Before digital typesetting let designers set their own type, “comping”— hand-rendering headlines in various typefaces for copyfit and client approval— was an important skill. Miguel Reyes came across Tommy Thompson’s classic 1946 manual How to Render Roman Letter Forms and was struck by his renditions of Caslon, written quickly with a broad-tipped pencil. Thompson modulated the stroke weight by rotating the nib of the pencil, creating unusual serifs with interlocking, angled endings. Reyes thought that the tension between the rough, informal quality of the rendering and the classical letterforms would be a fresh way to interpret the types cut by Nicolas Jenson in Venice in the late fifteenth century. Elegant and brash, Nicola is a robust, low-contrast typeface whose simplified details verge on making it a slab serif.