TDC 2006 Winning Typefaces

The Type Directors Club in New York City recently announced its 14 winning entries from the TDC2 2006 type design competition. It’s always interesting to see the peak of quality and innovation in new typefaces.

I was happy to see Gabriel Martinez Meave’s newest, Darka (Diseño Kimera), a blackletter display typeface. It seems to me that this is a blackletter take on the same Victorian gothic aesthetic behind Meave’s Arcana script face.

Aniene (Elsner+Flake) looks interesting, but the sample shown is really too small to say much about it. Seems to be a fresh take on Carolingian/Roman forms. I don’t remember previously hearing of Adriane Krakowski, the designer, so I’ll be curious what we see from her next.

Inigo Quintana’s Quixote ( also suffers from the too-small sample problem, but it looks like a nice classic oldstyle text face. I’d love to see a high-res PDF sample to print.

Eduardo Manso’s Relato Sans (Emtype) seems like a fairly typical modern European humanist sans, although there are a few quirks, like the lowercase "e" and the cap "Q," which liven it up a little. Nice range of available weights.


Dupré’s Vista (Emigre) is in the same broad category, but it livens things up with a some more scripty alternate forms, which I think work best in the italic.

Miguel Sousa’s Calouste is a nicely done serifed text face with a matching Armenian (!). I am glad I saw a high-res sample of this typeface in a brochure promoting the MA Type Design program he did at the University of Reading, as the TDC showing really doesn’t show it well.

P22 Sweepy by Michael Clark is a really nice piece of work that exemplifies some of the first-rate design being done lately in OpenType script typefaces, really taking advantage of the capabilities inherent in the new medium. Besides, how can you not like a typeface that’s the lighter-weight companion to Pooper Black?

I don’t think I can yet say the name of our new font production/design hire, as the contract isn’t acutally signed last I heard, but I was pleased to see this person among the TDC award winners this year.

Although I don’t have time to talk about all the award winners, I can’t help but mention our own. First, Tim Holloway’s Adobe Arabic (with production assistance from our friends at Tiro Typeworks) is a gorgeous and refined design, which makes it hard to believe it was produced under strong time pressure.

Finally, our own Robert Slimbach’s Garamond Premier Pro reflects over a decade of work and refinement. I have to say that I am honestly humbled to work alongside somebody who can produce a piece like this. When I first say what Robert had done with his Greek italics, I couldn’t work on the Greek letters in my own typeface for days! (Go here for more info on Garamond Premier.)

2 Responses

  1. Don McCahill says:

    I haven’t had a lot of time to look through the winners list (thanks for notifying us).But it seems to me a shame that the type directors at the TDC don’t understand that type looks best black on white, not black on grey. A white background would improve to appearance of the samples.

  2. Jules Siegel says:

    Sweepy is really great! I’m not sold on Pooper Black (despite the wonderful name), but it’s terrific to see such a well-crafted calligraphy font that avoids all the clichés.

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Thomas Phinney

Adobe type alumnus (1997–2008), now VP at FontLab, also helped create WebINK at Extensis. Lives in Portland (OR), enjoys board games, movies, and loves spicy food.

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