Type Directors Club Awards Medal to UK Typographer Fiona Ross

The Type Directors Club is honored to announce that the TDC Medal is being presented to UK typographer Dr. Fiona Ross, who has been responsible for some of the world’s most influential typefaces for over five decades.

Portrait: Fiona Ross, University of Reading, United Kingdom.

Ross is the thirty-first recipient of the TDC Medal, which was first awarded 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 most recently, Gerard Unger.

According to TDC executive director Carol Wahler, “Fiona is an amazing woman of high intellect and integrity who has promoted greater understanding and appreciation the many, diverse non-Latin typefaces throughout her years working for Linotype earlier in her career and now as one of the most beloved professors in academia. We unanimously decided to give her the TDC Medal honor her influence and accomplishments in the type community.”

Ross will be present to receive this honor Wednesday evening, July 18 at The Cooper Union in The Rose Auditorium, 41 Cooper Square, in conjunction with the awards presentations for the Type Directors Club annual typography competition. Click here for information and to reserve a ticket for the event.

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.”

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.

Read her interview with Adobe Typekit here.