On June 2nd, noted type designer Colin Brignall became the 20th recipient of the prestigious Type Directors Club TDC Medal. It was presented to him at Stationers’ Hall in London, England, also marking the first time the medal was awarded outside the U.S. The event was attended by family, friends, peers and admirers, many of whom had traveled cross-continent to attend—a real tribute to Brignall’s spirit, talent and reputation within the international typographic community.
Opening remarks were presented by Carol Wahler, TDC executive director, and Mark Solsburg, TDC president. Dinner was followed by a medal presentation by Dave Farey, type designer and close friend of Brignall.
Brignall’s career in typography did not begin on a straight path. In 1964, shortly after joining Letraset as a photographic technician in the type design department, Brignall developed a keen interest in letterforms. Although he lacked formal training, Brignall’s natural ability led to a position designing and producing display typefaces. His early creations included Aachen Bold, Revue, Harlow, Premier Shaded and Superstar. Brignall later ventured into designing more text-oriented typefaces, including Italia, Romic, Corinthian and Edwardian.
In 1980, Brignall was appointed Type Director of Letraset and was responsible for the sourcing, art direction and selection of the Letraset typeface range. In 1996, he became a typographic consultant to International Typeface Corporation (ITC) and collaborated on several historical type revivals including ITC Founder’s Caslon, ITC Rennie Mackintosh and ITC Golden Cockerel. Brignall’s career has now come full circle, as he once again works for Letraset as a typographic consultant.
The TDC of New York was founded in 1946 to support the community of ad agency type directors. It has evolved over the years as an association responsive to the ever-changing face of type designers, type users and enthusiasts. The TDC medal is awarded to individuals or organizations in recognition for outstanding contributions to typographic excellence. The first TDC medal was awarded in 1967 to Hermann Zapf. Subsequent honorees have included R. Hunter Middleton, Herb Lubalin (posthumously), Paul Rand, Aaron Burns, Bradbury Thompson, Adrian Frutiger, Ed Benguiat, Gene Frederico, Lou Dorfsman, Matthew Carter and Rolling Stone Magazine.