Type Directors Club

Type Directors Club
Type Directors Club logo.jpg
Founded1946 (1946)
TypeProfessional association
Area served
Key people
President: Paul Carlos, Vice President: Elizabeth Carey Smith, Chairman: Doug Clouse, Executive Director: Carol Wahler[1]

The Type Directors Club (commonly abbreviated as the TDC) is an international organization created in 1946 specialising in typography. The organization's objective is to raise the standards of typography and related fields within the graphic arts. The TDC supports research and education, and disseminates information relating to typography. The TDC supports the industry through a number of programs, including two annual typographic design competitions, educational seminars and events, publications, and co-operation with other like-minded organizations. The club supports itself through memberships of type designers, typographers, graphic designers, other industry professionals, and students.

TDC produces a design annual that features award-winning typography. The most recent, The World's Best Type and Typography, is designed by Leftloft of Milan.


Founded in 1946 by some of the industry's leading practitioners, the TDC's earliest membership included Aaron Burns, Will Burtin, Freeman Craw, Louis Dorfsman, Gene Federico, Edward M. Gottschall, Herb Lubalin, Edward Rondthaler, Bradbury Thompson, and Hermann Zapf. With this solid historical background, the TDC today represents and rewards the best of today's type design and type use. Founding member Milton Zudek described the club's goals at their first exhibit opening in 1947: “We simply want to make more and more advertising people aware of the importance of the agency typographer. We want them to realize that the selection of type for an advertisement demands a sixth sense that goes beyond the basic knowledge of typefaces—that it demands, in effect, the same kind of artistic sense that people have learned to associate with Art Directors, but are still learning to associate with Type Directors.” Speaking that same night, Paul Lang, a member of the Art Directors Club remarked, “When I began, artists were called layout men, renderers or finishers. When we insisted upon being called art directors, the advertising execs would say, ‘Call yourselves anything you like, but give us what we want.’ By the same token, if type directors keep calling themselves just that, they will, in time, be recognized for what they actually do contribute.”[2]

Education has always been an important part of the Type Directors Club’s mission. The TDC began offering lectures in 1947, the second year of the Club’s existence. Called Ten Talks on Type, the lectures were given by James Secrest, Arnold Bank, Gene Ettenberg, Charles Felton, Milton Zudeck, O. Alfred Dickman, Joseph Weiler, Frank Powers, and Hal Zamboni. The series’ success led to it becoming an annual event. In 1958, the Club extended its reach to an international day-long seminar at the Silvermine Artists Guild in New Canaan, Connecticut, which drew 500 attendees.

In 1959, the TDC ran Typography USA at the Biltmore Hotel in Manhattan. Speakers included Saul Bass, Herbert Bayer, Lester Beall, Will Burtin, Lou Dorfsman, Alvin Eisenmann, Gene Federico, William Golden, Allen Hurlburt, Leo Lionni, Herb Lubalin, Paul Rand, Ladislav Sutnar, and Bradbury Thompson.

Among the many speakers and teachers in the intervening years have been Aaron Burns, Klaus Schmidt, Ed Gottschall, Tom Carnase, Bruno Brugnatelli, Martina Flor, Milton Glaser, Hermann Zapf, Eileen Hedy Schultz, Ed Benguiat, Olaf Leu, Martin Solomon, Günter Gerhard Lange, Paula Scher, and Freeman Craw.[3]

In 2017, TDC held the "Type Over Time" conference to honor of the club's 70th anniversary in New York. In 2018, TDC hosted another day-long conference "Type Drives Culture."

Board members[edit]

As of 2018, the president of the Type Directors Club is Paul Carlos. Elizabeth Carey Smith is vice president, and Christopher Sergio is secretary and treasurer. Doug Clouse is chairman of the board, Carol Wahler is executive director.[4]

Past presidents include: Frank Powers, Milton Zudeck, Alfred Dickman, Joseph Weiler, James Secrest, Gustave Saelens, Arthur Lee, Martin Connell, Gene Ettenberg, Edward Gottschall, Saadyah Maximom, Louis Lepis, Gerard O'Neill, Zoltan Kiss, Roy Zucca, William Streever, Bonnie Hazelton, Jack Tauss, Klaus Schmidt, John Luke, Jack Odette, Ed Benguiat, Allan Haley, B. Martin Pedersen, Mara Kurtz, Mark Solsburg, Daniel Pelavin, James Montalbano, Gary Munch, Alex W. White, Charles Nix, Diego Vainesman, Graham Clifford and Matteo Bologna.

TDC Members[edit]

The TDC has over 900+ members, from 36 countries under four different membership categories that consist of: Honorary Members (those who have made a significant contribution to the fields of type and typography with an honorary membership); Life Members (working professionals at or above retirement age who have been members for more than twenty consecutive years); Full Members and Student Members.

Notable members are: Gail Anderson, Ed Benguiat, Michael Bierut, Roger Black, Ed Brodsky, Kevin Cantrell, Matthew Carter, Tony Di Spigna, Louise Fili, Jessica Hische, Donald Jackson, Henrik Kubel, Zuzana Licko, Domenic Lippa, Bruno Maag, Abbott Miller, Debbie Millman, Jean Francois Porchez, Dan Rhatigan, Paula Scher, Hermann Schmidt, Bertram Schmidt-Friderichs, Paul Shaw, Erik Spiekermann, Sumner Stone, Jurek Wajdowicz, Garson Yu and the late Adrian Frutiger and Hermann Zapf.

Through memberships the TDC is able to generate events, create educational articles and videos, and establish scholarship funds to jump start the next generation of type enthusiasts.

Annual competitions[edit]

Since the 1950s the TDC has been holding two yearly type competitions: one for the use of type and the letterform in design and the other, typeface design. The winners are reproduced in the Typography Annual, as well as displayed in seven exhibits that travel worldwide. In addition to celebrating outstanding achievements, the typography competitions and resulting annuals serve as important historical records of typographic trends, and are an invaluable resource for both designers and scholars.[3]

In 2018, the TDC inaugurated Ascenders, a competition to recognize the achievements of designers 35 years of age and younger. In its inaugural year, TDC honored nineteen Ascenders from around the world.

Type design awards[edit]

The Type Directors Club Type Design Awards or TDC2 are given annually for excellence in typeface design. The award is generally viewed as being the most prestigious in the field.

Winners by year[edit]

Linotype Syntax winner from 2000
Calibri winner from 2005
Year Winning Typefaces Ref
2000 Arcana Manuscript, Biblon, Blue Island, Cholla Slab, FF Clifford, Costa, Erica Sans, Homemade, Bitstream Kis Cyrillic, Klin, Mexica, Mirra, Diwan Mishafi, Myriad Pro Greek, Nani, Profile, Silentium Pro, Linotype Syntax [5]
2001 ITC Aspera, Basilica, Linotype Conrad, Eplica, Hierarchy, Litteratra, Manuscript, Maya, Preissig, Really, Terminator, Warnock Pro, Zentra [6]
2002 Text: Dreamer DD, Pradell, Whitman; Display: Alphatier, Azuza, Dearest, Globetrotter, ITC Jeepers, Keester, Media Core 3, Woodley Park;

Type System: Brioso Pro, Federal, Rialto, Siemens

2003 Text: Arabic Typesetting, Carlin Script, Gentium, Laurentian; Display: Falafil, ITC Keefbats, Sakkal Seta Pro; Type System: Fontana ND, FF Strada, FTF Morgan, Full Moon Suite, Press Family, Suite, Sauna, ITC Tactile [8]
2004 Text: Ardbeg, Argot, Maiola, Nyala, MS Uighur; Display: Brunn, Buttress, Sava Pro; Type System: Amira, Amplitude, FF Angkoon, Expo Sans, Farnham, Houston, Noam, FF Unit, Zocalo [9]
2005 Text: Fabiol, Minuscule; Display: Bello, Bublik, Bunker, Dolce, Ed Gothic, Ed Script, Elementis, Pirouette, DB SantiPap, Scheck, Shipflat, Shoutenkaku / Shoutenmaru; Type System: FF Absara, Auto, Calibri, Rumba; Ornament: Super-Veloz [10]
2006 Text: Aniene, Adobe Arabic, Calouste, Quixote; Display: Darka, Hogariet, Rayuela Chocolate 2.0, P22 Sweepy; Type System: Frutiger Next Greek, Garamond Premier Pro, Piclig, Relato Sans, Vista Sans; Ornament: FF Headz [11]
2007 Text: Corundum Text, Greta Text, Untitled, EMT Lorena, Midan, Olga, Tisa; Type System: Arno Pro, Beorcana, Fakir, Nassim, Palatino Sans and Palatino Sans Informal, Quiosco, Xtra Sans; Display: Flexion, Manicotti, Peanut, Subtil; Ornament: Gregoria [12]
2008 Text: Al Rajhi, Fondo, Marat, OTS Ethiopic, Palatino Arabic, Vodafone Hindi, Tiina; Type System: Anselm, Gloriola Standard and Display, National, Presidencia; Display: Blaktur, Burgues Script, Fresco Arabic, Logo Jr Black, Mommie, Sable, Slant, Swing, Ventura; Ornament: Restraint [13]
2009 Text: Adios Script, Montague Script, Alda, Copte Scripte; Display: Klimax Bold, Nebulon, Optica Normal, Orbe [14]
2010 Ingeborg, Deliscript, Kazuraki, Urbana Lnd, Joos, Espinosa Nova, Lavigne Display, ITC Legacy Square Serif Pro, Retiro, Narziss, Rieven, Fugu, Ysobel, Rum Black, Aisha, DecoType Nastaliq [15]
2011 Brandon Grotesque, Eames Century Modern, Aero, Palatino Sans Arabic, Tundra, Amalta, Thuraya Regular, Shift, Supria Sans, FF Suhmo, News, Daisy, Matrona, Tabati, Nori, Eventide, Enzian, Elegy, Poem, Eames Poster Numerals [16]
2012 Hipster Script, Chiavari, Balkan, La República, DecoType Ruq‘ah, Sutturah, Mr. Porter, Rekja, Greta Arabic, Harriet, Smidgen, Vibro, FF Mister K Informal [17]
2013 Athena Ruby, JAF Bernini Sans, Karol, The Brill Family, Tegaki, Blanco, Vinter, Days and Nights, FF Chartwell, Baldufa, Iskra, Erotica, Agmena™, Jocham [18]
2014 Sori, Metro Nova, Odesta, Azer, Pizza Press, Columbia Titling, Amplify, Chimera, Mislab, Duplicate Ionic, FF Quixo, Argentina, Ogg, Lalola, DecoType Nastaleeq Press, Venecia, Medusa, Flirt Script, MZhiHei Ultra Bold, Cloud Mountain Type, FREE, Bungee, Marcel Script, Chapitre Regular [19]
2015 GT Sectra, Woodkit, Brando, Domaine Sans, Valter, Inei Mincho, Love Script, M Gentle Bold (正纖蘭體), Signo, A23D, Bustan Bold, Lale, Mohtaraf, Gibbs, Input, Proto Grotesk, Haltrix, Hollie Script Pro, Minotaur, Big Moore, GE Inspira Sans and Serif, M Ellan Light (幼雅蘭體) [20]
2016 BC Mikser, Mornic, Tremolo, Bressay, Acanto Regia, Infini, Froben Antiqua, Zico, Bustani, Greta Arabic, The Spirit of Cursive Script, Greta Sans Hebrew, Bixa. [21]
2017 Salvaje, Lingering Fonts, Nordvest, Qandu, Bely, Sharp Grotesk, Qingyu Lishu, PILOT, Graebenbach, Lalezar, Laica, Rando, Renault Carname, Stratos, Eva. [citation needed]
2018 Mirza, Lamon, IBM Plex, Source Han Serif, Noort, Origen, Teddy, Palago, Harrison Serif Pro, Read Greek Condensed, Koning, Vazeh, Ray, Artigo Display, Guyot, Oi!, Kinetic, Greta Text Hebrew

TDC medal[edit]

The TDC Medal is awarded to individuals and institutions who have made major contributions to the field of typography.

TDC Medal Winners[22]
Year Winner
1967 Hermann Zapf
1968 R. Hunter Middleton
1971 Frank Powers
1972 Robert Leslie
1975 Edward Rondthaler
1979 Arnold Bank
1982 Georg Trump
1983 Paul Standard
1984 Paul Rand, Herb Lubalin (posthumously)
1985 Aaron Burns
1986 Bradbury Thompson
1987 Adrian Frutiger
1989 Ed Benguiat
1991 Gene Federico
1995 Lou Dorfsman
1997 Rolling Stone magazine, Matthew Carter
1998 Freeman Craw
2000 Günther Gerhard Lange, Colin Brignall
2003 Martin Solomon
2006 Paula Scher
2011 Mike Parker, Erik Spiekermann
2013 Gerrit Noordzij
2014 David Berlow
2015 Louise Fili
2016 Zuzana Licko and Rudy VanderLans of Emigre
2017 Gerard Unger
2018 Fiona Ross
2019 Wim Crouwel

TDC Beatrice Warde Scholarship[edit]

In 2015 the TDC, in partnership with Monotype Imaging, created a scholarship to honor the first female member of the TDC, Beatrice Warde. At the TDC61 and TDC2015 opening reception on July 14, 2015 the TDC Beatrice Warde Scholarship was awarded to American design student, Rebecca Bartola, student at Central St Martins, London. Rebecca was presented the scholarship by Julie Strawson of Monotype and TDC's executive director Carol Wahler.[23][24]

On July 12, 2016 during the TDC62 and TDC2016 opening reception in New York, the second Beatrice Warde Scholarship was awarded to Ania Wieluńska, Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.[25]

In 2017, Tasnima Tanzim of the Rhode Island School of Design received this scholarship. In 2018, the scholarship was awarded to Anna Skoczeń, a student at Kraków's Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Poland.

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]