The venerable Type Directors Club has appointed designer, strategist, and educator Ksenya Samarskaya to serve as the first managing director in the club’s 75-year history. Samarskaya will work alongside Carol Wahler, long-standing TDC executive director, to expand on the organization’s commitment to typographic excellence. She is responsible for driving the brand and vision; managing marketing and partnerships; overseeing operations; heralding TDC’s annual competitions; as well as launching new initiatives.
Samarskaya 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. “The typographic community is at an inflection point — there’s a global blossoming of interest and more nuanced cultural conversations taking place,” Samarskaya observes. “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 an expansion in the number of judges and additional focus on world scripts.
“Ksenya’s strong skill set, deep industry knowledge, connections, and energy make her the right person to help drive TDC growth and relevance to the global type community,” said Kevin Swanepoel, CEO, The One Club. “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.”