German typographer Erik Spiekermann is a legend in his field, and until recently, the closest his work would ever get to the fashion world was if someone licensed the fonts he’d designed for a baseball cap or sweatshirt. Now, though, Spiekermann is trying his hand at sartorial splendor, having designed a collection of scarves and pocket squares for the German concept label Unamono.
Called the Measure of Things, Spiekermann’s designs are essentially colorful, wearable rulers. Each scarf or pocket square can be pulled out to actually measure things in centimeters. The designs are printed on a silk and cotton fabric blend, and come in various lengths and configurations: a 160-centimeter-by-40-centimeter scarf, a 190-centimeter-by-60-centimeter scarf, and a 30-centimeter-by-30-centimeter pocket square. It’s like useful plaid, or graph paper that you wrap around you.
“I’d never designed a fabric before, which is the main reason I was so drawn to Unamono’s request,” said Spiekermann in a video announcing the Measure of Things. According to Spiekermann, the request had a huge draw for him because he loves being the anonymous architect behind things he sees in real life. Spiekermann says that he sometimes gets a wave of pleasure when he sees someone reading a newspaper set in one of his fonts on the train; why not expand that to seeing someone wear one of his designs? “With the scarf, it’s the same thing: If I see someone on the street, I know that they’re wearing one of my scarves. This makes me incredibly happy,” he says.
The Measure of Things is available in a wide array of color configurations, including cyan, magenta, yellow, orange, green, blue, and gray. You can buy them from Unamono here.
Update: The original version of this story said Spiekermann designed Berliner Grotesk. In fact, he only helped digitize it. We apologize for the error.