Nils Thomsen or Nils Thomsen-Habermann, (Kiel, Germany) is a graduate of the Masters program in type design at KABK, 2010. Before that, he did a Bachelor of Arts in 2009 at Muthesius Academy of Arts and Design Kiel, Germany. From 2011 Nils Thomsen worked at Bureau Johannes Erler in Hamburg for two years. He set up Nils Types in 2013 and co-founded Typemates with Jakob Runge (Ortenbach) and Lisa Fischenbach (Hamburg).
During this time he participated in the redesign of the German daily, the Süddeutsche Zeitung, ca. 2012, contributing to its new corporate typeface, SZ (Serif, Sans, Sans Condensed, Text, 40 fonts in all). Nils writes: In 2011 and 2012 I participated on the corporate typeface for the German daily, "Süddeutsche Zeitung", at the office "Bureau ErlerSkibbeToensmann". Hand in hand with type designer Henning Skibbe and art director Christian Tönsmann the different styles and weights were carefully designed. The technical part was edited by fontshop.com. SZ Text is based on Excelsior (Chauncey H. Griffith, 1931). The new typeface got narrower and the capitals smaler and lighter. To this we added lots of new details, which worked better and made it overall more efficient in tight columns and line spacing. SZ Serif is based on SZ Text and replaced the "Times" (Stanley Morison, 1931). Higher contrast and slightly narrower letter shapes makes it more useful for headline typography. SZ Sans is designed for strong headlines and replaces "Helvetica" (Max Miedinger, 1957). Simple and silent shapes gives the right touch to the neutral character of "Süddeutsche Zeitung". SZ Sans Condensed is made for tables in the sport or economy segment. It replaces FF Unit (Erik Spiekermann & Christian Schwartz, 2003-2011).
- Conto Compressed, Conto Narrow, Conto Condensed, all made in 2015.
- Jabana (2014), Jabana Alt (2015) and Jabana Extras (2015). A compressed rounded font family, with dingbats, designed for menus. It is the first font in his own foundry, Nils Types, est. 2013. It was inspired by having a Schorle at Hamburg's coffee bars. There also is a custom version of Jabana for Lufthansa Magazin.
- Meret (2010) was his KABK graduation project. Meret is a typeface family for news, designed for tight columns and narrow interlinear space. The family includes six weights from light to black in upright and italic style. Christian Schwartz selected Meret in 2011 for use in the American magazine Fast Company. Meret won an award in 2013 at the Communication Art Magazine competition, and in 2011 at the Letter.2 type design competition, organized by the Association Typographique Internationale. It is now part of the OurType foundry collection.
- Perpetua (revival): Done at KABK in 2009-2010.
- Tretton (2009): an elliptic sans that constituted his Bachelors graduation project.
- Conto (2014). A minimalist sans family. Extended some time later in 2014 to Conto Slab.
- In 2016, Lufthansa Magazin commisioned Nils Thomsen and Max Nelles (of G+J Corporate Editors) to create a fun hand-drawn font.
- Comspot and Comspot Tec (2017). A large typeface family with rounded corners and a typewriter feel.
- Mikkel (2018, TypeMates). A versatile creamy / bouncy grocery market or cartoon script family.
- In 2019, Jakob Runge, Nils Thomsen and Lisa Fischbach released Halvar and wrote: Halvar, a German engineered type system that extends to extremes. With bulky proportions and constructed forms, Halvar is a pragmatic grotesk with the raw charm of an engineer. A type system ready to explore, Halvar has 81 styles, wide to condensed, hairline to black, roman to oblique and then to superslanted, structured into three subfamilies: the wide Breitschrift, regular Mittelschrift and condensed Engschrift. Halvar Stencil, which was released simultaneously, is a German engineering stencil font family.
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