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TDC2 2004 winners announced

New York, NY. - 24 May 2004

Microsoft picked up awards for two fonts in the TDC2 2004 type design competition. Nyala by John Hudson and Geraldine Wade, and MS Uighur by Mamoun Sakkal won awards in the text design category.

The Type Directors Club is an international organization founded in 1946 whose members include design professionals, typographic designers, and typophiles.

The entries were judged by a panel of distinguished designers in January 2004. Winning works will be exhibited in six traveling shows and published in Typography 25, the hardbound, all-color competition annual designed by Diego Vainesman. The annual is published by HBI, a division of HarperCollins, and sold worldwide.

The winners


  • Arberg :: Nathan Matteson
  • Argot :: Eduardo Manso
  • Maiola :: Veronika Burian
  • Nyala :: John Hudson
  • MS Uighur :: Mamoun Sakkal


  • Brunn :: Ryan Frisk
  • Buttress :: Samuel Oswick
  • Sava Pro :: Jovica Veljovic

Type System

  • Amira :: Cyrus Highsmith
  • Amplitude :: Christian Schwartz
  • FF Angkoon :: Xavier Dupré
  • Expo Sans :: Mark Jamra
  • Farnham :: Christian Schwartz
  • Houston :: Christian Schwartz
  • Noam :: Adi Stern
  • FF Unit :: Ugla Marekowa
  • Zocalo :: Cyrus Highsmith


Nyala is a new Ethiopic typeface with harmonised Latin companion design,making it ideal for bilingual texts. The Ethiopic character set supports Amharic, Tigrinya, Tigre and many other modern tongues of Ethiopia and Eritrea, and the ancient scriptural language Ge'ez. The Latin character set supports all the major European languages, and also includes diacritics needed for the transliteration of Ethiopian and Eritrean languages, making the font useful for scholarship in many countries.

The Ethiopic design is based on initial outlines prepared by Geraldine Wade, in 1998,as part of a Microsoft project to document typographic requirements for different scripts and languages. During 2003,John Hudson redrew all the Ethiopic characters, making them more formal but keeping the weight and proportions of the earlier design. John designed the Latin companion alongside the new Ethiopic forms, and carefully tested them in bilingual settings.

The OpenType format font contains layout features for both scripts that automatically substitute an extensive set of Latin ligatures, including diacritic combinations for transliterated text, and contextual grouping of Ethiopic numerals.

The Nyala typeface is named for the mountain nyala ‹tragelaphus buxtoni ›,a species of great African antelope native to the highlands of Ethiopia, and for the Nyala Ethiopian restaurant in Vancouver, where the ostrich special is particularly recommended.

MS Uighur

For the second year in a row, a Microsoft commissioned Arabic script typeface has won an award in Type Directors Club annual type design competition TDC2 2004 in New York. One hundred and twelve entries from sixteen countries were submitted to this prestigious competition, and "Microsoft Uighur" received one of the seventeen awards given this year.

Uighur is a Turkic language of the Muslims who live in Xinjiang province in northwestern China. Microsoft Uighur is a text typeface designed for the Uighur language, which uses a modified version of the Arabic script. Traditional Uighur typefaces were based on a Persian model, and this new typeface follows the same tradition. The typeface is designed for maximum legibility of text, especially in small sizes, and incorporates a subtle calligraphic quality, which gives it a fresh vitality and energy. Dr. Hamit Zakir, a visiting Uighur scholar from Xinjiang, China, described this typeface as the most beautiful Uighur font he has ever seen.

Mamoun Sakkal designed this typeface after studying Uighur publications printed using both metal and digital typefaces. He also reviewed traditional calligraphy in Arabic script of the Uighur people. Mamoun Sakkal is an award-winning designer who provides Arabic/Islamic calligraphy, typography, and graphic design to local, national, and international clients from his studio in Bothell, Washington. His calligraphic and typographic work is featured on book and magazine covers, in newspaper and magazine articles, TV movies and program titles, posters, logos, packaging, and greeting cards. More information is found on his popular web site about Arabic calligraphy at

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article posted 24 May 2004 and last updated 24 May 2004.

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