Spiekermann: The pot calling the kettle black

I must respond to Erik Spiekermann’s letter (DW 24 March), which shocked me with its viciousness and tone of jeering arrogance.

Spiekermann overreacts to between 60 and 70 words (a precis of a 20-minute conversation) ascribed to me and accuses me of “mindless moaning”. Having re-read my quote, I detect no evidence of “moaning”. I am quite happy with the typefaces I use for signing, as are, according to research, the users of my system at London’s Victoria Coach Station (illustrated in the article). Also happy, apparently, were the judges of the Sign Design Society’s awards who gave the project both the Category and Grand Prix prize last year.

It is ironic that Spiekermann accuses me of “moaning” in a letter that itself dissolves into snivelling insults and absurd generalisations about myself and other designers.

Current opinion on sign typography presents the public with a degree of contradiction that they would normally expect only from nutrition experts. I have a right to my opinions and can find little in Erik Spiekermann’s letter that actually contributes to the debate.

I am not interested, Spiekermann, in your nationality, marital status or bedtime reading habits. Nor am I interested in your lecturing on legibility versus readability, which you no doubt consider new and insightful.

As you can see, it is easy to be snide and insulting about other people’s opinions. It saddens me that a leading figure should resort to such tactics. It is easy, Spiekermann, but it is not clever and it belittles us both.

Neil MacCallum

Design director

The Jenkins Group

London SW1

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