Interview with Nikolas Type

Reimaging letterforms and constructing beautiful typographic creations is Cologne-based type foundry Nikolas Type, established by Nikolas Wrobel. Their catalogue of well-thought-out type designs builds upon a foundation of refined shapes and considered details, creating an idiosyncratic voice for communications of all forms. After stumbling on their slick and simple website, we contacted founder Nikolas to find out more information on his new foundry.

Amber: Hi Nikolas! Can you tell us about your new type foundry? What design background did you have before?

Nikolas: Type always has been a natural part of my Identity — as a child, as a teenager, in my beginnings as a designer — each phase in my life was convoyed by creating letterforms as a beautiful matter of course. With the foundry of Nikolas Type I build an environment where my love towards type can finally grow and flourish, a place where new type design is able to connect with terrific minds from all over the world. My background is deeply rooted in Graphic Design with a holistic education combining multidisciplinary facets of creativity. I’ve been working in the design industry for over a decade now and started Nikolas Type out of my peak position as a design director, when I decided to go all in and fully commit to my dream.

A: What particular styles of typefaces are you interested in designing and putting out there into the industry?

N: I want to create type that is pure. Type that feels right and incorporates all my noble aspirations towards design. I am convinced that if you create something you honestly love for yourself, others will love it too. It is such a beautiful and incredibly challenging thing to do, even if it sounds astonishingly easy. At Nikolas Type I want to put out the very best I can to the industry and transcend my love and fascination for letterforms. I believe it is our cultural duty to convey this good intention and through this, make the world a better place. Type is a human force, something we invented together for all us, a visual code to communicate, express, transcend. So good type is not purely about form but also about a good feel. Type is ubiquitous — so who says Fonts can’t change the world?

A: Why did you start up your foundry?

N: Simply because of one special Moment that changed everything. I was in Venice on vacation and couldn’t trust my eyes when I woke up and checked my phone. The day before I released my debut typeface Cosi Times in Germany on my portfolio site with only one little buy button. People from all over the World purchased Cosi Times, have been writing me emails and shared the specimen everywhere. It literally became a hit overnight. I won the lottery! It was clear I would build upon this blessing.

A: Have you overcome any challenges since starting up the foundry? What advice would you give to someone who wants to do the same as you?

N: Type is about slowness and eternity, but our world beats so fast. A foundry has to deliver substantial matter and today also snack-able media content. Not everything needs to have a deeper meaning but all needs to come from the deep within, so it does not get meaningless, contributing to a superficial, hyper monetized, unsustainable but sexy world for only a few. Balance is a challenge, humbleness and gratitude a daily exercise. I would say how you handle time might be the biggest challenge, especially once you are beautifully connected with the world. We want to give everybody reaching out to us the same attention, whether if it’s a student or a highly renowned international luxury fashion brand. This is extremely giving, but also demanding. As talents are so diverse, it feels haughty to give general advice. But investing in finding the right creative partners for components where you feel you don’t have the time to perform on a top-notch level is essential. I was extremely fortunate to partner up with the exceptional talent Jingqi Fan before she was swooped by Apple. This collaboration wasn’t only a wonderful energy giver and quality enhancer, but also led into a world-class foundry site, receiving so many awards and recognition, so Nikolas Type was able to welcome wonderful clients right from the start.

A: Finally, any exciting type releases you can tell us about?
N: Oh, yes! You should definitely keep an eye on the next months. Nikolas Type will release a versatile, widely applicable font, balancing the fine line between both text-ish and expressive display characteristics, possibly with an emotional variable. Simply said a timeless quintessential you don’t want to miss in your collection. Beyond this, I am happy to announce we have our first bespoke custom font engagement, and we will keep striving for exciting collaborations with the type and graphic design world.

Thank you Nikolas for your time and words!