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the best typography samples in the world

FOR OVER SIXTY YEARS, the Type Directors Club has encouraged the worldwide graphic arts community to achieve excellence in typography through its annual international competitions. Typography 33 is the only annual devoted exclusively to typography and presents the finest work in the field for the year 2011. Selected from approximately 2,300 international submissions to the annual Type Directors Club competition, the winning designs are models of excellence and innovation in the use of type design, representing a wide range of categories including books, magazines, corporate identities, logos, stationery, annual reports, video and web graphics, and posters.

“I get one of these every year and this is the best one by far. Lots of great work that was chosen this year.”

– review

Like so many designers and typographers, I discovered the Type Directors Club through this book. The work on these pages back then opened my eyes to a new world of possibilities with typography. Soon after seeing the book in the mid-1990s, I joined the TDC. I joined not for the perks and discountsor the mention on my résumé, but because the Club stood for something–and by joining,I became a part of it. 

For sixty-five years, the Type Directors Club has represented something more than a book or a competition to its members. It is a constant. It’s an old friend. A mentor. It’s a beacon. It’s a community of like-minded designers carrying on the mission to promote excellence in typography. For those who value type, the TDC represents an indispensable resource, fostering and nurturing various forms of typographic exploration and preservation in any medium. 

Today, being part of a real global community sharing a common mission is more important than ever. With so many outlets offering an artificial sense of community, it’s comforting to know that TDC providesits members with a true sense of belonging and purpose. 

Getting something out of a TDC membership means putting something in. The work I put in on theTDC board and as the web committee chairman over the past four years has paid immeasurable dividends, both professionally and personally. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with some of the most talented typographers in the world and form lasting friendships. But perhaps the biggest reward came when I was selected as the chairman of TDC58. 

Pictured here is the jury for TDC58. From left to right, Eric Strohl, Frank Chimero, Ray Fenwick, Lois Fili, me (not on the jury), Jason Santa Maria, Kevin Smith, Jason Schulte.

Having the privilege of being the competition chair person afforded me the honor of working with Paula Scher. Paula dedicated her valuable time and talent to develop a beautiful and extensible design system that spoke universally to our global audience—reinforcing the sense of welcoming and community that the TDC embodies. Thank you, Paula. 

The weight of the responsibility that comes with carrying on this 58-year-old tradition by selecting a jury to judge the best typographic work in the world was not lost on me. For this task, I had one goal: capture the same diversity of talent that exists in the Club’s membership base and in the world of typography today. I’d like to thank each of the jurors who did just that. By sharing their energy and expertise they have selected work that will stand as a record of the typography of our time, and we hope this will move a new generation of artists to discover type and to get involved with something greater. 

Congratulations to each of the winners whose work appears in this book. The fact that each year the work we receive gets more innovative, creative, and inspiring is proof that the TDC’s best days lie ahead.

– Brian D. Miller, Chairman TDC58

Typography 33, the annual of the Type Directors Club designed by Paula Scher, Pentagram.

See the case study here


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