The honour represents the Type Directors Club’s collective gratitude to those who, by their work and talent, have demonstrated the value of typography in communication, community and culture.
The list of past TDC Medalists can be viewed here.
Jan Middendorp is a widely-acclaimed author, researcher and designer based in Berlin whose body of work includes writing and editing numerous well-known books and articles about typography, design and the performing arts. He’s also designed printed matter for publishers and non-profit organisations and worked as a consultant and editor to the type world.
“I’m in a state of amazement, as well as proud, with this incredible honour,” says Middendorp. “Limitless thanks to the TDC.”
Born in the Netherlands, Middendorp spent much of his early professional life in Belgium before relocating to Berlin.
In the 1980s, he was a critic of the arts, covering theatre, dance, video and media art, and later specialised in graphic design and typography. Among his influential books are:
- Dutch Type
Made with FontFont with Erik Spiekermann
- Hand to Type, and
- Shaping Text.
Middendorp has been a long-time collaborator in design magazines such as Eye, Typo, Items and others, and worked as an editor and consultant for typographic companies, including:
- LucasFonts, and
He spent nine years as a writer and consultant to MyFonts, where he edited the popular interview newsletter Creative Characters.
In addition, Middendorp co-curated exhibitions held in:
- The Hague
- New York
- Beijing, and
He recently worked as a book designer and typesetter for Repeater Books in London, founded the informal type company Fust & Friends in Berlin and spent most of 2018 producing the long-awaited reprint of his Dutch Type.
“Middendorp’s writing is unique in its precision and approachability, bringing typography down to the human-interest level without diminishing it. Shaping Text is the definitive textbook for anyone interested in the subject,” says Ksenya Samarskaya, managing director of the TDC.
“In his nearly three decades writing about type and type designers, his impact shaped the culture and community of the typographic scene on both sides of the North Atlantic,” concludes Samarskaya.
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