Full membership of the ISTD is open to practitioners, academics, writers, critics, researchers, theorists and other professionals in the field of typography.
How it works
Applying for membership of ISTD is free, and your submission will be reviewed by a panel of typography professionals.
Your area of specialism will determine the evidence we ask you to submit as part of your application. Full details below.
Applications typically take between three and four weeks to be reviewed, and we’ll let you know if you’ve been successful.
As a successful applicant you’ll receive a membership pack, certificate, various perks and discounts, and the right to use the MISTD post-nominal for the duration of your membership.
What you need
Choose whichever application route suits your specialism best. Every successful application results in full membership of the ISTD.
For practising designers working in industry
- Your current CV.
- Single PDF presentation containing a minimum 6 and maximum 10 case studies of recent typographic design work that meets the criteria.
- Detailed background information on one case study, confirming your role and contribution in delivering the project.
- Optional: A supporting statement of up to 500 words.
Please note: We do not accept students through this route.
See Student Assessment Scheme.
For design and typography educators
- Your current CV.
- Evidence that you have influenced course content to develop and improve typographic standards. This can be achieved by the submission of a minimum of three student assignment briefs, their associated module descriptors (or equivalent) and examples of the students’ work for those assignments. These should clearly show typography as the core element of the assignment whilst covering a range of typographic problem-solving exercises to achieve appropriate learning outcomes.
- Signed letter from your Head of School / Faculty (or equivalent) endorsing your expertise and competence and confirms that you have been teaching design in a full or part-time position for a minimum of three years. The letter should also confirm that under your guidance, typographic standards have been sustained or improved and recognised independently by someone such as an External Examiner.
- Statement of 500–1,000 words outlining your approach to teaching typography in the context of graphic design education, including why you want to become a member of ISTD.
- Optional: If applicable, a list of any design awards that students have won whilst under your tutelage.
For those in a field relating to typography, graphic design and visual communication
- Your current CV.
- Selection of up to 3 specific works, in PDF format, or as a web link.
- List of publications (articles, chapters, books, essays or conference papers), including publisher’s / conference name and date of publication
- Statement of 500–1,000 words outlining why you want to become a member of ISTD.
- Optional: Examples of peer reviews, if applicable. These examples should reference your contribution to typography or graphic design in the communications industry, publishing, the media and / or education.
- Optional: An endorsement from 2 or more current ISTD Members or Fellows would be advantageous, but not compulsory.
Frequently asked questions
The following criteria are used by a panel of typography professionals as a guide to what we look for in an application from a practitioner:
- Creativity High standards of creativity and conceptual thinking
- Innovation Pushing the boundaries in typography/type design, challenging conventions etc
- Competency Evidence of successful use and application of typography across a range of media and touchpoints
- Craft Overall approach to typography or type design with evidence of craft techniques, attention to detail
- Communication Effective and engaging approach to communication that is appropriate to subject matter or target audiences
- Presentation Quality of presentation and delivery across supplied case study files or online/digital reference
- Some work may have been completed as part of a team; please describe your involvement and responsibilities in the examples you submit.
Please upload your files as PDFs. Make sure the image quality and resolution is high enough to represent your work but we don't need print-quality PDFs, as we will be reviewing your work on screen.
Maximum individual file size: 64Mb
- Full Member, annual payment in advance: £99
- Full Member, monthly payments: £9 per month
- Retired full Member, annual payment in advance: £24.75 (75% discount)
- Students gaining a Pass, Merit or Commendation in our Student Assessment Scheme: First year free; second year £49.50 in advance (50% discount); third year onwards as full Member
- FISTD: As full Member
- Honorary FISTD: Free
- Institutional membership, annual payment in advance: £245
Yes, retired members are eligible for a discounted membership at £24.75 per year. This must be paid in full at the start of the year; it's not possible to pay in instalments. A retired member is someone who has stopped working in regular paid employment or self-employment and has reached state recognised retirement age. If you let us know you are retired before you make your next payment, we will apply the discount for you.