And I have a second method wich is more realistic. When I find something that I really like that I think would work for the client but it’s already used by somebody else, or it is too old, or I can’t afford to buy or it would be a a rip-off, I look at that for a long time, I read a few books and I draw it and I sketch over it and then I put it away and the next day I sit down and draw it from memory. And then it’s different, obviously.

All these images came together in my head and what I sketched was what I thought looked like Sabon but I looked at Sabon and it was totally different. So it’s original. So, it was influenced by it but it wasn’t a copy. Maybe it’s osmosis, it’s how it’s called. And I think it’s pretty much how everybody works.

Everybody is influenced by somebody else.
— Erik Spiekermann (2010) Putting Back the Face into Typeface

Very interesting description about how creativity works. I think that he nails it when he describes the sequence of understanding something deeply by immersing (read, input) into it and then detaching (write, output) completely to do something new, original… but not completely.
Everything around you is inside what you do.

Spend 10 minutes for the whole short documentary, it’s worth it.