Support p98a – a Place That Preserves History (and Much More)

Ever since we run our Berlin edition of beyond tellerrand, we run at least one workshop at p98a, a workshop space founded by Jan Gassel and Erik Spiekermann. I remember the very first time I entered p98a, when I directly felt like I was frozen in fear. I had the feeling, that I was in a special place. I can’t put my finger on what caused that feeling, but when I had seen these printing machines – each of it working perfectly still – and I knew I was allowed to work with them to touch them and to experiment with typesetting how it used to be. The smell, the sounds … all of it together. Simply fantastic.

A photo from above onto attendees of a letter press workshop at p98a
A wonderful Place to be and work at: p98a. Photo by Norman Posselt.

Every attendee that I brought to this workshop as well as each of the speakers that ever attended a workshop during the last 7 years at p98a loved it. You completely loose track of time and focus on finding the right letters, setting it and finally seeing the first print you create. Well, I also remember, when I looked at my very first print. When I had a proof look at the letters I set, I thought it looks good. How wrong I was … and ever since, I really have a different look on how type setting was done earlier, before we had computers and programs like Affinity Publisher or Adobe InDesign and alike.

Photo showing the wooden letters I set – beyond in black and tellerrand in red
the untrained eye does not see issues, when you start setting type for the first couple of times

And again: I invited so many people to attend one of those workshops and for me it always is a wonderful way to end the event in Berlin each time. Last time many of the speakers joined the attendees and me and I remember their faces during the day and the joy everybody had.

A collage of photos showing the people working on the letter press machines and with their final results.
Everybody is deep into the work and happy with their results. Photos by Norman Posselt.

I do also remember, that I was wondering if p98a makes enough money to pay for all this and surely they did not. Recently Erik Spiekermann posted on his blog that his workshop needs financial help. This space is like a museum, where you are allowed to use and touch anything and learn where type setting comes from.

It would be too sad to see a space like this go and I ask you, to spread the word to any possible supporter or sponsor and support p98a.

If you want to read more about what p98a is, you can read this short article on Erik’s blog or check the about page of p98a.