Dutch Design Legend Gerard Unger Wins 2009 SOTA Typography Award

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News | Yves Peters | July 18, 2009

The Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA) has announced that Dutch type designer, author, and educator Gerard Unger has been honored with the 2009 SOTA Typography Award. The presentation took place on Friday, July 17, 2009, at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead, as part of TypeCon2009.

The 67-year-old Unger (of Bussum, The Netherlands) is the designer of such well-known typefaces as Swift, Gulliver, and Capitolium. He is a visiting professor at the University of Reading, UK, Department of Typography and Graphic Communication, and has also taught at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, and the University of Leiden. In addition to his work in type design, Unger has designed stamps, coins, magazines, newspapers, books, corporate identities, and other projects.

Gerard Unger teaching at the University of Reading, UK, Department of Typography and Graphic Communication, 2008/2009
Photo by Eben Sorkin

Unger was the unanimous choice of the 2009 jury, which included designers and educators Sam Berlow, Nadine Chahine, John Downer, Hank Richardson, Juliet Shen, and jury chair Shu-Yun Reed Lai.

Unger’s tribute took place as part of the TypeCon2009 conference, a week-long celebration of type and lettering in all its forms. He has won several other major prizes for his type design, and has written for magazines and other publications. His book Terwijl je leest was published in 1995 and updated in 2006, with a new English edition (While You’re Reading) published in 2006.

Unger was chosen to receive SOTA’s seventh annual award due to his outstanding and diverse body of work in type design, his history of teaching and mentoring, his thoughtful authorship, his influence on countless designers, and his standing as a respected leader of the global typographic community.

Gerard Unger at the Third International Typography Congress “Glocal. Tipografía En La Era De La Globalización” in Valencia, Spain, July 2008.
Photo by Congreso Tipographía

The SOTA Typography Award is presented each year to an outstanding member of the type community. Past recipients are Hermann Zapf, Ed Benguiat, Matthew Carter, Adrian Frutiger, David Berlow, and Gerrit Noordzij.

SOTA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, study, and support of type design, typography, and the related arts. For more information about SOTA, please visit www.typesociety.org.
Header image by Eben Sorkin

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  1. Congratulations Gerard.
    (Type is hot!)

    Posted by Niko Spelbrink on Jul. 19, 2009
  2. Outstanding!

    Posted by Rishi Sinha on Jul. 20, 2009
  3. Congratulations to Gerard!

    Posted by Erik on Jul. 21, 2009
  4. After a string of Germans and Americans winning this award it’s nice to have two Dutchmen in a row.

    Posted by Stephen Coles on Jul. 21, 2009
  5. Finally, he gets his due recognition. Was his student at Reading, pleasant man all round!

    Posted by Effendy on Jul. 21, 2009
  6. Congratulations Gerard!

    Posted by Miguel Buckenmeyer on Jul. 22, 2009
  7. Wel gefeliciteerd Gerard.


    Posted by Gerrit Noordzij on Jul. 25, 2009
  8. Congratulations from the previous SOTA Award recipient to the current one, from one Dutch type legend to another. On The FontFeed. This doesn’t get any better. :)

    Posted by Yves Peters on Jul. 25, 2009
  9. Van harte! je bent in uistekend gezelschap!

    Posted by Frans Janssen on Aug. 5, 2009

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