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Fiona Ross Receives TDC Medal in New York

On July 18 in New York, the Type Directors Club presented its highest honor to Dr. Fiona Ross, who has been responsible for some of the world’s most influential typefaces for over five decades.

Fiona Ross accepting the TDC medal at Cooper Union

According to TDC executive director Carol Wahler, “Fiona is an amazing woman of high intellect and integrity who has promoted greater understanding and appreciation of non-Latin typefaces, first as an employee of Linotype, and now as an esteemed professor. The TDC Board of Directors unanimously decided to award Fiona the TDC Medal to honor her influence and accomplishments in the type community.”

Ross, who began working at Linotype in 1978, became its first female manager when she assumed leadership of the non-Latin typographic department, which created designs that are some of the most widely used in the world. Currently, she collaborates with Tiro Typeworks on new typefaces and consults for other foundries. At the University of Reading, she lectures on non-Latin typeface design and advises students in the postgraduate typography and graphic communication program. Her book, The Printed Bengali Character and Its Evolution, is one of the primary resources on typography for a language spoken by over 250 million people throughout the world.

According to Dan Rhatigan, a former student of Dr. Ross now working as a senior manager for Adobe Type, “Fiona’s most extraordinary quality is her modesty, her measured appraisal of her own influence. After decades of raising the bar for global typography through her own work and research, as well as that of her students, she insists that she is no expert, but only a specialist.”

Fiona Ross and Dan Rhatigan

The Type Directors Club awards the TDC Medal to individuals that have made major contributions to the field of typography.

Ross is the thirty-first recipient of the TDC Medal, which was first awarded by the Type Directors Club to Hermann Zapf in 1967 to honor his contributions to typography. Ross joins a prestigious list of medalists that include Paul Rand, Matthew Carter, Erik Spiekermann, Adrian Frutiger, Gerrit Noordzij, Paula Scher, Louise Fili, Ed Benguiat, Matthew Carter, and Gerard Unger.

Read her interview with Adobe Typekit here.