Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Erik Spiekermann

Erik Spiekermann

Type and information designer

Posted in designer, mac, type

Who are you, and what do you do?

Information designer, type designer, author. Curator of people at Edenspiekermann (formerly founder at MetaDesign). Founder of FontShop.

What hardware do you use?

I have a Korrex proofing press (like a Vandercook), a platen press and lots of type. A photo studio set-up with big lights and Nikon, Pentax plus mid-format Yashica cameras.

Plus a collection of Leica cameras, from early M3 (pre-war) through digital M8 and pretty much everything else in between. I also have a large collection of Braun HiFi equipment, from the late 60s until they stopped making that stuff in the 90s. (Dieter Rams' work is a major inspiration -- to put it politely -- to Jonathan Ive at Apple.)

Then I have 3 racing bikes (2 in Berlin, one in SF), two single-speeds (one in London, one in Berlin), 2 trek bikes (1 Berlin, 1 London), 2 city bikes (1 Berlin, 1 Amsterdam). Plus a car from 1977: a NSU Ro80, the first Wankel engine car.

Yes, I do have residences in all those places.

I am not including printers, scanners and other peripherals as they keep changing. Nor all the digital cameras that are out of date the minute you buy them. And I won't mention my collection of Newtons from the early 90s (I did the bitmap fonts for them) or other early Apple stuff, including two 20th Anniversary Macs and my old Mac Plus from 1985.

And what software?

Indesign (I'm pretty confident), TextEdit (I write a lot) and Writer (also for the iPad), Twitter (does that qualify?), FontLab, BitFonter, Glyphs and RoboFont for designing type. Keynote and Keynotopia. Some Photoshop, some Illustrator, some CSSEdit, Espresso. Never use Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

What would be your dream setup?

A clean desk, a sharp pencil, a giant screen that folds away, a fast MacBook and a roll of sketch paper. I have all of those except a clean desk.