Erik Spiekermann is a German typographer and designer. He is a professor at the University of the Arts Bremen. Spiekermann studied art history at Berlin’s Free University, funding himself by running a letterpress printing press in the basement of his house.Between 1972 and 1979, he worked as a freelance graphic designer in London before returning to Berlin and founding MetaDesign with two partners.
In 1989 he and his wife, Joan Spiekermann, started FontShop, the first mail-order distributor for digital fonts. FontShop International followed and now publishes the FontFont range of typefaces. MetaDesign combined clean, teutonic-looking information design and complex corporate design systems for clients like BVG (Berlin Transit), Düsseldorf Airport, Audi, Volkswagen and Heidelberg Printing, amongst others.
In 2001 Spiekermann left MetaDesign over policy disagreements and started UDN | United Designers Networks with offices in Berlin, London and San Francisco.In April 2006, the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena awarded Spiekermann an Honorary Doctorship for his contribution to design. His family of typefaces for Deutsche Bahn (German Railways), designed with Christian Schwartz, received a Gold Medal at the German Federal Design Prize in 2006, the highest such award in Germany.
As of January 2007, UDN has been renamed SpiekermannPartners, and as of January 2009 it has been renamed Edenspiekermann.