Typefaces reflect a culture’s priorities and aspirations. This is why we keep designing new typefaces – the job isn’t done.
Klim Type Foundry (Klim) was founded by Kris Sowersby in 2005 and is based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Our foundational ethos is “a thing well made”. Our typefaces combine historical knowledge with rigorous contemporary craft. We believe the alphabet is a concept made concrete through written and designed letterforms — the alphabet is not defined by a single typeface but expressed through all of them.
Our retail catalogue features fonts suitable for a complete range of use, from small and functional to large and decorative. They can be licensed for use across physical and digital applications. Our in use section showcases the many, varied examples of our fonts used by international brands, institutions and businesses of all sizes.
We have designed custom fonts for international clients such as The Financial Times, PayPal and National Geographic. Closer to home we have created custom fonts for The Bank of New Zealand, Trade Me and Tourism New Zealand.
Our work has won numerous awards. Most recently Klim, in partnership with Alt Group, received an ADC award and a Red Dot award in 2019 for “There is no such thing as a New Zealand typeface”, our exhibition about the relationship between typefaces and national identity.
Director & lead type designer
Since releasing his first retail typeface, Feijoa, in 2007, Kris has received numerous awards and accolades, including: a Certificate of Excellence from the New York Type Directors Club for his second typeface, National, in 2007; being named an ADC Young Gun in 2010; being accepted as a member of the prestigious Alliance Graphique Internationale (the second New Zealander to do so) in 2013; and receiving the John Britten Black Pin in 2015, the highest award given by the Designers Institute of New Zealand. In 2019, Kris was named an Art Laureate by The Arts Foundation for his continuing contribution to New Zealand Art and Design. Kris has presented at venues around the world and continues to seek opportunities where he can share his typographic knowledge and interest.
Studio manager, marketing & media
Jess runs Klim’s business and studio in partnership with Kris. She manages Klim’s marketing, sponsorship, media and goods store. She also oversees Klim’s customer support and admin staff. Before Klim, Jess worked in marketing, communications and account management across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Outside of fonts, her design interest lies in sustainable and socially conscious design. She enjoys finding ways that Klim can contribute to the local and international design community.
Type designer & font engineer
Noe Blanco is a Typeface Designer and Font Engineer for Klim, based in Barcelona, Spain. She enjoys drawing and producing fonts with a special focus on the process where drawing and design meet technology. After graduating at BAU with a BA in Graphic Design and an MA in Advanced Typography at Eina in Barcelona, Noe went on to complete an MA in Type and Media at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague. Noe has worked for Underware and, since 2013, she’s worked independently, collaborating with numerous foundries such as Tobias Frere-Jones, Blackletra, Suitcase and Foster Type.
Based in Sydney, Australia, Dave works part-time for Klim as a Typeface Designer. Dave graduated with a Bachelor of Communication Design from Swinburne University in 2005. He worked as a graphic designer for six years before gaining a Masters in Typeface Design from the Royal Academy of Art at The Hague in 2012. His graduating typeface, Blanco, won gold at The Morisawa Type Design Competition the same year. Returning to Australia, he established Foster Type, which designs retail and custom type, as well as helping other foundries produce their releases. In addition to Klim he has worked for Commercial Type, Frere-Jones Type, House Industries and Letterror.
Sales, administration & support
Carina provides sales support to Klim’s corporate customers and custom commission clients. She also oversees general customer support and assists with business admin. Her involvement with fonts prior to working with Klim was a life-long aversion to capital letters, until Heldane Display came along. Working with the team since 2018, she now knows loads about fonts and all things Klim. Originally from Costa Rica, Carina has a background as a writer and working with refugee-background communities.
Peter manages Klim’s technical strategy. As a full stack software engineer he looks after Klim’s digital presence and provides tools and processes to streamline typeface production, sales and business administration. Originally from Belgium he has worked with Klim since 2017 and officially joined the foundry in 2020.
Customer support & administration
Sonja provides personal support to Klim customers and admin support to the Klim team. Before working for Klim, her professional background was in Film and TV production, HR and admin support in roles in Germany, UK and Australia. Sonja is originally from Bamberg, Germany, but now lives in Wellington, close to Klim HQ.
Lyle assists Klim with corporate licensing and legal contracts. He studied law at Victoria University of Wellington and has a background in contract negotiation and risk management.
Ben Kiel runs Typefounding in Saint Louis, Missouri. He solves interesting technical problems relating to fonts and typeface design when he isn’t running the retail type foundry XYZ Type with Jesse Ragan.
Jason Yuan is an actor turned designer of humane interfaces. He studied Theatre at Northwestern University and received his BFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. He has worked for Apple, Klim, Sensei and Sony Music on projects spanning motion, user experience and product design.
Hera Lindsay Bird
Hera graduated from the International Institute of Modern Letters in 2011 and has since won a number of prestigious poetry and book awards. In 2018, Hera collaborated on a publishing project with Klim and Alt Group. Sincerity/Irony is the result – a book written by Bird, designed by Alt Group, and set in Klim’s Heldane.
Panos Haratzopoulos is an expert in Greek typeface design. He has been active in the graphic design field since 1990. He works as a design consultant and educator in Greece and internationally. He holds a Master of Arts — Graphic Fine Arts from the University of Kent, UK.
Andrew Johnson is a designer that likes creating new things. He’s drawn to the nexus of disciplines that can craft beautiful experiences for people while being committed to solving complex human problems responsibly. He is currently an Interaction Designer at Medium.
Originally from Tauranga and of Ngāti Pūkenga descent, Tyrone Ohia is a Creative Director based in Tāmaki Makaurau. He graduated from the Whanganui School of Design in 2008 and has previously worked as a Design Director at award winning studio Alt Group. He believes strongly in creativity and thinks design is for the people.
Graphic & strategy
Kelvin Soh is the founder and creative director of DDMMYY studio and works at the intersection of art and visual culture, graphic design, brand ideation, brand strategy and publishing. With a holistic view of practice, Kelvin works strategically and conceptually across a broad range of projects, with a sensitivity to storytelling, audience and context. Kelvin is also the creative director of art/culture magazine, Le Roy, and was the co-founder of New New with Jamie Duff, a ventures studio and 360° strategic consultancy with three active ventures in market.
Graphic & strategy
Alt Group was founded by Ben Corban and Dean Poole in 1999. Alt Group is a multidisciplinary design firm based in Auckland. The company works across: strategy design, content design, graphic design, communications design, interactive design and experience design. Alt Group has won more than 500 international and national awards, and works for a diverse range of corporates and government organisations including Auckland Art Gallery, Fisher & Paykel, Auckland Council and City of Melbourne.
Website design & development
Springload is Wellington’s largest independently owned digital agency. They’re changing the way businesses, government, and not-for-profits work and connect. They do this through the clever use of technology and by taking a human-centred approach to everything they do. Springload improves the lives of their customers, colleagues and communities by making digital experiences that matter, better.
Village is a type co-op based in New York City, with a studio in the creative hub of DUMBO. They are a small, independent distributor, publisher and designer of typefaces. Village consists of two partners, Chester & Tracey Jenkins, in Brooklyn and 11 member foundries from around the world. Klim has been a member foundry since 2005. Village is Klim’s only retail partner.