The Type Directors Club has appointed designer, strategist, and educator Ksenya Samarskaya to serve as its first managing director in the club’s 75-year history.
Samarskaya will work alongside Carol Wahler, long-standing TDC executive director, to expand on TDC’s commitment to typographic excellence. She will be responsible for driving TDC’s brand and vision; managing marketing and partnerships; overseeing operations, heralding TDC’s annual Typeface Design, Communication Design and Ascenders competitions, as well as launching new initiatives
She will also work closely with the TDC Advisory Board to ensure consistent application and continuation of TDC’s anti-racist pledge, which involves proactively seeking women, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ designers to become members, awards program judges, event speakers and Board members, providing ways to elevate and showcase their work to the global community.
Says Samarskaya: “The typographic community is at an inflection point—there’s a global blossoming of interest and more nuanced cultural conversations taking place. It’s an exciting moment in history, and an incredible privilege to join TDC at this critical juncture. I’m very honored and pleased to be working with our incoming Advisory Board and The One Club to help facilitate the conversations and momentum underway.”
Samarskaya ran her own studio, Samarskaya & Partners, for the past 11 years, where she managed a team of creatives in providing clients with brand positioning, visual communications, and a range of design solutions. She also managed Solonka, S&P’s type foundry, which provided typographic consultation, custom type design and production, language support research, and Cyrillic expertise.
She has presented on type at TypoLabs Berlin, BITS Chiang Mai,The Design Kids Lisbon, the Core77 Conference New York, and others, and designed courses for, and taught at, SVA, NYU, Harbour.Space University in Barcelona and Bangkok, IE School of Architecture & Design in Madrid, Minneapolis College of Art & Design, and the University of the Arts.
A TDC member and volunteer since 2005, she also served as a judge for the 20TDC awards, chair of the 24TDC Typeface Design awards, and is co-chair of this year’s 25TDC Typeface Design awards competition which saw a expansion in the number of judges and additional focus on world scripts.
Says Kevin Swanepoel, CEO, The One Club: “Ksenya’s strong skill set, deep industry knowledge and connections, and energy make her the right person to help drive TDC growth and relevance to the global type community. Bringing her on board as the organization’s first managing director is also a reflection of The One Club’s commitment to TDC and all that it stands for.”
Established in New York in 1946, TDC celebrates and amplifies the power of typography and serves as a global community united by the shared belief that type drives culture and culture drives type. The organization runs the esteemed TDC Communication Design and TDC Typeface Design competitions, produces The World’s Best Typography® annual, coordinates traveling global exhibitions of award-winning work, offers scholarship programs and hosts conferences, classes, workshops, Type Salons and a design jobs board.
TDC became part of The One Club for Creativity in October 2020. The One Club uses revenue generated from entries to its global awards shows — including The One Show, ADC Annual Awards, TDC awards, Young Ones Student Awards, Young Guns and others — and puts it back into the industry to fund programs under its four pillars: Education,Inclusion & Diversity, Gender Equality and Creative Development.
These programs include the annual Where Are All The Black People diversity conference and career fair, ONE Schoolfree portfolio program for Black creatives, ONE Production free food styling training for diverse creatives, Creative Boot Camps for diverse college students, Right the Ratio Summits addressing gender equality, Global Educators Summits, Creative Leaders Retreats, mentorship programs for more than 200 young creatives each year, bi-annualSaturday Career Workshops for high school students, and more.