KLIM (or: Klim Type Foundry)
KLIM is a type and graphic design studio run by Wellington, New Zealand-based designer Kris Sowersby, now affiliated with Village. Interview. Behance link. Klingspor link. Views on engineered geometry. His creations:
- Feijoa (2007, a serif family for text, Village).
- National (2007, a sans serif family, Village). This type family won an award at TDC2 2008. Duncan Forbes: National is slightly mannered, which becomes more apparent in the heavier weights yet it still remains simple, subtle and serious. [...] It has a human charm that gives such warmth and learned beauty to text.
- FF Meta Serif (2007, Serif counterpart of FF Meta, with Erik Spiekermann and Christian Schwartz).
- Galaxie Copernicus (2009) is a large x-height serif family done at Village in cooperation with Chester Jenkins. It was inspired (from very far) by Plantin's types. Another outgrowth of Plantin is Tiempos (2018), in Fine, Headline and Text subfamilies, which has both Times New Roman and Copernicus Galaxie as its parents.
- Domaine Text and Display, in 48 styles (2013). Wedge serif on a didone skeleton. The Domaine Sans Display and Domaine Sans Fine subfamilies are exquisite fashion mag typefaces.
- Founders Grotesk (2010). Roughly based on Miller&Richard Grotesque (No. 4, No. 7, No. 3), from a 1912 Miller&Richard specimen book. The proportions are just right---I will place my bets on this one for several best of 2010 award lists. The Condensed and X-Condensed are from 2011, and Founders Grotesk Text was published in 2013. Founders Grotesk Mono followed in 2014.
- Metric (2011). A sans family with hints of art deco in the heavier weights. It is paired with Calibre (2011). Sowersby writes: Metric&Calibre are a pair of typefaces that share a fundamental geometry yet differ in the finish of key letterforms. Metric is a geometric humanist, sired by West Berlin street signs. Calibre is a geometric neo-grotesque, inspired by the rationality of Aldo Novarese's seldom seen Recta. They were conceived as a pair but function independently of each other. In a clever twist, Metric offers vertical stroke endings and Calibre horizontal ones in a selected number of glyphs.
- Tiempos Text and Tiempos Headline (2010). Named for Times New Roman, this type has influences from the Egyptian Galaxie Copernicus, which is based on Plantin, as well as from Times New Roman.
- FF Unit Slab (2007, with Erik Spiekermann and Christian Schwartz).
- Newzald (2007), an economical text serif based on rough lettering found in New Zealand. Review of Newzald at Typographica.
- Pitch (2011). A typewriter face.
- Hardys (2008), an elegant serif typeface custom designed for Australia's Constellation Wines. Hardys won an award at TDC2 2009. Hardys reviewed at Typographica.
- Serrano (2008): a sans family designed for the Bank of New Zealand. It will be available for licensing starting in October 2013. In addition, it won an award at TDC2 2009.
- Eliza (2003).
- NZ Rugby Chisel (2006, The All Blacks Typeface).
- Hokotohu (2007, a typeface for the Moriori).
- Victoria Sans and Serif (2007, custom typefaces for Victoria University).
- Methven Flow.
- Rewards (2006). A serif family designed with Chester Jenkins for American Express.
- Financier (2014). A corporate typeface done for Financial Times.
- The blackletter pixel font Pixel Fraktur (2002).
- The pixel script font Nobody came to class (2003).
- Pixel uncial (2003).
- Luca Titling (2003, an ancient roman titling typeface based on inscriptions from 1590).
- Mono, Mono Pre (2003).
- Kilbernie Sans (2003), Kilbirnie Serif (2004).
- Klim Sans (2004).
- A Slabb (2004, a slab serif), Slabb (nice slab version of Klim Sans).
- Karv (2005, alternative for Trajan), Karv Sans.
- National Condensed and National Compressed (2007).
- Aperture (2007), a sans for small sizes.
- Valencia (2007), a warm didone.
- Salamanca (2005).
- Sevilo (2005).
- Zinc (2005).
- Elegantia (2005, based on Polyphilus).
- Karbon, Karbon Serif (2006: raves from the typophiles!). Karbon is an open, geometric sans serif with a contemporary spartan finish. It is an exploration of Paul Renner's reductionist Futura concept channelled through the proportions of Eric Gill's eponymous sans, with a slight nod towards Jan Tschichold's Uhertype sans-serif. Includes seven weights in roman and italic.
- The Italian (negative stress) typeface Maelstrom (2018). Review by Bethany Heck.
- In 2015, the custom octagonal typeface Pure Pakati was developed at Whybin TBWA Auckland for Tourism New Zealand. Its design team comprised Philip Kelly (design director), Karl Wixon (Maori design consultant), Kris Sowersby (type designer) and Rangi Kipa (Maori carver). Pure Pakati blends the traditions of wood type with the traditional indigenous carving style of Aotearoa (New Zealand) in a hand-carved and digital fonts. It won an Nga Aho Award from the Designers Institute of New Zealand and Nga Aho Inc in 2015.
- Domaine Sans (2014, with Dave Foster) won an award in the TDC 2015 Type Design competition.
- Stern Metric (2011).
- The monospaced / typewriter typeface family Pitch Sans (2018).
- Geograph (2017-2018) was designed by Kris Sowersby and engineered by Noe Blanco. Panos Haratzopoulos designed Greek versions. The Geograph fonts are currently licensed for the exclusive use of National Geographic. It is a comprehensive replacement of several typefaces that National Geographic had been using such as Verlag and Neue Haas Grotesk. Free download.
- Heldane (Text, Display) (2018), designed by Kris Sowersby and engineered by Noe Blanco: Heldane is a contemporary serif family inspired by the renaissance works of Hendrik van den Keere, Claude Garamont, Robert Granjon and Simon de Colines. Rather than emulating a specific font, Heldane amalgamates the best details from these sources into a cohesive whole. The classical typographic foundations of Heldane are refined with rigorous digital drawing. I consider Heldane a third generation garalde typeface drawn from secondary sources. The first generation are 16th century works from the likes of Van den Keere, Garamont, Granjon and De Colines. The second generation are 20th century conscious metal revivals. By conscious, I mean the concerted effort to revive a specific style, whether the source was accurate---like Stempel Garamond; or not---like American Type Foundry Garamond No.3. The third generation are those made since 1955, after the re-discovery of the Plantin-Moretus archives and subsequent scholarship. These are types like Sabon, Galliard, Adobe Garamond and Renard. The designers of these faces skilfully exploit modern scholarship, disambiguation of punchcutters, and trace accurate lines to their primary sources. Heldane won an award at the Type Directors Club's Type Design Competition 2019.
- The Future Mono (2018). A superb take on Futura, which Kris describes as follows: Imagine if Paul Renner moved to Japan and Kyota Sugimoto asked him to adapt Futura to a typewriter. A mono version of Futura thanks to a great plastic surgeon. the Future Mono v0.2 was released at Future Fonts in 2020.
- Soehne or Söhne (2019). Superlatives fail me. This complete sans family in Normal, Mono, Schmal, and Breit subfamilies is described by Sowersby as follows: Söhne is the memory of Akzidenz-Grotesk framed through the reality of Helvetica. It captures the analogue materiality of Standard Medium used in Unimark's legendary wayfinding system for the NYC Subway.. Engineered by Noe Blanco, and with help from Dave Foster and Tim Kelleher.
- Signifier (2019). A digital remake of the Fell types. Sowersby calls his own attempt brutalist. The outcome is sharp-edged and very much 21st century stuff.
- Manuka (2019-2021, by Dave Foster and Noe Blanco). Award winner at 25 TDC in 2022. Compressed typefaces for large sizes. Described by Klim Type: With deviant details pilfered from Teutonic timber type, Manuka grafts a contemporary antipodean aesthetic onto 19th century German root-stock. Tight spacing, closed apertures and sharp joins make a compelling texture, like sunlight sparkling through a forest canopy.
- Untitled Sans and Untitled Serif (2020). Klim writes that they are quotidian typefaces: Untitled Sans is a plain, neogrotesk sans validated by the ideas of Jasper Morrison and Naoto Fukasawa's Super Normal project. Untitled Serif is drawn from the old-style genre of typefaces: the post-Caslon, pre-Times workhorses offered by almost every metal type foundry of the time. Untitled Sans and Untitled Serif are related neither by skeleton nor a traditional aesthetic connection, but by concept only.
- Epicene Text & Display (2021, by Dave Foster and Noe Blanco). Award winner at 25 TDC in 2022. These are baroque typeface families inspired by the work of 18th century masters J-F. Rosart and J.M. Fleischmann. AIGA describes the result as a baroque typeface celebrating ornamental idiosyncracy.
In 2020, he started writing the text The Art of Letters.
KLIM (or: Klim Type Foundry)
Klingspor Museum page
Pixel/bitmap fonts ⦿
Blackletter fonts ⦿
Type designers ⦿
Type designers ⦿
Type in New Zealand ⦿
Commercial fonts (small outfits) ⦿
Avant Garde typefaces ⦿
Typewriter fonts ⦿
Modern style [Bodoni, Didot, Walbaum, Thorowgood, Computer Modern, etc.] ⦿
Typefaces inspired by the Trajan column in Rome ⦿
Uncial typefaces ⦿
Monospaced fonts ⦿
Maori fonts ⦿
Corporate typefaces ⦿
Garalde or Garamond typefaces ⦿
Chiseled fonts ⦿
Akzidenz Grotesk ⦿
Books on type design ⦿