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TDC Member Gail Anderson Receives Highest National Honor in Design

This month, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York announced that designer Gail Anderson was recognized for Lifetime Achievement as part of the 2018 National Design Awards.

Portrait: Gail Anderson. Photo: Declan Van Welie.

Type Directors Club is particularly thrilled about Gail’s recognition, since type fans everywhere are so familiar with the typography books that she’s co-authored with Steven Heller since 1990 – New Vintage Type, New Ornamental Type, Typographic Universe, New Modernist Type, and others on pop culture and design.

Gail was selected for this honor by an interdisciplinary jury of design leaders and educators from nominations submitted by design experts and enthusiasts. As a New York-based designer, writer, and educator, Gail serves as the creative director at Visual Arts Press, the in-house design studio for the School of the Visual Arts, where she has been teaching design for nearly 30 years.

Design and typography books by Gail Anderson and Steven Heller.

Gail served on the TDC Board from 2014 to 2016, and has been an active, enthusiastic contributor to many Type Directors Club initiatives.

“Working with Gail over the years has been an amazing experience,” says TDC executive director Carol Wahler. “I always felt so lucky to work with someone who had such extraordinary creativity. For example, when I asked Gail to design a piece with the number five to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the TDC annual, she used a hand with the number 5 on it. It was such a simple solution, but how many people would think of that?”

Gail’s art for Type Directors Club annual and exhibit.

In 2012, Gail Anderson and Joe Newton launched AND (Anderson Newton Design), a creative agency dedicated to sophisticated yet playful design, with a focus on typography. Their clients include Wired, Fortune, The New York Times, Club Monaco, The U.S. Postal Service, and the School of Visual Arts.

Previously, Gail served as creative director of design at SpotCo, an advertising agency that creates artwork for theater, and as a designer and senior art director of Rolling Stone.

Gail has lectured about design internationally and received numerous awards, including the 2008 AIGA Gold Medal and the Society of Illustrators’ 2009 Richard Gangel Art Director Award.

Gail’s work is in the permanent collections of Cooper Hewitt, the Library of Congress, the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Milton Glaser Design Archives at SVA. In 2001, Gail designed Typography 22: The Annual of the Type Directors Club.

Cover of TDC Typography 22 designed by Gail Anderson (left) and the pages introducing the competition judges (right).

“On one page in the Typography 22 annual, Gail used a pair of eyeglasses to represent the letter g, which I loved,” says Carol. “When I speak to students about the history of Type Directors Club, I often pull out that book and explain the decisions Gail made as a designer and how her work reflects pure genius.”

Gail and the other National Design Award winners will be honored at a benefit dinner and awards ceremony October 18, 2018, but as Caroline Baumann, director of Cooper Hewitt, attests, Gail and the other honorees will showcased elsewhere, too: “These inspiring men and women will be joining us in classrooms and communities throughout the U.S. to help us raise awareness of the power of design to improve our lives.”

TDC47 call for entries, designed by Gail Anderson.

Take a look at Gail’s award-winning work, including a few produced for the Type Directors Club, on the Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards website here. Click on each photo to learn more about each of her projects.

And read more about Gail in our 2015 interview when she was featured as TDC’s Member of the Month.

On behalf of Type Directors Club, Carol concludes, “We couldn’t be happier that Gail is being honored. She is so deserving of this award. Congratulations, my friend!”