Thomas Nagel was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany in 1962. He studied Visual Communication at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Offenbach and worked at Olaf Leu Design in Frankfurt from 1985 to 1988. Up until 1994, he worked as a project manager, designer and art director at MetaDesign in Berlin and San Francisco. In that same year, Nagel became a partner and managing director at the design agency xplicit in Frankfurt and Berlin, working in graphic design, texts, font design and project management. In 1998, he co-founded the mind21 Factory for Knowledge Engineering and Design and the foundry Face2Face. He also worked as a lecturer at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, the GDC, Capilano College in Vancouver and the Merz Akademie in Stuttgart.