Type Directors Club Legacy Retold to Great Success

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Despite its long-held prestige, the Type Directors Club was finding attracting new members a persistent challenge.

Rather than do a full rebranding at the risk of stripping off too much of TDC's legacy, agency Firebelly realigned the branding to focus on the earned authority of the organization, creating a new welcome kit to seed a strong sense of pride in new members and a web presence that's easier to promote on social media.

Type Directors Club

Revitalizing a Storied Brand

The ChallengeThose of us in the design community are no strangers to the Type Directors Club. Yet after 70 years, the membership association’s numbers were stagnant. Outside of its annual competitions, the TDC was struggling to tell its own story.

The OutcomeRather than rebrand, we reinvigorated the existing system, elevating opportunities to speak up and stand out. We poured our energy into a welcome kit and website designed to remind the world that when it comes to type, the TDC reigns supreme.

Type Drives CultureRecognizing the opportunity presented by more people taking an interest in type, the TDC adopted a new positioning statement. Equal parts provocative and playful, it’s ripe with potential for witty wordplay and secondary messaging.

Web Redesign:

Telling the TDC Story

We reorganized the information architecture and created a values-based top-level menu, giving visitors a sense of what the TDC’s all about: Recognizing Excellence, Supporting Growth and Building Community. Then we cleaned up content so they could quickly take action.

Communication Strategy:

Creating Clear Guidelines

We took stock of every TDC channel, articulating clear goals and recommendations for each, from Twitter and Instagram to competition microsites and TDC central. Coupled with brand guidelines, those recommendations coalesced into a robust, user-friendly resource.

Membership Outreach:

Welcome Kit

Low-hanging, yet oft-neglected fruit: showing gratitude to the folks who make you what you are. To welcome new members to the TDC community, we designed a thoughtful print piece, equal parts sophisticated and curious, with a strong dose of storytelling.

Type, Texture, and Layers of Meaning

We used typographic gestures, photography, different color stocks, and die-cuts to capture the full expressive range of the TDC—from authoritative to eccentric. Layered, nested sheets and peak-through moments reveal the many ways type affects culture, creativity and community.

Repeating Elements

Inner nested sheets feature anchoring elements like the TDC dot, tying the tactile back the digital space for a harmonious, end-to-end member experience.

Upon launch, the TDC.org saw a huge spike in traffic.

Daily users grew from 450 to over 1,000. The organization's social media manager dove headfirst into the Brand Guide, reporting back the value of having all brand everything summed up so concisely in one handy resource. And over on Instagram, user @vivastruble perhaps summed it up best: “🔥🔥🔥.”

We'll call that a success.

Designed by Firebelly Design ( http://firebellydesign.com/ )