p98a is an experimental letterpress workshop in Berlin dedicated to letters, printing and paper. We are a group of multi-­disciplined designers, exploring how letterpress can be redefined in the 21st century through research, printing, collecting, publishing and making things. We work with hot metal- and wood-type, several proof presses, a Heidelberg “Windmill” platen and other traditional analogue equipment, and combine those with digital techno­logies.

P98A Typemedia
A group of TypeMedia students from the The Hague visits the workshop.
P98A Studio
Our proof presses in full color.
P98A Heidelberg
The Heidelberg “Windmill” in black and white.

Workshops → One of the joys of running a letterpress studio is to share the expe­rience with others. At p98a we regularly set up workshop sessions for a group of individuals or entire teams. Workshop sessions start with a historical intro­duction to letterpress and with a look at different printing methods as well as the typographic measurement system. This is followed by a tour through the work-space. → Sign up here.

P98A Workshop 02
P98A Workshop 03
Alexander (right), a trained typesetter, is one the core instructors during workshops.
P98A Workshop 04
Jannis (right) knows our wood type catalogue pretty well, because he’s proofed several of them himself.
181008 P98A Broschüre Erbar
Our favorite letter ‘ß’ in 48 point Erbar ­Grotesk halbfett, designed by Jakob Erbar and released with Ludwig & Mayer in 1927.

Collection → We have more than 500 ­cases of poster type made from wood and alterna­tive materials, ranging from 8 to 60 Cicero (the German equi­valent of a “line”) and around 450 ­cases of foundry type from 6 to 96 point. ­Gauges for measuring the height of ­rollers and type as well as the thickness of paper are tools we use daily. We also have type specimens and a large collection of books—old and new—about printing, typesetting and typography.

181008 P98A Broschüre Schrifthöhe
Schrifthöhenmessgerät
181008 P98A Broschüre Gummituch
Gummidrucktuchspezialdickenmesser
181008 P98A Broschüre Walzengreif
Walzensteller „Greif“ a.k.a. Walzengreif

Post-digital printing → We expose polymer plates, cut large size type from digital data, mill punches to make matrices for casting new hot metal type and will be 3D-printing poster type as soon as the materials be­come affordable. We use a direct-to-plate process to output digital plates for letterpress-printing books on a Heidelberg Cylinder and a giant (130×96cm) ­Johannisberger stop­-cylinder press from 1924. Erik and Ferdinand recently talked about the process and some projects at a conference watch it here.

P98A Adlershof
Daniel checks a proof while printing the books for the Suhrkamp Letterpress edition.
180219 P98A Suhrkamp Letterpress

Suhrkamp Letterpress does not seek to serve a bibliophile market. Our aim is to produce pieces of literature that exceed the pleasure of reading and also satisfy other senses. Many trades are necessary to produce a book. A book is only a book, once it has become a book.

181008 P98A Broschüre Sv01
Raymond Queneau: ‘Stilübungen’ → For this piece we selected predominantly French typefaces. Roger Excoffon’s ­‘Banco’ seems legit.
181008 P98A Broschüre Sv02
Ludwig Wittgenstein: ‘Tractatus logico-­philosophicus’ → Designed in Questa (sans and serif), a type family by Jos Buivenga and Martin Majoor

Publishing → Our journal P98a Paper is a collection of stories, opinions and illustrations by people we know and whose work we like. In its first volumes, the project began on a Risograph, a “digital silkscreen” printer used for small publications with spot colors. Through Paper we continue to explore different printing technologies: letterpress, offset, post-digital letterpress, and digital ­printing. Buy it here.

181008 P98A Broschüre Paper
A collection of stories, opinions and illustrations by people we know and whose work we like. P98a Paper explores printing technologies.

Material → We are experimenting with different materials and methods for producing our own large type. After trying out acrylic glass and 3D printing, CNC-­milling from hard surfaces like Formica mounted on plywood turns out to be the most promising way.

181008 P98A Broschüre Buchstaben
[1] 20 cic Akzidenz Grotesk halbfett → Plakadur, a resin used by the Berthold type foundry since the 1930s; [2] 20 cic FF Real book → Formica on ply wood; [3] 16 cic FF Real book → Acrylic mounted on plywood; [4] 16 cic FF Real book → Milled from maple wood; [5] 8 cic Akzidenz Grotesk fett → Produced on a 3D printer; [6] 60 point “AG” halbfett → Cast in metal

Letterpresso → We sell books, posters, magazines and lots of other objects with a typographic theme: metal house-­numbers, watches, note-books – all designed or made here at p98a. We make great coffee using our own Letterpresso beans which are also on sale in the shop. You can have a drink, browse our typographic library or just hang out and look around the workshop. We are here from 11 am to 6 pm, six days a week.

P98A Shop Color
Weltformat
Erik and Ferdinand showing off the poster sizes we can print at p98a.berlin
Orbit
Erik and our former intern Lilith printing the “Orbit” poster for a client.
Paper Susanna Rick
Susanna and visiting printer Rick printing covers for Paper #05.
P98A Calendar
Some of our favorite type in the workshop: Akzidenz Grotesk, HWT Artz, Signal, Fanfare, Fat Face, Reporter, Bernhard Fraktur
P98A Team 2018
Our team, from left to right → Daniel Klotz, Axel Nagel, Jannis Riethmüller, Norman Posselt, Susanna Dulkinys, Ferdinand Ulrich, Erik Spiekermann, Robyn Steffen, Lunia D’Ambrosio & Jan Gassel (2018)

p98a.berlin
typographic workshop
Potsdamer Str. 98a
10785 Berlin, Germany

+49 (0)30 8321 9070
info@p98a.com

Instagram → @p98a
Twitter → @galeriep98a