Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Digital Distribution of Fonts and The Typographer Behind It all

Today it seems like by the click of a button we can download and use fonts, but ever wonder how it all started? There was one revolutionary that started it all. Erik Spiekermann Co-founded Font Shop with his wife Joan Spiekermann where they became the first digital distributor of Fonts. In 1989 Joan and Erik Spiekermann signed contracts with leading type foundries and stored hundreds of fonts on floppy disks. The way people ordered these fonts were to call and order them they would send out the font on the floppy disks through the mail. 

Soon after the launch of the original vendor of digital type he teamed up with that other famous graphic designer, Neville Brody, and founded FontFont, which has since then become the largest independent foundry of original type designs. Not only does it produce some contemporary classics, but it also houses wildly imaginative designs, and spearheaded many innovations in digital type technology. His distribution of type on floppy disks soon became obsolete and FontShop moved their company to the Web and distributes fonts online.

Erik Spiekermann has created 475 typefaces to this day and all of them are readily available for purchase on and he continues to make more work to this day. Some of the typefaces that he created are Berliner Grotesk, FF Meta, ITC Officina Sans, and FiraSans.

He was founder of MetaDesign in 1979, Germany’s largest design firm with offices in Berlin, London and San Francisco. He is responsible for corporate design programs for Audi, Skoda, Volkswagen, Lexus, Heidelberg Printing, Bosch and way-finding projects like Berlin Transit, Düsseldorf Airport and many others. - Putting the Face back into typeface

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