The One Club for Creativity, the world’s foremost nonprofit organization whose mission is to support and celebrate the global creative community, announced a merger agreement with the Type Directors Club, the leading global typography organization.

The move brings the Type Directors Club (TDC) under The One Club for Creativity (TOCC) umbrella, providing resources and infrastructure to broaden and grow its programming and placing new emphasis on promoting diversity and inclusion in the global typography community.  

The merger was approved in a vote by Boards and membership of both organizations, and is now pending approval by the New York State Attorney General’s office. 

Established in 1946 in New York, TDC celebrates and amplifies the power of typography and serves as a global community united by the shared belief that type drives culture and culture drives type.  The organization halted operations this past July due to organizational and financial challenges, both of which are being addressed with a transformation of operational focus and management.

“TDC is an important creative organization with a rich heritage, and brings a great new dimension to the TOCC and the global creative community at large,” said Kevin Swanepoel, CEO, The One Club. “This marks a new chapter for the TDC.  It’s a chance to redefine the organization and what it means to be a member by providing access to our inclusion and diversity, gender equality, professional development and education programming.”

As part of The One Club for Creativity, TDC will continue as an autonomous, committee-based organization and maintain its highly-regarded Communication Design awards competition; Typeface Design competition recognizing work from independent designers, agencies and foundries; Ascenders competition honoring type-based portfolios of designers age 35 and under; and The TDC Medal recognizing individuals and institutions who have made outstanding contributions to the field of typography, and whose work and talent have demonstrated the value of typography in communication, community and culture.

The organization produces The World’s Best Typography® annual, showcases winning work in an exhibition at The Cooper Union in New York, and coordinates traveling exhibitions to museums, schools and design organizations globally.  TDC also hosts and sponsors conferences, classes, workshops, exhibitions, Type Salons, a design jobs board and scholarship programs, including the Beatrice Warde, Superscript and TDC Scholarships for deserving students. 

TDC membership will remain intact, with added benefits in conjunction with The One Club offerings to be announced shortly.  

“The TDC simultaneously faced organizational and financial issues, and this merger offers the infrastructure for a fresh start so our Advisory Board can instead focus on what it’s good at: promoting typographic excellence with an anti-racist commitment to broaden what our industry lauds,” said Elizabeth Carey Smith, TDC past president.  “We’ll have the opportunity to bring in new voices and reach a greater audience, with the hopes of fostering the love of type in more diverse communities.”

One initiative already in the works is a new outreach program aimed at introducing typography and design to high-school students, particularly those in underserved communities.

TDC awards and programming will be run by an Interim Advisory Board consisting of Elizabeth Carey Smith, ECS (chair), Paul Carlos, Pure+Applied, Ingrid Chou, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Liz DeLuna, main5 design, Carrie Hamilton, Carrie Hamilton Design, John Kudos, KASA Collective, Bobby C. Martin, Jr., Champions Design, Joe Newton, Anderson Newton Design, Juan Carlos Pagan, Sunday Afternoon, YuJune Park, Synoptic Office and Chris Sergio, Macmillan Publishers.  

The interim board is actively looking to invite candidates for the new TDC Advisory Board under TOCC.  One member of the TDC Advisory Board will be appointed to The One Club Board of Directors.  Carol Wahler, TDC executive director, will join The One Club as a full-time staff member.

The merger does not include the Typographic Design Center, a separate nonprofit entity that maintained TDC educational support initiatives. This allows the TDC to apply for educational grants for financial support of the physical archives and its digitization, as well as for the Typegeist academic publishing platform.  

The move follows the successful 2016 merger of The One Club and the Art Directors Club (ADC), two of the most respected nonprofits in advertising and design, to form The One Club for Creativity as the world’s foremost nonprofit organization for the creative community.  

TOCC serves as the umbrella organization for The One Show, ADC Annual Awards (now celebrating is historic ADC100 centennial), Young Ones Student Awards, Young Guns, Creative Hall of Fame, One Screen short film festival, Next Creative Leaders, The One Show Greater China and The One Show Global Creative Rankings.

In addition to these awards and recognition programs, other ongoing TOCC programming includes Creative Week, the ONE School portfolio program for Black creatives, Where Are All The Black People annual diversity conference and career fair, Creative Boot Camps, global Portfolio Night, Mentor & Creative, Global Educators Summit, Creative Leaders Retreats, Executive Creative Summits, Right the Ratio Summit, Diverse Ad Talent Directory The One Club COVID-19 Jobs Board, Online Student Portfolio Reviews, Saturday Career Workshops for talented high school students and more.

Inclusion and diversity has long been one of The One Club’s four pillars for programming.  The organization formed its One ID department in 2008 and established its annual Where Are All The Black People diversity conference and career fair in 2011.  Other initiatives include the free ONE School portfolio program for Black creatives, Creative Boot Camps held around the world offering diverse students three days of hands-on training at an ad agency, and the free One Club Diverse Talent Ad Directory for people looking to hire and get hired.

TOCC also recently increased diversity within its leadership with the appointments of Gail Anderson, chair of BFA Design and BFA Advertising at the School of Visual Arts, New York, and Sherina Florence, creative director at Ogilvy, New York, to its Board of Directors.  More than 60% of The One Club Board is made up of women and people of color.