NEW YORK, February 16, 2023 — The Type Directors Club, the world’s leading typography organization, announced Jan Middendorp as the latest recipient of its highest honor, the prestigious TDC Medal. The formal presentation will be made at ATypl Paris 2023, taking place in May.
First awarded to Hermann Zapf in 1967, the TDC Medal recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of typography. The honor represents TDC’s collective gratitude to those who, by their work and talent, have demonstrated the value of typography in communication, community, and culture. The list of past TDC Medalists can be viewed here.
Middendorp is a widely-acclaimed author, researcher and designer based in Berlin whose body of work include writing and editing numerous well-known books and articles about typography, design and the performing arts. He’s also designed printed matter for publishers and non-profit organizations, and worked as a consultant and editor to the type world.
“I’m in a state of amazement, as well as proud, with this incredible honor,” Middendorp said. “Limitless thanks to the TDC.”
Born in the Netherlands, Middendorp spent much of his early professional life in Belgium before relocating to Berlin. In the 1980s, he was a critic of the arts, covering theater, dance, video and media art, and later specialized in graphic design and typography. Among his influential books are Dutch Type, Made with FontFont with Erik Spiekermann, Hand to Type and Shaping Text.
Middendorp has been a long-time collaborator to design magazines such as Eye, Typo, Items and others, and worked as an editor and consultant for typographic companies including FontShop, LucasFonts and Linotype. He spent nine years as a writer and consultant to MyFonts, where he edited the popular interview newsletter Creative Characters.
In addition, he co-curated exhibitions held in Dubai, London, The Hague, Berlin, New York, Beijing, Shanghai and other locations. He recently worked as a book designer and typesetter for Repeater Books in London, founded the informal type company Fust & Friends in Berlin, and spent most of 2018 producing the long-awaited reprint of his Dutch Type.
“Jan Middendorp’s writing is unique in its precision and approachability, bringing typography down to a human-interest level without diminishing it. Shaping Text is the definitive textbook for anyone interested in the subject,” said Ksenya Samarskaya, managing director, TDC. “In his nearly three-decades writing about type and type designers, his impact shaped the culture and community of the typographic scene on both sides of the North Atlantic.“
The One Club for Creativity, producer of The One Show, ADC Annual Awards, ONE Asia Creative Awards, Type Directors Club competitions, TDC Ascenders, Young Guns, and more, is the world’s foremost non-profit organization whose mission is to support and celebrate the global creative community. Revenue generated from entries to its global awards shows goes back into the industry to fund programming under the organization’s four pillars: Education, Inclusion & Diversity, Gender Equality, and Creative Development.