Type Directors Club Winning Designs: Art Chantry’s Judge’s Pick

This year the Type Directors Club is celebrating its 65th anniversary. The TDC typography competition was established 57 years ago and is still the world’s premier showcase for beautiful typography. Last year this unique design competition attracted over 1,500 entries from 32 countries. Every month, the Type Directors Club will be sending us one of the judge’s picks to share on the HOW blog. So check back often to see the best examples of great typography. Designing with type is one of the most cost-effective design solutions, but it takes a real master to craft amazing typography. Here’s the first judges’ pick:

Art Chantry’s Type Directors Club Judge’s Pick

This is one of the strangest items I’ve ever seen entered into a typography design competition/exhibition. Fully six out of the seven judges working on this survey actually voted to put this thing in the show. But there’s no type in it!

It’s a beautiful little book with a blue cover. The title of the book has a blank space for you to fill in (you must title it). The only typography inside the entire book is some standard text in small print on the copyright page. That’s it. Instead, every page has a grid in light non-photo blue lines. Every few pages the grid changes to another pattern. This goes on for a hundred or more pages. What is going on here?

The way we understood it is that this is a book about the hidden structure of typography. The blue lines are collected from available empty notebook pages from all over the world—fully 47 different ruling styles, from traditional grade-school line spacing to music staves to mathematical grid styles. These represent the underpinning structure of all writing and typography, a structure too often ignored today by fashionable high-flying digital designers (who can do literally anything— and constantly do).

This little book is a comfortable reminder of the bedrock rules underlying all typography. It’s waiting for you to add the text along the guidelines required. It’s essentially a typographic “Book of Rules.” (Duh!)

Type Directors Club design competition winner (beautiful typography)

DESIGN: Till Beckmann, Jenny Hasselbach, and Franziska Morlok
DESIGN OFFICE: Rimini Berlin
CLIENT: Revolver Publishing
DIMENSIONS: 5.1 × 6.7 in. (13 × 17 cm)

TDC Design Competition Winner Statement

We have been collecting notebooks and writing blocks from different countries for years, and each culture has developed its own ruling system. From this collection, we have created a notebook with 47 different rulings, from the trusted DIN format to that used for mathematical notation to traditional Chinese writing blocks.

As a collection, the ruled paper is no longer seen as a blank page to be filled. Instead the diverse rulings inspire a different way of thinking, writing, and ideating.

The rulings can be used as a matrix for taking notes, sorting information, or sketching ideas, allowing for a spontaneous visual journey through different cultures.


Learn more about the Type Directors Club and see more amazing typography in the TDC book Typography32.

For more resources about typography, visit My Design Shop.Type Idea Index book by Jim KrauseType Idea Index by Jim Krause
The basic principle behind Type Idea Index is simple: ideas breed ideas. If you are looking for new ways of employing type in your works of art and design (or new twists to apply to your current typographic techniques), open Type Idea Index. You’ll find yourself face-to-face with 650+ custom-created, idea-sparking examples of typography and type-intensive design.