branding and design agency United Designers Network(today: EdenSpiekermann). Spiekermann is far more than just a "pressman", above all, he is a unique graphic designer who has worked forclients such as ZDF, WDR, Nokia and Deutsche Bahn. His work is visible toalmost every visitor in Berlin when he looks at the public transport network's routemap. In America, the advertising campaign for Barack Obama used one of thefonts of the German designer and typographer for the slogan "Yes, wecan". Erik Spiekermann receives this year's Eyes & Ears ExcellenceAward for his work in typography and his lifetime achievement.