Brick by brick: News about FontStruct

Posts from Rob Meek (meek)

Stencil Competition

Stencil Competition

It’s been quite a while since FontStructors have had the chance to battle for fun, honour and prizes in an official competition. Now, the wait is over.

The brief for this latest competition is to design a FontStruction for stenciling. All entries to this competition should be some form of stencil FontStruction published on or before October 12th 13th 2012 and tagged with “Stencilcomp“.

There’s quite a diverse collection of wonderful stencil designs in the FontStruct gallery already, both categorized and tagged, and FontShop also has a huge collection of stencils fonts to admire. But, perhaps a better place to look for original inspiration would be in your life and in the world around you. We hope you will be gripped by the pragmatic and purposeful spirit of the stenciling tradition.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with stenciling you can find lots of great resources online – introductions and tutorials, both basic and detailed. One important idea is that of islands and bridges. For a reusable stencil there can be no islands without bridges! Here are some examples including a Helvetica “O” with its isolated island, some stencil letters with bridges (in yellow), and an apocalyptic approach – no islands!

Bridges and Islands

Every entry to this competition should be accompanied by an uploaded sample. You certainly don’t have to, but we would strongly recommend making and applying an actual stencil from your work.

Here are a few examples of great stencil designs from the FontStruct’s archive. Below that come the detailed competition rules which you should read before entering.

Stencil FontStruction Examples

Competition time period

September 21st – October 12th 2012

Competition rules

1. You must be a registered FontStruct user.

2. Your submission(s) must be posted and made “public” between September 20th – October 12th 13th 2012. Although you are encouraged to share your submission(s) at any time between these dates, your FontStruction submission(s) must be public (marked “share with everyone”) no later then October 12th 13th at 11pm PST. Additionally, your submission(s) must remain public until October 26th in order to give the judges enough time to review all qualifying entries.

3. Your submission(s) must be tagged with a “StencilComp” tag. (For fairness, during the competition time period, September 21st to October 26th, no FontStruction with the “StencilComp” tag will be awarded a Top Pick or be available for a Featured FontStruction pick.)

4. Your submission(s) must be downloadable. If your FontStruction cannot be downloaded, the submission will be disqualified.

5. Your submission must be a newly published FontStruction. Simply adding the “StencilComp” tag to an already published font is not allowed.

6. For each submission, you must post at least one sample image in the comments of the FontStruction.

7. No letters in each submission can be MORE THAN 48 bricks high.

8. FontStruct cloning is permitted but the judges will be looking for original work.

9. You may enter up to three FontStructions to the competition.

10. This is a friendly competition. Cheering, favoriting and fun banter is encouraged but cruel and uncivil behavior will not be tolerated.

11. No rules regarding licensing. You may choose any Creative Commons license you like for your FontStruction.

Judging and announcing the winners

All qualifying FontStructions will by judged by the FontStruct staff and guest judges, between the October 13th 14th and October 20th. Three prizewinners will be chosen. One of these will be the FontStructors’ Favorite. Winners will be announced in a FontStruct Blog post on October 26th.


All winners will receive a signed and numbered copy of the FontStruct poster.

In addition, all winners will have their winning FontStructions posted as Featured FontStructions for two weeks after the winners are announced.

FontStructors’ Favorite

The valid entry with the greatest number of legitimate favorites at 11pm PST on October 12th 13th will be one of the three prizewinners.

Spread the Word

Tell your friends. The button floating above every FontStruction is a really quick and easy way to point your friends and followers to your work. Maybe you can drum up some more  favorite s for your entry in that way, or entice some novice FontStructors into the game.


If you have questions just add them as comments to this post.

Let’s get FontStructing!

The FontStruct Poster is now available

100 FontStruct posters are now on sale at Etsy. The price is 10€ plus postage for those whose work appears on the poster, and a madly reasonable 20€ plus postage for everyone else. All proceeds will go towards paying for the printing and admin costs. Any surplus will go towards the further development of FontStruct. You’ll find some preview images in this post. Click on them for larger versions.

FontStruct Poster Dot

Continue reading…

Introducing Expert Mode

New FontStructor with Expert Mode button

Dear FontStructors,
We quietly launched a new version of the FontStructor editor last week. So what’s new?

Expert Mode

We thought long and hard about the best way to add new features to the FontStructor editor without cluttering up the interface. Experienced users wish to create complex and sophisticated designs with FontStruct, but the platform has also always been about simplicity, ease-of-use and a non-technical approach to type design. How can we keep the interface simple and intuitive, whilst supporting those who want to push the boundaries of grid-based, modular design even further?

Continue reading…

FontStructions featured in Slanted Magazine

Cover of Slanted Magazine #15 – Experimental

We’re very pleased that a number of FontStructions are featured in the latest edition of Slanted – #15 “Experimental”. Continue reading…

New FontStructor Beta

There’s a new beta version of the FontStructor available for testing.
We’d love you to take it for a spin and please let us know if you find any issues with it.

If you want to edit a specific FontStruction in the beta version, go to the FontStructor and load the FontStruction as usual. Once it has loaded, go to the beta URL above.

Apart from a few minor interface tweaks, there are some new features. Continue reading…

Illustration Competition: Winners

The judges have deliberated and now it’s time to announce the results in the FontStruct “Illustration” competition for illustrative, modular typefaces.

It was especially hard work judging this time. Not only was there a record number of entries, but without the underlying coherence of an alphabet, the fonts often did not reveal their qualities at first glance. The judges needed to examine the entire character set, and look at the font at different sizes. Samples were also even more important than usual. The diversity of approaches to the brief taken by designers made it difficult to find common judging criteria, and about fourteen different entries were mentioned in the judges notes. Amazingly, despite this, three clear winners did emerge. Before we get to them, let’s review some of the other entries mentioned by the judges. Continue reading…

Illustration Competition: Judging has started

Thanks to everyone who entered the “Illustration” competition. The entries were numerous and wonderfully diverse this time around.

The results of the judging will be announced on this blog on Friday May 13th.

The judges are:

They’ve got their work cut out!

Competition: Illustration

Illustrative FontStructions

After the great success of the first two FontStruct competitions, “Handmade” and the “SportsComp“, we’re launching our third competition with the theme of “Illustration” and more great prizes.

Continue reading…

Interview with UWE

Every autumn, some remarkable visitors arrive on FontStruct. For a few weeks, a great storm of creative energy rages through the gallery. Our servers creak and groan. Bricks fly in all directions. And then, as suddenly as they came, they go; leaving behind some exceptional FontStructions and, everywhere, the mysterious tag: UWE.

This year, we succeeded in tracking down some of the people behind this strange phenomenon. We asked them to tell us about their work, and they very kindly agreed …

Continue reading…

New T-Shirts


Over the last few weeks, FontStruct intern Lorenz Fidel Huchthausen AKA Tylo has been busy designing and testing some great new FontStruct T-Shirts. Here he is sporting the “T-FX 361331″ design which showcases the wonderful “fs I Square” by minimum. We thought it would make sense to offer some merchandise which showed off the talent of FontStruct designers, to compliment the existing products based on the FontStruct logo.

Continue reading…