First versions of Nimbus Sans have been designed and digitized in the 1980s for the URW SIGNUS sign-making system. Highest precision of all characters (1/100 mm accuracy) as well as spacing and kerning were required because the fonts should be cut in any size in vinyl or other material used for sign-making. During this period three size ranges were created for text (T), the display (D) and poster (P) for small, medium and very large font sizes. In addition, we produced a so-called L-version that was compatible to Adobe’s PostScript version of Helvetica. Nimbus was also the product name of a URW-proprietary renderer for high quality and fast rasterization of outline fonts, a software provided to the developers of PostScript clone RIPs (Hyphen, Harlequin, etc.) back then. Also in the 80s, a new, improved version of the Nimbus Sans, namely Nimbus Sans Novus was designed. Nimbus Sans Novus was conceptually developed entirely with URW’s IKARUS system, i.e. all styles harmonize perfectly with each other in terms of line width, weight, proportions, etc. On top of that, Nimbus Sans Novus contains more styles than Nimbus Sans.
Now, Nimbus Sans Novus is also available as Round (like the popular URW fonts Futura Round and Eurostile Round). The Round versions are intended to facilitate the work of designers and typographers. The fonts can be used directly, without further preparatory work in graphic programs as finished, high-quality Rounds.