Book List of the Week

Four German Designers and the Books That Inspire Them

Hartmut Esslinger, Fritz Frenkler, Erik Spiekermann, Carola Zwick

September 22, 2014

Four designers hailing from Germany are highlighted this week: graphic designer and “typomaniac” Erik Spiekermann (FontBook) and product/industrial designers Hartmut Esslinger (frog Design for Apple), Fritz Frenkler (frog Design), and Carola Zwick (Studio 7.5).


Interior spread from Hello, I am Erik: Erik Spiekermann: Typographer, Designer, Entrepreneur by Johannes Erler, 2014 (Gestalten)
Erik Spiekermann's Book List

This list was in my head, and I was thinking that getting the details and writing a few lines for each title would take a leisurely Sunday afternoon. It turned out to be a busy Friday morning instead. I’ve made this list from all the books I could reach from my desk at home without getting onto ladders. I have about 3,000 books, so there could easily be many more. As there is intelligent life outside the U.S., I have included some of my favorite books in German as well.

Carola Zwick's Book List

As a designer you are concerned with observing and understanding change and solving emerging needs and problems. In addition, your concepts and ideas as well as the change you hope to trigger with your design intervention need to be communicated clearly.

Hartmut Esslinger's Book List

Decisions—decisions . . . Here are “my” books. Actually I have two walls of books, one here in San Francisco and another in Germany.

In addition to the fiction on my list, I read a lot of history—currently American: politics, design, and biographies.

Fritz Frenkler's Book List

Books with important content for industrial design can be found in history. It seems that current designers have little time to express their thoughts on paper. The medium of the book has a future in the context of design.

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