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Erik Spiekermann

Designers Erik Spiekermann born May 30, 1947. Gerard Unger born January 22, 1942. Just Van Rossum born July 13, 1966.

Released 1990, Classifications are Sans serif, Humanist sans and Slab serif.

Foundry International Typeface Corporation

“I had had enough of the sleek, ‘pretty’ fonts that all the manufacturers were releasing, and the other was that there was a need for a modern correspondence font for laser printers.” This is the reason Erik Spiekermann created this san serif typeface named Officina. The characters catered to office documents and business correspondence. Reminiscent of the typewriter’s letter gothic and courier, Officina utilizes its negative space to give it a more economical look and greater legibility. This typeface worked great with the low-resolution laser printers businesses used at the time. Years later, Spiekermann introduced a slab serif version with the help of his friend, Gerard Unger. While in the process of designing the slabs, Unger had to back down from the assignment due to other projects, and Just van Rossum, an intern of Spiekermann’s firm, was able to help complete the typeface. Spiekermann is one of the biggest type designers to come out of Germany. He is the creator of FontShop International and The United Designers Network. Also co-founder of MetaDesign, one of the biggest design firms in the country. Spiekermann designed a number of typefaces that are used for business documents and company branding, such as Officina sans, Officina, serif, Govan, Meta and Berliner Grotesk. ITC Officina has characteristics that are unique and they are seen easily in certain letterforms. On the lowercase “y”, the arm is slightly touching the stem, as is the arm and leg of the “k”. The “i”, ”j” ,”I” and “J” are the only letterforms that have serifs. Certain letterforms share a barb slant that ends the stroke, and the ears and feet are all curved. This typeface is perfect for low-resolution output devices and monitor output.

ABCDE FGH I JKLM N O P Q R S T U VWX Y Z a b c d e f gh i j k l m n o p q r s t u vw x y z


Characters share rounded corners and barb slants. Lowercase san serif “y”, "M" and “d”


No barb slants

The stroke weight changes.

The legs extend outward.

Rounded corners

The arm sits flat on the baseline sligthly touching the stem.


d Barb slant

Not a round bowl

The stroke weight changes


1234567890 ! @ # $ %^ & * ( ) [ ] ; ’ : ”, . / < > ?

In 1989 Just van Rossum assisted in finishing the Sans and together with Spiekermann designed the slab-seriffed Officina Serif out of Unger’s sketches. URW generated the font-data and added the rounded edges. Slab Serif

San Serif

A B C D E FG H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V WX Y Z a b c d e f gh i j k l m n o p q r s t uvw x y z

w Two outward barb slants


The stroke weight changes to accommodate the outward bend.

Capital san “W” Capital slab serif “W”

Arms extend outward, their not perfectly straight.

Slab serif


officina Sans Book

officina Sans Book oblique

officina Sans Bold

officina Sans Bold oblique

officina Slab Serif Book

officina Slab Serif Book oblique

officina Slab Serif Bold

officina Slab Serif Bold oblique

accomplishments Erik Spiekermann, studied History of Art and English in Berlin. He is author, information architect, type designer (FF Meta, ITC Officina, FF Info, FF Unit, LoType, Berliner Grotesk and many corporate typefaces) and author of books and articles on type and typography. MetaDesign, Germanyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest design firm has offices in Berlin, London and San Francisco. He is responsible for corporate design programs for Audi, Skoda, Volkswagen, Lexus, Heidelberg Printing, Bosch and way-finding projects like Berlin Transit, DĂźsseldorf Airport and many others. Spiekermann designed many typefaces such as: Berliner Grotesk Lo-Type ITC Officina Sans ITC Officina Serif FF Meta FF Govan

FF Info Nokia Sans FF Unit FF Meta Serif FF Unit Slab Fira Sans



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