Virtual Design Festival

"Don't work with a**holes," says Erik Spiekermann at Forward Festival

In the second part of today's collaboration between Virtual Design Festival and Forward Festival, Erik Spiekermann shares seven propositions for designers to remember.

"I was looking forward to, for once, speaking in German," the type designer and author jokingly began his talk in Vienna at Forward Festival in 2017.

Spiekermann's lecture looked at the things he has learnt from his long career, including his first rule: "Don't work with a***holes."

Among Spiekermann's most well-known accomplishments are two typefaces, FF Meta and ITC Officina, that are considered modern classics.

The German designer has also created branding for Audi, Bosch and VW, and his practice is behind the visual identity for German railway company Deutsche Bahn.

"If you ever take the train in Germany, everything you read was designed by us," Spiekermann said in the lecture.

"Everyone asks me the same question"

A regular on the lecture scene, he explained that he always gets the same questions and that he hates being called a "creative," as he thinks everyone is creative.

"Everyone who interviews me asks the same question: 'what does creativity mean to you?' You know, the c-word. Boring, boring. And 'where do you get your ideas from?' Boring, boring," he said.

In 2018, Spiekermann worked with five students from around the world to revive five unfinished fonts from the Bauhaus school that had been "lost to history".

In his talk, he shared his tips for people who are just starting out in the design industry: "What advice would I give aspiring designers? Think. That's the best thing you can ever do. And read."

About Forward Festival

Based in Vienna and founded in 2014, Forward Festival runs conferences for creatives in Vienna, Munich, Hamburg and Berlin. The conference, the centrepiece of the festival, is accompanied by various side events, such as workshops, live art sessions and networking events.

Past speakers at the festival include Oliviero Toscani, Paula Scher, Stefan Sagmeister, Kate Moross, Erik Spiekermann, David Carson and MoMA New York. The next edition of the festival will take place on 8-9 October 2020.

About Virtual Design Festival

Virtual Design Festival, the world's first digital design festival, runs from 15 April to 30 June 2020. It is a platform that will bring the architecture and design world together to celebrate the culture and commerce of our industry, and explore how it can adapt and respond to extraordinary circumstances.

VDF will host a rolling programme of online talks, lectures, movies, product launches and more, complementing and supporting fairs and festivals around the world that have had to be postponed or cancelled and it will provide a platform for design businesses, so they can, in turn, support their supply chains.