Born in 1947, Erik Spiekermann studied history of art and English in Berlin. He is an information architect, a type designer (FF Meta, FF MetaSerif, ITC Officina, FF Govan, FF Info, FF Unit, LoType, Berliner Grotesk and many corporate typefaces) and an author of many books and articles on type and typography.
In 1979, he founded MetaDesign, Germany's largest design firm with offices in Berlin, London and San Francisco. Projects included corporate design programmes for Audi, Skoda, Volkswagen, Lexus, Heidelberg Printing and wayfinding projects like Berlin Transit, Düsseldorf Airport and many others. In 1988 he started FontShop, a company for the production and distribution of electronic fonts. Spiekermann is a board member of ATypI and the German Design Council, as well as a past president of the ISTD, International Society of Typographic Designers, and the IIID. In 2001 he left MetaDesign and is now a partner in Edenspiekermann with offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, London and San Francisco.
He redesigned The Economist magazine in London for its relaunch in 2001. His book for Adobe Press, Stop Stealing Sheep, is in its second edition and has been translated into German and in Russian. His corporate font family for Nokia was released in 2002. In 2003 he received the Gerrit Noordzij Award from the Royal Academy in Den Haag. His type system DB Type for Deutsche Bahn was awarded the gold Federal German Design Prize in 2006. In May 2007 he was the first designer to be elected into the Hall of Fame by the European Design Awards for Communication Design.
Spiekermann is an honorary professor at the University of the Arts in Bremen and in 2006 received an honorary doctorate from Pasadena Art Centre. He was made an Honorary Royal Designer for Industry in Britain in 2007 and ambassador for the European Year of Creativity and Innovation by the European Union for 2009.