the Annual of the Type Directors Club
The Annual of the Type Directors Club is considered the foremost design compilation of its kind. Since the inaugural issue in 1980, each volume has collected the the year’s finest examples of typographic excellence from around the world.
Designing an annual for the TDC is a type designer’s dream come true. With that said, we couldn't resist the opportunity to experiment with the zeitgeist-defining power that such an influential institution wields. What would happen, we wondered, if we took a “lower” form of typography—like those calligraphic swirls of flora and fauna that a street vendor will paint in five minutes for your mortified sweetheart—and put it on the cover? Would playing with our audience's perceptions actually elevate kitsch to high art, or at least make it good type?
In the spirit of our diabolical experiment, the Mucca team designed two bespoke typefaces for use throughout the annual. The first, Mucca Athenian, was inspired by a typeface used on the cover of a midcentury brochure unearthed from the TDC Archives. The second typeface, Mucca Zanna, reinterprets a sample of eccentric Victorian calligraphy that a contemporary street letterer in Central Park would surely appreciate. We tried to get our friend Chen’s opinion, who supplied the annual’s cover art, but our efforts were lost in translation.