So who are the faces behind FontFont? Based in the über-trendy Kreuzberg quarter in Berlin, we’re a fun-loving bunch from a multitude of backgrounds and with a range of passions, expertise and hidden talents (from baseball to blogging, from cycling to poetry, from drumming to baking).
Images by Max Zerrahn
Alexander is a literature fanatic, philosophy fiend and all-round source of amazingness; he brings our typefaces to life with his design magic. Born in the Republic of Tajikistan, he moved over to Germany in the mid-1990s. He has a Bachelors in Media Production and a Masters of Design in Type and Media from the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague. He spent six months as an intern with us back in 2009 and then joined us again in late 2012.
Andreas is Head of our Type Department. He brings a wealth of experience to our team having worked as a sign painter, calligraphy teacher, calligrapher, type designer and font technician. He is a big lover of proverbs and sayings, his favorite at the moment is ‘everything will be good in the end, and when it’s not good, then it’s not the end!’. When he’s not working he can be found tinkering with fonts or practicing his calligraphy.
Carola started working at FontShop Germany in 1995 and joined FontFont in 2001. She is our financial controller and is responsible for keeping our finances in order, for our HR and much more. When she’s not working, she loves to cycle and listen to all sorts of music, from blues to classical to pop music. A ray of sunshine, she is always smiling. A lesser known fact about Carola, when she was growing up she wanted to be a florist.
In 1982, Clemens got his first computer (an Atari 800XL). Following his degree in Information Technology, he managed to turn his hobby into his job. At FontFont, he is our database expert and software developer and ensures that our beautiful fonts appear correctly in our web shop. In addition, he develops numerous internal tools and web applications such as Subsetter. When he’s not sitting in front of a computer, he loves to go outdoors or to travel around the world and take wonderful pictures with his DLSR in order to keep up his other hobby, photography. During lunchtime, you can often find Clemens in one of the many restaurants on Bergmannstraße.
Our founder Erik Spiekermann is a chocolate lover (the way to his heart is legendary Berlin-based manufacturer Erich Hamann), international bike lover (he owns at least 15 bikes worldwide), self proclaimed typomaniac and so much more. A longtime sufferer of Typomania, “a sickness that is incurable but not lethal...”, his typefaces FF Meta, FF Unit and FF Info are FontFont icons and rumor has it, his favorite letter is the lowercase “a” because it looks like a fat kid running. A man of many words (and letters), you learn something new in each and every conversation you have with Erik, whatever the topic or circumstance.
Our Database Technician Fabian is a trilingual baseball fan (the New York Yankees of course!) and font fanatic originally from New Jersey. He came to Berlin after spending seven years living in Barcelona. He has a degree in advertising but was thrust into web development during the dot com boom of the late 90s in San Francisco. An avid fan of photography, he worked as a photographer’s assistant in Barcelona. He plays baseball for a local team here in Berlin, and often comes up against our very own Greg who is member of a rival team.
Greg is our System Administrator, Health and Safety Officer and First Aider – in any emergency he’s our man! Since 2000, he’s worked in our Sales, Administration, Tech and Type teams and has an extensive knowledge of the inner workings of all of FontFont. An ardent Boston Red Sox fan, he also loves to watch American Football and ice hockey. Like Fabian, he plays for a local Berlin team in the position of pitcher. An unusual fact about Greg: he grew up in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea.
Inka is a qualified Typesetter and our Chief Font Technician. She studied Communications Design with a focus on typography, type development and advertising design and was mentored by and worked for Lucas de Groot at Fontfabrik. In 2000, whilst still finishing her studies she came to work with us. She is responsible for making our fonts work harder, refining and polishing them. When she’s not working with fonts, Inka loves to cycle, read and spend time with her friends. She is also a triathlon fan, having taken part in her first one in 2006.
Ivo is a man of many interests and talents! At FontFont, he looks after all things marketing for us. He joined FontFont in 2008. A stickler for detail and the first one to spot a typo (of every sort) he is a true font aficionado. When he’s not organizing the next Berliner Typostammtisch (a get-together in Berlin for type enthusiasts), writing his blog Fontwerk, taking photos, listening to trance music (yes we know, we have tried to persuade him it’s not the 90s anymore), Ivo can often be found cycling the streets of Berlin.
The newest member to join the FontShop International family, Jana is our resident user interface designer. A recent graphic and interface graduate from the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, her zest for type can be seen across all her work. When she’s not hyper for type you can find Jana cruising on her bike around Berlin city or rocking the fussball table in Kulturfabrik Moabit.
From a very early age, Jens was fascinated by computers and pixels. Aged 14 he got his first Commodore 64 and ever since has been interested in combining design with technology. Jens has a degree in Graphic Design, and has been working as Font Technician at FontFont since 2007. A fact that not many know about Jens is that he’s a secret songwriter and singer; he also has many other hobbies including gardening, reading, playing video games and designing type. When he was growing up he wanted to be Andy Warhol but then ‘at some point decided it’s better to be yourself.’
Jörg is our web developer extraordinaire. He started working at FontFont in 2009. He looks after and develops fontfont.com as well as working on our font production system. He’s fuelled by espressos and has a very dry sense of humor. When asked ‘what makes him laugh’ he answered, ‘There are only 10 types of people: Those who understand binary and those who don't.’ His favorite FontFont is FF Chartwell.
Lucy joined our team in 2012 and works alongside Ivo on all things marketing-related. She’s got a background in Marketing and Sales having worked for a range of companies including a charity, a university and a start-up. Typically British, she says ‘lovely’ far too much, drinks copious cups of tea and still can’t get the hang of walking on the ‘right’ side of the road in Berlin. She moonlights as a poet and loves to bake … She’s determined to make ‘cake o’clock’ a FontFont Friday tradition.
Natalie works in the marketing team, spreading the word about all things type. A Brit with a background in consumer and international PR, Natalie has worked across a variety of sectors including fashion, food and drink, healthcare and music, before she eventually fell in love with fonts. A terrible ice skater but reasonable hula hooper, Natalie has a keen interest in baking carrot cakes and learning to cook something other than really good poached eggs. She is a huge lover of all things music and at weekends can be found gracing the many dance floors and gig venues of Berlin.
Originally from the USA, Mai-Linh began working for us in 1995. During her first few years working here, Mai-Linh also pursued her hobby as a musician by touring Europe with a variety of indie rock bands. She’s worked on numerous projects for us including the earliest versions of our websites fontfont.de, fontfont.com and fontshop.com. She is the project manager and co-editor of the FontBook™ (originally in its printed form), and now in its new incarnation as an iPad app. Her current favorite quotes include “In a mad world, only the mad are sane” and “Ninety-seven percent of you consists of water. The rest is attitude”.
Having originally studied English and History with a view to becoming a teacher, Petra started her career as an office manager at a design company. She then moved on to become the first employee of our sister company FontShop - in 1994, she joined FontFont. The head of our FontFont family, Petra leads our team, forges relationships across the industry and makes us smile with her wicked sense of humor. When she’s not travelling the world flying the FontFont flag, Petra is a big photography and arts fan, has a fondness for chocolate and black clothes and is an avid supporter of Berlin’s Basketball Team, Alba.
Sebastian joined us in 2002. He is our big daddy of databases, bringing a wealth of experience having previously worked as a Development Manager at a number of software firms. He is responsible for ensuring that our FontShop databases, which contain over 141,325 fonts (and counting), all run smoothly and is continually looking at ways to develop and improve them. He loves German food, making cocktails, meditating and mentoring students at his student fraternity (Landsmannschaft).
Ugla truly is the font (yep the other meaning!) of all FontFont knowledge, having been with us since the early days. She is responsible for making sure that everything runs smoothly with every release and that our Customers, Designers and Distributors are happy and looked after - yes Ugla does pretty much a bit of everything. Ask her any question related to a FontFont and she will know the answer straight away! Never one to miss a trick, she will also spot a mistake a mile off. A keen cyclist (yes there’s quite a few of them here), she loves the outdoors and can often be found stomping up a mountain soaking up the fresh air.
Veronica joined our team back in 2000 after studying Biology. Full of knowledge about our FontFonts, she is the friendly voice at the end of the phone ready to help with any query you may have! Alongside looking after our customers, she is responsible for invoicing our distributors, overseeing the royalties for our FontFont designers and the fStop photographers, and is also the queen of statistics.
We are always on the lookout for people interested in type design and font engineering/technology. Throughout the year, we offer internships in our Type Department. If you are still studying or have recently graduated and have an interest in typography and design, we would be interested to hear from you. Find out more.