The last time we wrote about Swiss designer Nizar Kazan, he was about to graduate from Eracom and was very much into channelling the rich culture of his native Switzerland into his typography-heavy designs. So it should come as no surprise that Nizar’s first complete typeface, which was pre-released just a couple of months ago, is named Lausanne after the Swiss city.
“Lausanne is the font through which I learned and practised type design. Its development lasted more than two years,” Nizar tells It’s Nice That. Designed as a response to sans serif stalwarts like Helvetica, Nizar looked to create a typeface legible in small sizes but noticeably unique when scaled up to display sizes.
Extremely analytical in his approach, Nizar starts every project with the same considered, structured method. He talks of requirements analyses and how a “programme” results from this analysis. “This programme breaks down a set of requirements into successively smaller subsets. It is a tool for reflection that provides a series of sub-problems that are simpler than the overall problem,” he explains. “This will tell me in which order I need to solve these problems.”
“I would describe my work as radical and precise. In addition, I like to create a coherent contrast between programmatic, dark materials and more poetic materials,” Nizar says. When not making monochromatic works, his choice of colour reflects this – often preferring to use darker shades of pastel and shying away from brighter colours to achieve the effect. “I seek to honour all that inspires me: my environment, my country, my culture, and therefore its iconography, its history, its clichés and so on.”
Since its release, the Lausanne typeface has been used in a wide range of projects, including MoMA’s Toward a Concrete Utopia exhibition, Playboy France’s redesign, as well as Breda duo Rob en Robin’s design for Rook supply. To add rhythm and contrast when used as a display font, the round letters in Lausanne follow a perfect circle, with the other letters tightened up, such that it breaks up the pattern within words.
Lausanne is released under Nizar’s Weltanschauung foundry, a new ambitious project that has been in the works for over a year. “Weltanschauung will include three main parts: a shop, a foundry, and a journal,” Nizar says about the project. As someone who was drawn to graphic design because it lets him “do several jobs at the same time,” this venture into a more comprehensive project was going to come sooner or later.
“The type foundry will exclusively sell typefaces designed by or for Weltanschauung. In order to give context to these typefaces, we will promote and sell objects that use them,” he adds. The long term objective of this new studio is to manage multi-disciplinary projects in-house, with Nizar aiming to take on industrial design, interior design and architectural projects in the future.