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What is Ascenders?

Created by the Type Directors Club, Ascenders recognizes designers on the rise. Ascenders is for all typographic creatives age 35 or under (so if you were born in 1987 or later, keep reading). You can apply individually, or as a duo if you do your best work as part of a team. Learn about the 2022, 2019, and 2018 Ascenders, and be sure to follow #TDCASCENDERS.

What is the application process like?

The entry requires six of your strongest works, no more, no less. For each, you can submit up to six images or videos, and a short entry description.

What does winning mean?

Winners become part of the esteemed and rarefied TDC Ascenders family, a collection of creatives known to be at the apex of their craft. Only a select few winners are chosen every year, making the recognition that much more earned. Winners will be feted at a celebration held in New York and online on June 8th, 2023.

Who's judging?

Our judges are top top typographic practitioners from around the world, including past Ascenders winners. The jury is chosen each year by TDC’s Advisory Board, whose aim is to balance deep expertise with a wide range of perspectives. For 2023, we have the following 18 judges looking through the entered work:

Frank Adebiaye

Type and Document Designer

David Barnett

Noble Signs

Alia Bright

Self-employed artist and designer
Portland, Oregon

Chris Campe

Designer & Writer
All Things Letters

Marina Chaccur

Marina Chaccur Designs
The Hague

Vincent Chan

Director/Type Designer
Matter of Sorts
Naarm (Melbourne)

Cyla Costa

Lettering Artist
Cyla Costa Studio
Curitiba, Brazil

Liza Enebeis

Creative Director and Partner
Studio Dumbar/DEPT®

Golnar Kat Rahmani

Art Director, Designer & Typogragher
Studio Katrahmani

Kenneth Kuh

Visual Designer
San Jose, California

Susana Machicao

Visual Communicator at Machicao Design. Director at Bolivia Poster Biennial BICeBé
La PAz

Masashi Murakami

Graphic Designer, Art Director

Kiel Mutschelknaus

Motion and Generative Designer
DC Metro Area, Maryland

Shivani Parasnis

Senior Designer

Claudia Rubín

Senior Designer
The New York Times Magazine

Tré Seals

Matthew Tapia

Art Director & Illustrator

Li Zhiqian

Co-Founder, Type Director


When is the deadline?

The first Ascenders deadline is Wednesday, March 15, after which entry fees are increased. The final deadline is one month later, on Saturday, April 15th.

How much does it cost?

Ascenders is a global competition, and recognizes the financial disparity between countries and regions. With this in mind, Ascenders offers four pricing tiers: full-priced regions: $150 USD, mid-tier regions: $100 USD, low-priced regions: $50, and free for those in Afghanistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Palestine, Somalia, Ukraine, or Yemen.

All fees increase by $25 USD after the March 15 deadline, so be sure to enter early! (And of course, TDC members receive discounted rates, with an additional $25 off no matter the region.)

Have more questions?

Slide into our DMs. We’re active on Twitter, Instagram, or you can email us at info@tdc.org.