These are not letters on a page. This is a trapdoor into worlds inside our world. This is a path stretching out in front of you with every word. This is the alphabet rearranging itself into a road. Like the road we’re travelling on right now. Even now. Music and myth and meaning; all mapped out in black letters. Dived for and dredged up from the Thames or designed through ink spills and iterations — these are the characters that carry our stories. The characters that carry us. With the written word, where we are isn’t where we were. Typography is a mode of transport.


In 1928, Vincent Steer, a compositor, founded the British Typographers Guild together with six equally dedicated colleagues: ‘to bring together in friendship and mutual help, all those with a love of the printed word’.

Almost a century later, the ISTD still seeks to preserve and give due recognition to the highest standards of typographic design.

Since they first took place in 1992, the ISTD’s International Typographic Awards have provided an overview of the best contemporary practice in international design, recognising and rewarding the very best examples of typographic excellence from around the world.


We’re a professional body run by and for typographers, designers and educators. Across the world, our members are committed to raising the bar and inspiring a love for all forms of typography.

Working closely with education and industry, we help to establish, maintain and promote typographic standards through the forum of debate and design practice.

We’re a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, run by a Board of volunteers.


Professional members from many countries have been introduced to ISTD through the International Typographic Awards. Membership is awarded to practising designers, educators and graduating students who demonstrate, through the quality of their work, their commitment to achieving the highest possible standard of visual communication.

ISTD has a growing international membership and is continuously developing relationships with individuals and organisations around the world. For further information on membership please visit our website.