TDC Medal Awarded to Dutch Typographer Gerard Unger
The Type Directors Club has presented the prestigious TDC Medal to Dutch typographer Dr. Gerard Unger to recognize his accomplishment in creating some of the world’s most influential typefaces for over the five decades.
Unger is the thirtieth recipient in the fifty-year history of the TDC Medal, which was first awarded to Hermann Zapf in 1967 to honor his contributions to typography. Unger joins a prestigious list of medalists that include Paul Rand, Matthew Carter, Erik Spiekermann, Gerrit Noordzij, Paula Scher, Louise Fili, Ed Benguiat, and most recently, Zuzana Licko and Rudy VanderLans of the digital type foundry, Emigre.
According to TDC board member Dan Rhatigan of Adobe Typekit, “Gerard has been very influential as a typeface designer, since his work has had an impact in so many contexts, but his legacy as a beloved teacher of additional generations of type designers may prove to have even further reach. We unanimously decided to give him the TDC Medal to shine a light on his influence and accomplishments.”
Unger came to New York to receive this honor Tuesday evening, July 18 at The Cooper Union in The Rose Auditorium, 41 Cooper Square, which was the highlight of the 2017 awards night for the Type Directors Club annual typography competition. Rhatigan and TDC executive director Carol Wahler presented the medal to Unger, following the premiere of a short video created by Strange Attractors Design in Rotterdam to summarize the medalist’s importance to the type community. TDC Medalist Matthew Carter also attended the sold-out event, and spent time with Dr. Unger throughout the evening to the excitement of type fans who were elated to photograph two type legends side by side throughout the reception.
Unger’s body of work includes typefaces designed specifically for magazines, books, and newspapers, including USA Today. He has designed typefaces for the Dutch highway sign system, the Amsterdam transit system, and the city of Rome.
Type Directors Club is the leading international organization supporting excellence in typography, both in print and on screen. Through the club’s exhibitions, salons, workshops, and annual competition, Type Directors Club celebrates the current stars of the typographic field and educates its future leaders.