ISTD Honorary Fellowship is awarded in recognition of outstanding typographic achievement; or for significant contribution to the Society, or to the typographic industry as a whole. We're sure you will agree that Erik’s career well and truly ticks all these boxes.
Erik is a world-leading authority on typography and design – and arguably has helped shape the world of typography as we know it. An ISTD member since 1988, Erik was elected Fellow in the 1990s; served as President from 2002–06; and is a longstanding Board Director.
HonFISTD is the highest accolade that ISTD can offer. Erik Spiekermann now deservedly joins our famous roll call of Honorary Fellows which includes Derek Birdsall, Margaret Calvert, Ivan Chermayeff, Wim Crouwel, Alan Kitching, Roger McGough, John Miles and Sir John Sorrell; and past HonFISTDs Ben Bos, Alan Fletcher, Michael Harvey MBE and Josef Müller-Brockmann.
We know from Erik's involvement with ISTD where he has informed and inspired numerous students and professionals worldwide – that having him as one of our foremost ambassadors will continue to raise the bar on the relevance and importance of typography in an age of multi media communications.
Erik Spiekermann is a letterpress printer, art historian, type designer, information architect, entrepreneur, author; and a prolific speaker, well-known for his original, sometimes acerbic, always entertaining commentary on typographic life.
Erik is one of the most well-known figures on the international typographic scene; as a type and typographic designer, he has built a solid reputation for high quality typography. He founded MetaDesign in 1979 and FontShop in 1988. Two of his typefaces, FF Meta and ITC Officina, are considered to be modern classics.
He is behind the design of well-known brands such as Audi, Bosch, VW, German Railways and Heidelberg Printing, amongst others; and information systems for Berlin Transit and Düsseldorf Airport; and for publications like The Economist. He designed exclusive typefaces for corporations like Deutsche Bahn, Bosch, ZDF (German TV), Cisco, Mozilla and many others.
Erik is Honorary Professor at the University of the Arts, Bremen. In 2003 he received the Gerrit Noordzij Award from the Royal Academy in The Hague. The Pasadena Art Center awarded him an Honorary Doctorship in 2006. He was made an Honorary Royal Designer for Industry by the RSA in 2007. The European Union appointed him as Ambassador for the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009.
In 2011 he received the German National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement; the TDC Medal; and a Lifetime Award from the German Art Directors Club.
A book about his life and work ‘Hello I am Erik’ was published by Gestalten Verlag in 2014.
Erik was managing partner and creative director of Edenspiekermann with offices in Berlin, Amsterdam, San Francisco and Los Angeles until June 2014, when he moved from that position to the supervisory board.
In a career of over 40 years, Erik's path has taken him from letterpress printer to type/typographic designer and most recently back to his passion for letterpress printing, running galerie p98a an experimental letterpress workshop in Berlin. Having ‘invented’ the digital distribution of fonts with FontShop – he considers he has progressed from that by making digital typefaces into wood type.