Type Directors Club

Revitalizing a Storied Brand

The Challenge

Those of us in the design community are no stranger to the Type Directors Club. Yet after 70 years, the membership association’s numbers were stagnant. Outside of its annual competitions, the TDC was struggling to tell its own story.

The Outcome

Rather than rebrand, we reinvigorated the existing system, elevating opportunities to speak up and stand out. We poured our energy into a welcome kit and website designed to remind the world that when it comes to type, the TDC reigns supreme.

We prioritized member outreach and revamped its digital presence to re-assert the TDC’s voice and value.

Our Approach: Working from Abundance

We put our brains in a room with a pile of post-its and generated as many ideas as possible for galvanizing public interest, from Instagram takeovers to lifetime memberships for babies. We zeroed in on three key areas: communication strategy, digital experience and membership outreach.

TDC Research 1
TDC Research 2

Type Drives Culture

From tiny type generators to Wes Anderson title screens, type has stepped confidently into the collective consciousness.

Tdc typedrives animation

Type Drives Culture

Recognizing the opportunity presented by more people taking an interest in type, the TDC adopted a new positioning statement. Equal parts provocative and playful, it’s ripe with potential for witty wordplay and secondary messaging.

Web Redesign: Telling the TDC Story

We reorganized the information architecture and created a values-based top-level menu, giving visitors a sense of what the TDC’s all about: Recognizing Excellence, Supporting Growth and Building Community. Then we cleaned up content so they could quickly take action.

TDC Website 10

Hover Interactions

Interactive text boxes sprinkled throughout trigger related imagery, tagged with specific keywords.

Reinforcing the Brandmark
Round tags and a custom cursor are a nod to the TDC mark, boosting the brand at different touchpoints.

Communication Design
TDC Website 11

Rules and Layers
Exposed rules create structure, while layering defies it. Design is, after all, the balance between precision and play.

Communication Strategy: Creating Clear Guidelines

We took stock of every TDC channel, articulating clear goals and recommendations for each, from Twitter and Instagram to competition microsites and TDC central. Coupled with brand guidelines, those recommendations coalesced into a robust, user-friendly resource.

Tdc guide 1
Tdc guide 2
Tdc guide 3
Tdc guide 4
Tdc guide 5

Membership Outreach: Welcome Kit

Low-hanging, yet oft-neglected fruit: showing gratitude to the folks who make you what you are. To welcome new members to the TDC community, we designed a thoughtful print piece, equal parts sophisticated and curious, with a strong dose of storytelling.

TDC Booklet 4
TDC Booklet 1
TDC Booklet 3
TDC Booklet 2

Type, Texture and Layers of Meaning

We used typographic gestures, photography, different color stocks and die-cuts to capture the full expressive range of the TDC—from authoritative to eccentric. Layered, nested sheets and peak-through moments reveal the many ways type affects culture, creativity and community.

TDC Booklet 8
TDC Booklet 7
TDC Booklet 9
TDC Booklet 11
TDC Booklet 14

Repeating Elements

Inner nested sheets feature anchoring elements like the TDC dot, tying the tactile back the digital space for a harmonious, end-to-end member experience.

TDC Booklet 10
TDC Booklet 12
TDC Booklet 13
TDC Booklet 5
TDC Booklet 6
TDC Booklet 15

Upon launch, the saw a huge spike in traffic.

Daily users grew from 450 to over 1,000. The organization's social media manager dove headfirst into the Brand Guide, reporting back the value of having all brand everything summed up so concisely in one handy resource. And over on Instagram, user @vivastruble perhaps summed it up best: “🔥🔥🔥.” We'll call that a success.