Better printd than not

betterdonw.

This looks like a clever typographic pun. It may well be so, but as often with real type, necessity was the mother of invention. When I sketch a poster to be printed, I normally make sure I have enough characters of that particular font. In large sizes like this one (20 cicero or 20 line), there are only a handful of each character in the case. As you can see below, Akzidenz Grotesk Halbfett only provides 4 lower case letters “e”. We could have inserted an e from the Bold weight or one from another font. Instead, we decided to just leave it. Just lazy, not creative. Makes us look cleverer than we are!
AG20

As always, the poster is printed on MetaPaper Rough Warm White 170 gsm in Black and Pantone Warm Red ink. From original wood type on our Korrex Frankfurt, 50×70 cm.

The 50 posters each are num­bered and signed by Erik Spiek­er­mann. We ship every­where and you can pay by Pay­Pal. Price is the same in these cur­rencies: £, $, €; always 98, includ­ing tax (where applic­a­ble) and ship­ping, wrapped in a solid card­board tube. Please go to spiekerstuff to order. You can also check out the other prints there as well as the metal housenumbers I designed a few years ago. Some of them are still available from spiekerstuff.

1924 Johannisberger Schnellpresse (stop-cylinder press)

Ths press hadn’t been used for 30 years. We had to make or find many parts to get it going again. Good job that there are still some people left who know how these amazing machines work! We had new rollers cast (they’re 130cm or 58 inches wide!) and managed to get paper in that giant size. We’ll be printing the first poster next week, following the layout shown below, but from original wood and metal type. At this size, even 24pt Block looks minute next to the 32 cicero (approx 35 line) Fanfare. The cooperation between our galerie p98a and Ralf, Reinhard and Daniel from Die Lettertypen promises to be a lot of fun in the future.

BTW: we’ll take commissions!

Diese Druckmaschine war mehr als 30 Jahre nicht in Betrieb. Etliche Teile mussten neu angefertigt und andere beschafft werden. Gut, dass es noch einige Fachleute gibt, die wissen, wie so eine Maschine funktioniert. Acht neue Walzen (immerhin 130cm breit) sind frisch gegossen und wir haben auch Papier in diesem riesigen Format besorgt. Das erste Plakat wird nächste Woche gedruckt, nach diesem Entwurf, aber von den originalen Holz- und Bleischriften. Auf diesem Format sieht die Block in 24p neben der Fanfare in 32 cicero recht klein aus.
Weltformat_fanfare_604

Diese Kooperation zwischen unserer galerie p98a und Ralf, Reinhard und Daniel von Die Lettertypen wird uns noch viel Freude machen.

Wir nehmen auch Aufträge an!

Our latest poster, freshly printed

p98a-poster-2015-10
This quote by Jean-Luc Godard has always intrigued me. The discussion about style versus content is as old as the profession of graphic design, and he puts it into perspective.

This is a longish quote which uses quite a few characters (8 lower case e and 5 o – all we have in that size), so we couldn’t resort to our larger Akzidenz Grotesk, but had to go to 12 cicero instead.

As always, the poster is printed on MetaPaper Rough Warm White 160 gsm in Black and Pantone Warm Red ink. From original wood and metal type on our Korrex Frankfurt, 50×70 cm.

The 50 posters each are num­bered and signed by Erik Spiek­er­mann. We ship every­where and you can pay by Pay­Pal. Price is the same in these cur­rencies: £, $, €; always 98, includ­ing tax (where applic­a­ble) and ship­ping, wrapped in a solid card­board tube. Please go to spiekerstuff to order. You can also check out the other prints there as well as the metal housenumbers I designed a few years ago. Some of them are still available from spiekerstuff.

Letterpress workshops at P98a

One of the joys of running a letterpress studio is to share the experience with others. At galerie p98a we regularly set up workshop sessions for a group of individuals or an entire team. We’ve had design teams here for a team-building exercise, for a day of reprieve from sitting in front of their screens or simply for the fun of getting their hands dirty.

You’ll find a list of planned workshops on spiekerstuff. That page links to Eventbrite, from where you can reserve a workshop and find out about the financials.

Designers from Construct London at P98a

Designers from Construct London at P98a

Giant old press back in operation

Our friends at Lettertypen in Berlin have quite a few old presses, all of them operational. The biggest one of them is Johannisberger Schnellpresse from 1924. It prints sheets up to A0 format, 88×126cm (i. e. 35″×50″), with manual feed but automatic delivery. See here for a list of other equipment our combined workshops have: SchriftDruckPapier (in German).

After a long search, he recently found a few missing parts and last week Daniel ran the first sheets through the press. Watch it here:

3-letter words project

We printed 60 small posters with one word in each of them; all in English and with just three letters. These words are now up on the wall in the shop on Potsdamer Strasse 98, outside our letterpress workshop.
The idea is that you’d pick up as many of these words as you like and make a sentence with them. You hang the boards on the wall opposite and we take a photo. That’s it.
If you like, you can also crank out a poster on our small proofing press as proof of you having been there.
We’ll start this Friday, September 18, at around 16:00 and will also be there Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

words_wall

FF Real at P98a

The new typeface I designed with Ralph Du Carrois was released by FontShop under the FontFont label last week. Alexander Roth designs all the cool printed stuff for FontShop in Berlin and had us at P98a print a poster from the wood type we had made for the Regular weight of FF Real. Norman Posselt took the photograph of me pulling a sheet from the Korrex proof press.

Only the first 25 buyers of FF Real will get one of the 25 signed and numbered posters we printed.

Erik_Limited_Edition_72

Posters for June and July

We do design, set and print a new poster every month, but somehow often forget to announce it. The last one here was the May poster “Don’t work for assholes”.

We have since printed two more posters, one of them being yet another version of a popular motif: “Alles ist fertig. Es muss nur noch gemacht werden.”, which translates as “Everything is ready. It just remains to be made.” In spite of it being in German, the two previous editions have been bought by a lot of people outside of Germany. As every print is limited to a run of 50 and the type is then put back into the cases (i.e. the “artwork” is destroyed), a new edition is different by definition. But we also make it different by setting it in a different typeface. This time in Akzidenz Grotesk Medium 16 cicero (a little larger than 16-line or pica – although sizes in wood type do not mean very much in terms of exact measurement) and it’s printed in our two favourite colours, Black and Warm Red.

allesistfertig03

For the latest print (the poster for July, I suppose), we picked a saying that I might not have underwritten a few years ago: “Better done than perfect”. When we worked for print alone, everything had to be as perfect as possible. It is, however, much more difficult if not impossible to control the results of anything published online. It is also changed very quickly, often with just a few keystrokes. Getting the colour wrong or discovering typos used to be a disaster, whereas code is updated within seconds, often before anybody has actually noticed our mistakes.

I picked our Akzidenz Grotesk Medium in 20 cicero because that filled the paper nicely. I did not check the amount of each letter in the case. There should have been six lower-case e’s and four t’s. But when I came to the last word, I realized that we only have four e’s. I could have inserted an e from the Bold weight, which we happen to have in the same size. I already used that trick for the missing o in “Don’t work with assholes”. A little boring, I thought and, actually, the word prfect perfectly illustrated itself with that missing e.

betterdone_72

As always, the poster is printed on MetaPaper Rough Warm White 160 gsm in Black and Pantone Warm Red ink. From original wood and metal type on our Korrex Frankfurt, 50×70 cm.

The 50 posters each are num­bered and signed by Erik Spiek­er­mann. We ship every­where and you can pay by Pay­Pal. Price is the same in these cur­rencies: £, $, €; always 98, includ­ing tax (where applic­a­ble) and ship­ping, wrapped in a solid card­board tube. Please go to spiekerstuff to order. Hopefully, the shopping cart will finally work. You can also check out the other prints there as well as the metal housenumbers I designed a few years ago. Some of them are still available from spiekerstuff.

Our poster for May

The trouble with limited runs is that popular motifs run out very quickly and we have to disappoint a lot of people. We cannot simple reprint the same subject, as that would contradict the principle. We have, however, redesigned and then printed the same statement before: »Alles ist fertig, es muss nur noch gemacht werden« was so popular that a second run had become inevitable, albeit looking quite different from the first one.

The other very popular theme has been my motto »Don’t work for assholes, don’t work with assholes«. The former part of this statement is the one that most colleagues want to display on their studio walls. So we went ahead and printed just that sentence. It is set in 20cicero (about 21pica) Akzidenz Grotesk Medium. These large fonts do not have very many characters in a set. When we ran out of lower case o, we had to insert the last one from the Bold weight of the same typeface. It is a little larger on the body but ends up looking as if we wanted to stress the meaning of the word with an extra large o. Necessity as the mother of invention. BTW: 20cicero is a cap height of approx. 85mm.

p98a_assholes_2_72

As always, the poster is printed on MetaPaper Rough Warm White 160 gsm in Black and Pantone Warm Red ink. From original wood and metal type on our Korrex Frankfurt, 50×70 cm.

The 50 posters each are num­bered and signed by Erik Spiek­er­mann. We ship every­where and you can pay by Pay­Pal. Price is the same in these cur­rencies: £, $, €; always 98, includ­ing tax (where applic­a­ble) and ship­ping, wrapped in a solid card­board tube. Orders with shipping address please to info@p98a.com.