Eric Olson (b. 1974) is typeface designer, founder and partner at the Process Type Foundry. He attended the University of Minnesota intermittently, finally earning a degree in Graphic Design after dropping out and re-enrolling as dictated by the ups and downs of touring in a hardcore band. During his studies, he became inspired by Emigre magazine and took up typeface design. Naturally, those early efforts were futile but the process was exhilarating and rewarding. After graduation, he entered the professional world as a graphic designer by day – working at institutions like the Walker Art Center – and by night working as an unpublished type designer. Eventually, after drawing a lot of type and receiving encouragement from his colleagues, he left graphic design to design typefaces part-time while also teaching typography at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. In 2002 he launched the Process Type Foundry.
After two years of moonlighting as a type designer, he decided to concentrate on work for the Foundry full-time and left his teaching position. This allowed more time to realize typefaces and accept commissions, but most crucially, time for rejecting and editing – the very cornerstone of typeface development. From this sprung families like Klavika, Stratum, and Seravek – solid hard-working typefaces the foundry has become known for.
In recent years, Eric’s attention has been focused largely on custom work. A range of commissions including a family of san serifs for The New York Times Magazine and a family for Thomson Reuters with Greek and Cyrillic support have occupied much of his time. Some of these custom typefaces will find their way to public release in 2010 along with other long-overdue releases.
When not in the studio, Eric can be found cycling or thinking about cycling.
Nicole Dotin (b. 1974) is a typeface designer and partner at the Process Type Foundry. She earned a degree in photography from the University of Minnesota while also documenting the exploding mid-90s hardcore scene through a self-published magazine. Publishing made her realize that graphic design was a powerful tool that required further investigation, so she enrolled in the graduate program at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, emerging with an MFA in Visual Studies. While at MCAD, she was exposed to typeface design, which culminated in the publication of her graduate thesis exploring the nomenclature of font vs. typeface.
Her route to the Process Type Foundry and typeface design was more a process of winnowing than a direct shot – first working as a professional graphic designer, then working part-time for the foundry, becoming focused on detailed typography and later teaching typography at MCAD. At some point in 2006, she overheard students discussing their study-abroad experiences and it was at that moment she decided to apply – successfully – to the type design program at the University of Reading in the UK. Before leaving the States, she initiated the foundry’s rural studio experiment which consisted of moving the foundry to a remote region of northern Minnesota for 6 months of work, reflection and swimming after lunch.
While at Reading, Nicole put her past experiences to work in making a typeface for continuous reading. A year later, she emerged with an MA in Typeface Design with distinction and the beginnings of Elena, a serif typeface released five years later in 2011.
When not in the studio, Nicole can be found doing any number of things since her interests tend to be wide: running, problem-solving, sewing, destroying unsuspecting opponents in Pente... you get the idea.
Alice Savoie (b. 1984) is a typeface designer and creator of the Capucine family. Raised in the French countryside, she moved to Paris to study graphic design at the École Duperré where she discovered the intriguing world of typeface design thanks to her teacher’s admiration for Zuzana Licko and all things typographical. She then enrolled at the École Estienne in a course focused on typography and typeface design, and was taught the art of drawing letters using a broad nib pen, pencil and some tracing paper.
Feeling like she was just starting to get the hang of it, Alice decided to cross the Channel and attend the MA in Typeface Design at Reading University. After an intense year designing type and writing about French type foundries, she graduated in 2007 with distinction. She worked for a short time as a graphic designer in London before joining Monotype Imaging in 2008 as a full-time type designer. Her role there primarily involved custom type design as well as new additions to the library – including Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, and Hebrew typefaces. Since October 2010, Alice has been working on a PhD at the University of Reading researching international cross-currents in typeface design during the phototypesetting era. She currently lives and works in Germany.
When not in the studio, Alice can be found experimenting in the kitchen, looking for a sunny spot in her garden to grow vegetables or researching phototypesetting in obscure archives in England and France.