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Kris Sowersby

Kris Sowersby, 2019 Arts Foundation Laureate receiving the award for design & typography

Kris Sowersby’s Biography

Last Updated:
29/08/2019, 12:23 pm
Design - Typography
Arts Foundation Laureate 2019
Arts Foundation Laureate receiving the award for design and typography

Typeface designer Kris Sowersby founded Klim Type Foundry in 2005. Since releasing his first retail typeface, Feijoa, in 2005, 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 2008 he was named an ADC Young Gun, in 2010 he was accepted as a member of the prestigious Alliance Graphique Internationale (the second New Zealander to do so), in 2013 and 2015 he received the John Britten Black Pin, the highest award given by the Designers Institute of New Zealand.

Kris has designed custom fonts for such clients as The Financial Times, PayPal and National Geographic. Kris is internationally recognised and has received many NZ design awards.

In 2008 Kris explored the idea of a typeface for Aotearoa and released National and then in 2017, he released National 2. In 2018 Objectspace hosted his exhibition ‘there is no such thing as a New Zealand typeface’. In this exhibition Kris questioned if there was a relationship between a typeface and a place and whether a typeface can have a regional accent.

His typefaces National and National 2 are seen in many places including the cover of Anthology of New Zealand Literature and in the New Zealand Fashion Design encyclopaedia, It’s at Te Papa Tongarewa, the Christchurch Art Gallery, and throughout the branding of Victoria University. They are also used by Z, Xero and for newzealand.com for New Zealand Tourism.