Passing the Baton: Best in Show

Next Tuesday, July 16, the TDC will open an exhibition of the annual communication design and typeface competition winners at The Cooper Union in New York. Overall best in show, best student project, and student scholarship winners will be announced at the awards ceremony, before the exhibition reception.


Mike Hofmaier at the TDC58 awards ceremony at The Cooper Union, 2012.

Last year, a book design by Mike Hofmaier was chosen as the best student work, and it was also chosen as the best in show. Will this unusual feat be repeated this year? Come to the opening and find out!


Mike’s winning entry was designed for his diploma project during his final year at the School of Design in Ravensburg, Germany. The book, which combines text, illustrations, and information graphics, is a visual analysis of the Basic Law for Germany, or Grundgesetz, also known as the GG. By illustrating the history and structure of the law, Hofmaier wanted to build understanding of what he describes as the most important document in German democratic society (thus the title of his book: Formation GG). The visual nature of the book communicates the significance of the GG to both Germans and non-Germans alike.



Mike worked on the book for six months, or one term, and his project combines influences from mentors and teachers, contemporary information design, and an appreciation of the typography of early twentieth-century German and American business and administrative documents. Sensitivity to grids and systems is important at the school in Ravensburg, which has been influenced by the program at the famous design school in nearby Ulm. Mike’s design softens the Ulm approach by incorporating centered type and the slightly Deco or moderne-style typeface Nobel.

The esteemed publisher of design and typography, Hermann Schmidt Mainz, has just released Formation GG, and Mike is currently enrolled in the Master’s course in design at the Academy of Art and Design in Basle, Switzerland.

This is the last of our online reviews of the top winners from last year’s competition. Please join the TDC on Tuesday, July 16 to find out who has won the next Best in Show award, and watch for updates.

Doug Clouse