Robin Nicholas

Robin Nicholas’s early training as an apprentice draftsman let his natural artistic talent fuse with the accuracy and attention to detail required in technical drawing. Typeface design is a similar blend of right- and left-brain activities. Happily for those of us who use fonts, Nicholas’s career path took a turn when he joined the Monotype Type Drawing Office in 1965.

After a period of training at Monotype, Nicholas’s first projects involved redrawing master artwork for typefaces licensed by the company for its typesetting systems. An additional two-year training period followed, this time focused on punch cutting and the preparation of metal fonts for design-proofing. Nicholas went on to manage the Type Drawing Office for ten years before taking up his current position as Monotype’s Head of Typography in the United Kingdom.

Between 1978 and 1980, Nicholas designed the Nimrod® family, a suite of typefaces for newspaper text, headlines and small ads. In 1982, he created a sans serif typeface for low-resolution laser printers that was further developed, with Patricia Saunders, into the Arial® typeface family. The family was later chosen by Microsoft as a core font for Windows 3.1 and has become part of the standard font offering in the Windows operating system. Nicholas also directed the design of Clarion® and Columbus® and supervised the digital revival of many Monotype faces including Bell, Centaur®, Dante®, Janson®, Fournier™, Van Dijck®, Walbaum™, Bulmer® and Pastonchi™.

Nicholas also works with Monotype’s Custom Fonts program, creating new designs for corporate branding. He worked with the London design agency, Newell & Sorrell, on the new corporate identity typeface for British Airways, and with Scandinavian Airlines on the development of their new corporate typeface. Other custom font projects have included the corporate typefaces for Barclays Bank, Opel automobiles, and Ikea. Nicholas is highly regarded as an educator and is a frequent speaker at design conferences and colleges.

These fonts are part of the Monotype Library OpenType Edition.