Erik Spiekermann might have recently retired from running Edenspiekermann and FontShop, but his version of retirement is somewhat different to most sixty-seven year-olds: he’s decided to go back to his roots and has founded the letterpress workshop P98a in Berlin. In our debut issue, which will be available to buy on Wednesday 24th September, Erik shared some thoughts about his new venture. Here’s an excerpt:
Thirty years ago, the message and the medium were identical. You set letters into words by touching them. The body of a metal letter is an object that compositors can read, from left to right, albeit upside-down. In order to read it comfortably, however, the surface of that object is covered in ink and pressed against paper. That’s what we call printing. We still print today, although the process of converting data into little blobs of ink is all but invisible. The marks on paper show up as ‘printed’ letters and are perfectly readable, but there is no indication of what happened inside that printer. The substrate itself is not supposed to be noticed; it is just a receptacle for the message.
And why did return to printing now?
First and foremost this is an attempt to go back to where type and typography come from: an ingenious system of pre-fabricated elements that we assemble into words and pages.
Wise words, indeed. You can read the full piece in Lagom #1 (the photo above is our proof copy), and to get notified about the issue’s release, sign up to our newsletter.