Type nomad

Posted on 1 May 2009 in:

Moving out of my apartment in Offenbach today has been more jolting than I expected. This isn’t because I will miss the apartment, although it was quite nice. Neither will I will miss Offenbach, since I’m not leaving the city yet. At the end of next week, I’ll be moving into new apartment that just around the corner from the building that I’ve lived in since October. My jolt today brought on by the realization of how little stuff I actually have.

It seems unthinkable now, but when I was 21, I lived in my own apartment, with my own stuff. Eight years later, I hop from room to room in another country. I used to have all of the stupid pieces of furniture that you need. Their quality might have been a little run down, but moving across Providence, RI was still be the sort of undertaking that involved a rented truck.

Coming back to Germany from England last year, I could only bring between 30 and 50 kilos onto the plane, including my hand luggage. I ended up donating more than half of my clothes and shoes to charity, and had to give up several books and magazines as well (this hurt my type-centric heart more than tossing away a few old sweaters ever could). Somehow, a whole bunch of things had gotten into my English apartment, but only a fraction of it was destined to leave the island.

Today, my library—every type designer’s treasure, right?—is split in half. Some of the books are in piles in Anke’s apartment in Berlin, waiting for the day when I’ll be able to spend enough time per week in the city to justify the cost of a bigger apartment there… one that will have a big room devoted to housing my personal library; a room with wall-to-wall bookshelves. The rest of the books are in my office at Linotype. But I don’t really need them there. Moreover, Dan Rhatigan and I unearthed a box of non-Latin books and resources from Linotype’s storage pit yesterday, and those really deserve to be on my office shelf space instead, for instance.

I still haven’t got a dog.