“Solid typography can elevate the worst imagery”: Nick Losacco on his type-focussed, minimal designs
Born and raised in Montreal, typography is what drew Nick to graphic design in the first place, and what keeps him so interested in it today.
- Ruby Boddington
- 20 April 2020
Montreal-based graphic designer Nick Losacco’s practice is rooted in typography. It’s what drew him to the discipline in the first place, what inspired him during his studies and what forms the basis of all his projects today. “One of my professors once told me that typography is the most important part of graphic design. I couldn’t agree more,” Nick states. “Solid typography can elevate the worst imagery.” He believes that typography can give another layer of meaning to words and it still amazes him that “every word ever read by anyone ever was created by a person,” adding, “if you can’t tell, type excites me.”
Nick’s career in the creative industries began with photography, which he studied at Dawson College. “[I] soon after discovered the photographer-life just wasn’t the life for me,” he recalls. “I quickly discovered how many problems could be fixed with better design and wanted to be part it all,” he adds, explaining how this led to return to Dawson for another three years to study on its “(fantastic) graphic design programme.”
It was during his final semester at Dawson that Nick produced his first font, Cirka, off the back of “a bunch of fun experiments.” In particular, it began while Nick was messing around trying to creating some “fun serif ‘a’ letterforms for the first time,” during which he “landed on this interestingly pointy idea.” This ended up being the spark from which Cirka was born. An “elegant and sharp” serif, it's an idiosyncratic typeface full of oddities and personality, distributed by Pangram Pangram Foundry.
As type design is an arduous and often laborious process, while working on Cirka, Nick found himself “bored of looking at classic serif type,” and wanted to create something that felt more modern. Telegraf, another of Nick’s typefaces, was the result of that yearning and produced in-line with a publication Nick was working on at the time. Knowing that the publication required something futuristic, he created Telegraf. In contrast to Cirka, Telegraf is unapologetically sans serif with a full suite of weights from ultralight to black, the bolder weights of which are satisfyingly chunky. It’s this font that Nick also uses for his own branding.
GalleryNick Losacco: Cirka
Besides type design, Nick is an accomplished editorial designer as evidenced in his project Data Infographics. The very publication for which Telegraf was first conceptualised, Data Infographics is a reflection on one semester of his studies, and tracks four categories of habits, turning them into infographics. He bound the book by hand using, what he describes as a “strange method”: “I glued spreads of inkjet prints on either side of illustration boards and used the individual folds of each spread as a sort of signature.” It’s this unusual technique which gives the book its block-like shape, which is also inspired by a secondary “blocky-futuristic” typeface Nick designed for the headers throughout the book. Finally, “I wanted the book to be in-your-face, so I used a fluorescent green and black,” he explains.
The aesthetic of Data Infographics is representative of Nick as a designer and his mission to achieve clarity through exacting simple design. “Because I’m heavily type-focused, I tend to stick to a relatively minimal style with hopes to bring the most focus to the type in a particular piece,” he adds. It’s a point he reiterates when asked what kinds of projects he most enjoys, to which he answers: “Give me a challenge that allows me to be type-focused and use intrusive colours, please.”
Currently, Nick is still based in his home city of Montreal, a place he has no intention of leaving any time soon – “I absolutely love it here” – where he works at a small branding, architecture and design studio called La Maison W. “They do some mighty fine work,” he tells us. While clearly content with his current situation, exciting Nick hints to some big plans for the future when prompted. “Did someone say type foundry?”
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.