During his six years on the TDC Board, Montalbano helped create the Typeface Design Competition, separating it from the club’s regular competition, and served as its co-chairman for the first two years. He has designed and produced the newsletter for the last four years and was involved in organizing the Colin Brignall TDC Medal event in London, in June 2000. He is also the one to blame for starting the Thursday Night Type Salon.
Montalbano’s professional career began as a public school graphic arts teacher, but he found that he couldn’t stand the smell. He went off to get a Masters degree and teach college graphic arts, but found the smell there no better. Coming back to New York City he found work among the wild world of type shop and magazine art departments, and while the smell got no better (especially during lobster shifts) he found it much more fun than teaching. He later became a trade publications design director and slept through most of the meetings, went on to design pharmeceutical packaging, but that made him ill. (Though it did smell better.)
In 1990 he formed Terminal Design, Inc. and began to concentrate on lettering and typeface design. He has created original typeface designs for International Typeface Corporation, Warner Music, The American Medical Association, Vanity Fair, Brides, Gourmet, Mademoiselle, Sassy, Details, Glamour, Jane, Self and Book magazines. In 2001 he completed a new family of typefaces for the U.S. National Park Service, and for the last few years he has been involved with Don Meeker of Meeker & Associates in the development of the ClearviewHwy road guide sign font system, which is trying (and succeeding) to increase the legibility of road and highway signage.