How Erik Spiekermann is Reinventing Printing
Award-wining type designer Erik Spiekermann has created a brand-new printing technique he has dubbed “post-digital printing”.
German designer Erik Spiekermann has an impressive design pedigree. Spiekermann is the founder of Germany’s largest design firm, MetaDesign. With offices in Berlin, London and San Francisco, it has delivered corporate design programmes for Audi, Volkswagen and Heidelberg Printing, amongst others.
In 2006, Spiekermann’s type system for Deutsche Bahn, DB Type, was awarded the gold standard of the Federal German Design Prize. And, in 2007, he was the first designer to be elected into the Hall of Fame by the European Design Awards for Communication Design. Then, in 2009, he was crowned Ambassador for the European Year of Creativity and Innovation by the European Union.
Spiekermann’s latest innovation marries the clarity of letterpress and the convenience and color-handling capabilities of offset printing – to create a whole new printing process. To achieve this, Spiekermann creates plates by using an image setter machine that cuts into polymer plastic using a laser. These plates are then backed with metal and loaded into the printing press. The laser-cut plastic plates are then held in place by the machine’s magnetic base.
The result is a defined type with great clarity and the wonderful raised print of a traditional letterpress printer.
Commercial projects already underway
One of the first projects to use the revolutionary printing process will be the forthcoming novel by Wired co-founder Louis Rossetto entitled Change is Good. Spiekermann’s post- digital printing technique will be used to print 1,000 copies of the book which will be sold initially on Kickstarter.￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼
Spiekermann told CreativeBloq that he has already printed two books for a major German publisher using the technique and plans to print another five titles in the coming year.