The Type Directors Club (TDC) is one of the most significant associations globally for the promotion of typography. The tradition-steeped institution traces its roots back to an informal meeting of New York agency typographers in 1946. The German Liaison Committee of the Type Directors Club of New York, based in Mainz, was established in 1983 and there are further branches in France, Japan, the UK, Mexico, Vietnam and Switzerland. The TDC organises competitions, publishes a design annual and from time to time awards the renowned Type Directors Club Medal to individuals or institutions who have made an exceptional contribution to the development of typography. Juan Villanueva, who for two years was a board member at the TDC, cancelled his membership on 23 June, stating that the club was a “racist organisation”. Two days later, the TDC apologised to Villanueva and then on 30 June announced that the TDC was shutting down. According to its announcement, the reason for shutting down was not at all related to the racism accusations and is instead the result of long-standing financial difficulties that, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, would have led to insolvency. It is impossible to tell from the outside how justified the accusations raised by Villanueva are. The board released a statement expressing a hope that the club would be reconstituted in a new, “more inclusive form” under new leadership, which the current board would support by doing whatever was necessary.
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