Process Type Foundry (Eric Olson and Nicole Dotin)

Process Type Foundry is a small family business of typeface makers, established in 2002 in Minneapolis, Minnesota consisting of a partnership of married typeface designers Eric Olson and Nicole Dotin. With these two talented designers working together, the company has been responsible for many popular fonts in recent history such as the fonts Klavika, Colfax,  Maple, Elena, Comspot, Pique, Gotham Rnd’d, The Serif, Lyon, and Proxima Nova. As a company, Process Type Foundry does retail work, as well as work for big-name companies such as the New York Times, and Thomson Reuters. (Eric Olson) The Process Type Foundry became quite successful after the creation of Klavika, which quickly became a well-known font. Later on, Chevrolet even commissioned the company to design a condensed version of the font in order to have the font be more legible in small sizes. (Littlejohn Feature: Practice and process) To understand this company better though, we cannot only look at the fonts but the

(Eric Olson)

designers responsible for creating the fonts as well. 

Typeface designer Eric Olson is a font designer born in Minneapolis in 1974. In the earlier part of Olson’s life, he studied graphic design at the University of Minnesota, which was not too far from his hometown. (Olson and Dotin, Process) During his time in higher education, he began to create typefaces for bands, with Olson himself saying, “This was the gig every design student coveted, because the primary projects were the posters for bands,’ he says. ‘I was designing, like, a poster a day. It didn’t take long before I had exhausted every font choice the department had to offer. As a gift, my boss purchased for me a copy of Fontographer, and I was on my way.”(Littlejohn Feature: Practice and process). After his graduation in 1999, Olson worked for Walker Art Center; however, in 2002, after inspiration from the ‘90s punk rock scene and the do-it-yourself spirit of magazines such as Emigre, Olson decided to cofound the Process Type Foundry typeface company with his wife Nicole Dotin. Olson still owns and works at Process Type Foundry to this day, and in his time working there has been directly responsible for creating the popular fonts Klavika, Seravek, Colfax, and many more. (Eric Olson) Although Olson has been credited as the head designer of these specific fonts, he was not alone in his creation of fonts.

(Typefaces, Nicole Dotin)

Nicole Dotin is the second co-founder of the Process Type Foundry typeface company, and like Olson, she is a forty-six-year-old typeface designer for the company. (Littlejohn Feature: Practice and process) Dotin holds a Masters in Fine Arts of Arts and Design attained from the Minneapolis College of art and design as well as Masters of Arts degree in a typeface from the University of Reading. During Dotin’s educational career, she started to develop her first majorly successful typeface called Elena. Elena was a typeface design that focused on being easy for eyes to track even after long periods of reading. (Olson and Dotin, Process) This typeface was later released through the Process Type Foundry, as well as many other fonts Dotin has made since 2002 such as the fonts Comspot, Pique, Gotham Rnd’d, The Serif, Lyon, and Proxima Nova. (Nicole Dotin) On top of creating fonts, Dotin also hosts workshops at type conferences to share her knowledge on the topic, and useful skills that typeface designers need to succeed.

After looking at Olson and Dotin’s lives and qualifications, it is easy to understand how they became so successful in the font design industry. With the combined work of the married couple, the company has been able to produce hundreds of unique fonts for a variety of different purposes, and be an inspiration for future typeface designers.



Littlejohn, Deborah. “Feature: Practice and Process.” Eye Magazine, 2006, 

“Eric Olson.” Identifont, 

“Nicole Dotin.” Fonts in Use, 

Olson, Eric, Nicole Dotin, and. “Process.” Who We Are – About Us, Process Type Foundry,

Typefaces. Nicole Dotin,