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Erik Spiekermann

Erik Spiekermann confirmed a title of “architect of information”. He is the author of such popular fonts as FF Meta, ITC Officina Sans, LoType, FF Unit, Berliner Grotesk, etc. He is also known for numerous books and articles on designs and typography, written in an intelligible and simple language. In 1979 Erik Spiekermann found MetaDesign studio and later FontShop, which became a world-known company of digital font development. He used to study history of art in Germany, simultaneously running a company. Now he works as an independent consultant on design problems. Linotype, Adobe and Apple are among his ordinary clients. He owns design offices in Berlin, London and San-Francisco, moving from one place to another. Erik Spiekermann has an honorable title of Professor in the Bremen Academy of Arts. Moreover he was a president of International Society of Typographic Designers. In 2003 he was awarded with a Prize for Typography in Netherlands.
Erik Spiekermann is recognized as a qualified specialist in the sphere of design, logotypes and fonts. His books make me think that he managed to find a simple form of expression for serious topics. In this way even non-professionals can easily read and understand his writings. In the first place Erik Spiekermann is a talented designer who learnt to understand and explain typographic language. Everybody wants to be competent and skillful in using fonts, according to the style of writings. The choice of right font isn’t an easy task if there are a thousand of them. I highly recommend reading books of Spiekermann [2, 4, 5] as they would be useful for those who want to express their thoughts in a printed way. I want to draw your attention to the most famous book of Spiekermann “Stop Stealing Sheep”. It combines personal experience of the author and practical pieces of advice for readers. It is a sort of author’s diary on typography, that’s why readers are unlikely to remain indifferent. Spiekermann’s designs are penetrated with modernism. He admits that design needs creative approach in the first place. One can’t create an image following the instructions of experienced designers. Skillful designer needs good taste and powerful imagination. Spiekermann considers the main thing that sometimes irritates a designer is lack of time. One has to think over small details in order to make new font perfect. Readers of Spiekermann’s books may learn more about modern typing technologies and Internet fonts. It would be a nice illustrative material and an exciting narrative about proper font usage. The fact that his books became world bestsellers proves that modern civilization can’t function without fonts. Even labels and logotypes are of special genre. Each font corresponds to certain period in history. Fonts can reflect different aspects of our life and express different human emotions and feelings.
Fonts differ from each other in style, richness, declivity, contrast and proportions. I want to demonstrate two fonts designed by Erik Spiekermann which became recognized and widely used in different spheres of modern life.

ITC Officina. It is a sort of font family of nearly 25 different styles. It became a unique polygraph set with an electronic Cyrillic version available. This font includes grotesque ITC Officina Sans and brusque ITC Officina Serif. Now other outward shapes of these fonts are being gradually developed. These fonts may be used in magazines and journals. It would be right to apply them in small articles easy for reading. The font as a basis for information, often acquires quaint forms according to the situation. Owing these style regenerations we are able to define necessary information and sift out that of minor importance. German designers managed to reform old stereotypes, creating more and more fonts of different kind. Grotesque Officina Sans for instance has little specific marks. It is not so pretentious in comparison with many others. That’s why it was originally intended for typing blanks and some official documents. Nowadays however it is widely used everywhere. It would be suitable either for poems or for short advertisements.

Berliner Grotesk is another sample of Spiekermann’s works. This one is an old font style. It is supposed to be used in advertisements or some short texts of this kind. It would be especially appropriate in loud headlines. Its design is characterized with “x-height, rough edges and short descenders” [1, 7]. It’s quite natural that the majority of people typing information on computer don’t actually think about typing style. In fact a good font shouldn’t be very noticeable as well as a good designer. Study of font variety would help to understand it better. One may find much useful information on typography and design. According to style and shaping different fonts should be used in different kinds of documentation. I must admit that Erik Spiekermann made a significant contribution into this sphere.
In conclusion I’d like to say that we devour great amount of information through television, computer network, printed matter, journals, magazines, books, numerous signboards and advertisements in the streets. We are surrounded by typography. That’s why genuine works of Erik Spiekermann become more and more important in everyday life of modern people.

References
1. DW-World. 2007. Top Designer Says World Cup Design “Just Embarrassing”.
2. E. Spiekerman, Å.Ì. Ginger. 2005. Stop Stealing Sheep. ParaType Publishing House.
3. TYPO HOME. 2007. Fonts by Erik Spiekermann http://www.fontshop.de/typo98/enhanced/sprecher/d_spiekermann.html
4. Erik Spiekermann. 2005. Short Autobiography/CV http://www.spiekermann.com/mten/downloads/spiekerbio_de%2Ben_0107.pdf
5. E. Spiekermann, M. Klein, Y. Schwemmer-Scheddin. 1991. Type and Typographes. Phaidon Press.
6. E. Spiekermann, J. Middendorp.2006. Made with FontFont. BIS Publishers.
7. PingMag - The Tokyo-based magazine about Design.2007. Erik Spiekermann - typography and design today. Yes!Communications. Risa Partners, Inc. http://www.pingmag.jp/2005/10/31/erik-spiekermann-typography-and-design-today/

 
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