Tomas Clarkson has recently completed an internship with Erik Spiekermann during his DPS year in Berlin and was lucky enough to work closely on a project with Erik himself at p98a.

p98a is an experimental letterpress workshop in Berlin Tiergarten, dedicated to letters, printing and paper. Erik and his friends are a group of multi-disciplined designers, exploring how letterpress can be redefined in the 21st century through printing, research, collecting, publishing and making things.

Erik Spiekermann, Ferdinand Ulrich, Norman Posselt, Axel Nagel, Jan Gassel, Alexandra Pawłowska, Laureen Mahler, John Peck and Susanna Dulkinys work with hot metal- and wood- type, several proof presses, a Heidelberg »Windmill« platen and other traditonal analogue equipment, combining these with digital technologies. They expose polymer plates, cut large size type from digital data, mill punches to make matrices for casting new hot metal type and will be 3d-printing poster type as soon as the materials become affordable.

“The project I worked on with Erik is now available to buy from the store. This was the fourth edition of PAPER, which is a small publication printed entirely on Risograph (with the cover being letterpress printed) and features a different illustrator and writer per edition. It was amazing to work with Erik on this, as he has been one of my design heroes for a long time and actually having him ask me personally to illustrate the publication was really crazy. The launch was this week, which was very German (Beer and pretzels) and we had a photo taken together. The launch was also featured on a really big Berlin-based website called Freunde Von Freunden which was also nice to see. The Risograph effect really made the illustrations look great, and I was delighted with how it all turned out.”