Advertisements

Brick by brick: News about FontStruct


Posts filed under “Competitions”


Competition: Inline

Time for our first competition of 2014, with the theme “inline”.

An inline font is one which is characterized by one or more white lines or spaces running inside its strokes. These white interior spaces provide decoration and depth, and they’re often associated with engraved or otherwise hand-tooled letters. Multilinear or polyline fonts can also be described as “inline”.

For this competition we’d like you to design an inline FontStruction.

If you’re unsure what an inline font is there’s a great page linking to categorized examples of inline fonts over at FontShop. And here are a few examples of existing inline FontStructions to help you get the idea:

Inline FontStruction Examples

Credits: From top, wavelength by four, blinker by four, Snowcat by four, “in the queue” (five years later I finally got the pun) by CommandZed , “Field Day” by four, signo by kix, AT Liniya by architaraz, “White Knight” by four, chozen by ishoppejon, Spacerock Biline by LexKominek and “Toothpaste OF” by funk_king)

Remember to tag your entry with “Inlinecomp” before the 7th of February and don’t forget to upload a sample image.

Please read the competition rules below carefully.

Competition Time Period

Tuesday, January 14th 2014 – February 7th, 2014

Competition Rules

  1. You must be a registered FontStruct user.
  2. Your submission must be an “inline” FontStruction i.e. be characterized by one or more lines interior to the strokes of most of the letters.
  3. Your submission(s) must be posted and made “public” between January 14th – February 7th 2014. 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 February 7th at 11pm PST. Additionally, your submission(s) must remain public until February 16th 2014 in order to give the judges enough time to review all qualifying entries.
  4. Your submission(s) must be tagged with a “Inlinecomp” tag. (For fairness, during the competition time period, no FontStruction with the “Inlinecomp” tag will be awarded a Top Pick or be available for a Featured FontStruction pick.)
  5. Your submission(s) must be downloadable. If your FontStruction cannot be downloaded, the submission will be disqualified.
  6. Your submission must be a newly published FontStruction. Simply adding the “Inlinecomp” tag to an already published font is not allowed.
  7. For each submission, you must post at least one sample image in the comments of the FontStruction.
  8. No letters in each submission can be MORE THAN 48 bricks high.
  9. FontStruct cloning is permitted but the judges will be looking for original work.
  10. You may enter up to three FontStructions to the competition.
  11. This is a friendly competition. Cheering, favoriting and fun banter is encouraged but cruel and uncivil behavior will not be tolerated.
  12. No rules regarding licensing. You may choose any license you like for your FontStruction.

Judging and announcing the winners

All qualifying FontStructions will by judged by the FontStruct staff and guest judges, February 8–16th. Three prizewinners will be chosen. One of these will be the FontStructors’ Favorite. Winners will be announced in a FontStruct Blog post on February 18th.

UPDATE 17.01.2014 The judging panel will be: Stephen Coles from TypographicaFonts in Use and countless other exciting places; Papercut artist and inline Fontstructor extraordinary Paul Bokslag AKA “four”; and FontStruct creator Rob Meek.

Prizes

Each winner will receive

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 February 7th, 2014 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.

Questions?

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

Let’s get FontStructing!

 

 

 


Connected Script Competition Results

Last month, when we challenged you to emulate handwritten scripts using only the grid and bricks of FontStruct, it could be argued that we contradicted the very nature of modular type. But we’ve learned through experience — and four other competitions — that this tool is limited only by the imagination of our FontStructors. As we expected, many of you rose to this difficult challenge. It was tricky for the judges, Rob Meek and myself, to pick winners from the 56 entries, many of which were quite innovative, original, and appealing. But after comparing notes (and a bit of cheerleading here and there) we agreed on three clear champions in the Connected Script Competition.

And the winners are…

Each of our three selections answered the “Connected Script” call in their own unique way, and they demonstrated skill and creativity above and beyond the other entries. Without further ado, let’s look at each of these FontStructed scripts in more detail.

Stiff Script by Upixel

Michel Troy (Upixel) strikes a self-deprecating note when he describes his entry as a “very rough script” with glyphs that are “very unsightly”. But he acknowledges that, when its letters are combined to form words, Stiff Script has an undeniable charm. The judges recognized that on very first glance. Its pieces are linked with a very simple 45-degree stroke, yet Stiff Script manages a very even, handwritten flow despite the inherent rigidity of its forms. The sprightly, angular effect is reminiscent of the lively lettering found in mid-century advertising, logos, and signage. Still, the overall feeling of this design isn’t necessarily retro, as observed by four, a fellow Scriptcomp champion. The character set is essentially lowercase only, which freed up the uppercase slots for alternate “initial” forms that can be used to start words in a cleaner, more natural way.

Jalgas by architaraz

Over his last couple of years on FontStruct, the Kazakhstan-born, Shanghai-based Zhalgas Kassymkulov (architaraz) has gained a reputation for creating inventive lettershapes and building fonts with an organic flow. So it’s no surprise that he excelled in the Script Competition. From a purely typographic perspective, Jalgas is the most imaginative design in the competition, with many glyphs that, while still legible, are entirely new. Despite a slightly irregular rhythm, words cascade gracefully across the screen. Zhalgas even noted that his design can survive (maybe even thrive?) with a faux italic skew. There is a lot to praise about Jalgas — more than we have space to detail here — so I’ll just finish off with the astute comments of will.i.ૐ:

Wickedly stylish. I love your use of propeller bricks in the connections and the implied dimensionality of the bridged loops. Script and stencil. Nice!

lupo by four

Among the handful of finalists under consideration by the judges, lupo generated the most discussion and controversy. If this font were to stand on its own, outside the context of the competition, no typographer would classify it as a “script” typeface. Still, we cannot deny the sheer ingenuity displayed by Paul Bokslag (four) in his response to the core requirement of the challenge: connections. Each glyph is wider than its sidebearings and features a gap, like an open circuit, that is closed only when another letter follows and overlaps its neighbor. Every word creates a continuous line that runs over the top and bottom of letters, looping at their connections. But lupo isn’t just a gimmick. The shapes of the letters themselves are interesting — bulbous and bold, the kind of friendly, engaging design that could be put to good use on product packaging or a children’s book.

In my brief for the Connected Script Competition I was painfully vague about the definition of script. So, as if in open defiance of that term, Bokslag focused on a connection scheme so brilliant it simply must be rewarded. Well done, sir.

lupo was incidentally also the “People’s choice” with the most number of favorites when the deadline passed.

Honorable mentions

There were so many strong and prizeworthy entries, we can’t mention them all, but FontStructions which were discussed in the latter stages of judging included:

db Lineo by beate – interesting, useful and attractive. A winner on another day.

Artificial Script by 1saac – part of an impressive, coherent and growing family.

The Ugly Script by cablecomputer – finely-crafted crudity. Not ugly at all.

Neonic by CMunk – “The letters connect to each other, even though they are unconnected to themselves”. Profoundly metaphysical FontStructing!

Djangogh Unpenned by will.i.ૐ – the FontStructing pioneer exhibits his wonderful, unique style and astonishing attention to detail.

Emblazoned by aphoria – A top-drawer “connected chrome” script. I can’t wait to see this one cast in metal.

and zelemin eYe/FS by elmoyenique – entering four competitions at once. It’s an outline, a stencil, an italic, and a script font. And it works!

Thanks!

Winners will be contacted by email to be faced with the choice of either a signed and numbered FontStruct poster, or a signed copy of the book The Geometry of Type. Thanks to all entrants and bantering bystanders for another great competition. FontStruct is in many ways a collaborative community and we were especially heartened by the way so many participants commented on the entries of others, lending technical support, design feedback, and sincere well wishes.


Competition: Connected Script

The FontStruct community has proven that its members can breathe life into the grid, make the organic from the static, and push modularity to its creative limits. That’s why we have no qualms in assigning you with a formidable challenge for the next FontStruct competition: scripts!

This, of course, raises the question: what is a script? It’s a fair query. Some define the classification much more broadly than others. Scripts are most commonly and fundamentally derived from writing, but that leaves a lot of room for variation and interpretation. A formal copperplate script is as worthy of the title as the freehand bounce of a sign painter’s brush.

Must the letters be connected? Not all handwriting is cursive, after all. Some folks lift their pen off the paper from time to time, or even between every letter, as in the case of “print” writing.

Professional script typefaces from FontShop

These professional typefaces from FontShop offer an idea of the variety of lettershapes and stroke connections that scripts can embody. From top to bottom: Tangier, FIG Script, Bickham Script, Cottingley, Handsome, Bery Script, BistroScript.

In the end, scripts always reach back to a common ancestory: handwriting. But must it look like it was made by hand? A typeface can be as geometric and constructed as FIG and rightfully be called a script. And we’ve already challenged you to explore the “handmade”. So, for this competition, the core requirement will be a connected script.

Design your FontStructions so letters connect in the most natural and/or innovative way. Keep in mind that connections don’t always need to be at the baseline, or share a common height, throughout the glyph set. And if a letter just doesn’t feel right with a connection, omit the link. (BistroScript, for example, flows naturally, even though it’s ‘s’ doesn’t meet neighbors to the right.) With this guideline in mind, you’re allowed up to 5 linkless lowercase glyphs. Your uppercase, numbers, and punctuation don’t need to connect — but they may catch the jury’s eye if they do!

Other than that, the brief is fairly open. For this competition, as long as your lowercase glyphs are independently distinguishable and connect to each other, it’s a script! Of course, the judges will be looking for original and well-executed entries overall, but they will focus on the most graceful or inventive connections. It’s all about the flow.

Connected FontStructions

While it’s the most underrepresented category on FontStruct, there are several notable scripts in the Gallery. Here are some fine examples of what can be done. Top to bottom: High Voltage (shasta, featured in PCWorld), Bromance (em42), fs grayletter (thalamic), Dry Heat (CMunk, a set of three fonts for connection options).

Competition Time Period

May 23 – June 14, 2013

Competition Rules

  1. You must be a registered FontStruct user.
  2. Your submission must have a connecting lowercase, with up to 5 exempt (unlinked) glyphs.
  3. Your submission(s) must be posted and made “public” between May 23 – June 14 2013. 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 June 14 at 11pm PST. Additionally, your submission(s) must remain public until June 30 in order to give the judges enough time to review all qualifying entries.
  4. Your submission(s) must be tagged with a “Scriptcomp” tag. (For fairness, during the competition time period, no FontStruction with the “Scriptcomp” tag will be awarded a Top Pick or be available for a Featured FontStruction pick.)
  5. Your submission(s) must be downloadable. If your FontStruction cannot be downloaded, the submission will be disqualified.
  6. Your submission must be a newly published FontStruction. Simply adding the “Scriptcomp” tag to an already published font is not allowed.
  7. For each submission, you must post at least one sample image in the comments of the FontStruction.
  8. No letters in each submission can be MORE THAN 48 bricks high.
  9. FontStruct cloning is permitted but the judges will be looking for original work.
  10. You may enter up to three FontStructions to the competition.
  11. This is a friendly competition. Cheering, favoriting and fun banter is encouraged but cruel and uncivil behavior will not be tolerated.
  12. No rules regarding licensing. You may choose any Creative Commons license you like for your FontStruction.

Tips

  • The new Kites, Shards, and Fins bricks may come in handy for this genre.
  • Connecting strokes can be part of each glyph, or they can be a separate character (such as the space) that elegantly binds letters together.
  • Connecting strokes can be on either side of the glyph — or both!

Judging and announcing the winners

All qualifying FontStructions will by judged by the FontStruct staff and guest judges, June 15–30. Three prizewinners will be chosen. One of these will be the FontStructors’ Favorite. Winners will be announced in a FontStruct Blog post on July 2.

Prizes

Each winner will receive their choice of

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 June 14 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.

Questions?

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

Let’s get FontStructing!


Stencil Competition Results

Stencil Competition Results

The Stencil competition was a resounding success. We saw a record number of entries (70!), a great diversity and originality of approach, and overall an extremely high standard of FontStructing.

I was a bit unsure about the “Stencil” theme when we chose it for this competition. I thought people might find it hard to produce something fresh with so many great stencil designs on FontStruct already. How wrong I was to underestimate the creative energy of the FontStruct community. Well done everyone!

The Winners

Down to business. There was one standout winner which appeared in each judge’s top three, and was also chosen by the community as the “FontStructor’s Favorite”: “db Smoothie” by beate. db Smoothie is an unusual, but highly usable and technically-perfect stencil-FontStruction. Ray Larabie wrote:

db Smoothie bolsters the stencil cuts by lopping tops and bottoms strategically. But it does it in a way that accentuates the differences between letters. That’s something that a lot of other entries missed. You can minimize without making letters look uniform and overly modular.

dm Smoothie Sample

In fact beate could have won several times over. Ray also enthused over “db Karton” (seen in the image at the head of this post):

db Karton avoids the usual stencil cliches and goes with a counter-less style. I love how the C & G avoid the commonplace “Pac Man” deco pastiche. The squared sharps allow a tight fit, which makes it really useful as a poster or headline font.

So well done beate!

The second winner is Thorin by Frodo7. Ray was smitten by its subtle qualities:

Thorin was my favorite entry. There are a lot of soft stencils around that would fit with a classic military theme, but Thorin has a plausible, contemporary military style. The optimal cuts and low-res polygonal flavor evoke an eerie digital camouflage voice.

Congratulations Frodo7!

The third winner is the brilliantly named and executed Crazy Fredericka by four, a fun, legible  and eminently usable form of insanity. High five four!

Crazy Fredericka Sample

Winners will be contacted soon about their prizes.

If you entered and didn’t win, please don’t be sad. You were all amazing. And of course if you can’t wait for the next competition to win a poster,  you can still order it.

Special Mentions and Thanks

In the course of the competition we were delighted to welcome back funk_king and geneus1 to public FontStructing. Their spectacular returns for the Stencilcomp  are one more good reason to hold competitions more often.

We’ve also recently seen the welcome return of jmarquez and, assuming I haven’t been fooled by some nifty photoshopping, congratulations on the amazing knifework for the competition sample!

Finally thank you to will.i.ૐ for his truly incredible innovations most recently in this competition, his willingness to share and unsung, behind-the-scenes volunteer work on FontStruct.

The Judges

Protective hats off to our guest judge Ray Larabie, and honorary staff judge Stephen Coles who gave us a lot of their valuable time for free. As you can imagine it takes to long time to have a conscientious look at 70 FontStructions.

Ray Larabie is a Canadian font designer who has, for the past 15 years, created over 500 font families. He continues to create new fonts in his new home in Nagoya, Japan. More info about.me/raylarabie

Stephen Coles is an honorary FontStruct staff member, writer, typographer. Editor of Fonts In Use, Typographica, and The Mid-Century Modernist. He lives in Oakland & Berlin.

Rob Meek designs, develops and runs FontStruct.

And finally

Watch this space. We’ve got some new bricks coming soon.
In the meantime. Happy FontStructing!

 

 


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.

Prizes

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.

Questions?

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

Let’s get FontStructing!


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…


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…


Handmade Competition Results

handmade_challenge

The results are in for the second FontStruct competition “Handmade”. It was a thrilling three weeks with some quite extraordinary FontStructing and offline handiwork appearing on the site. I hope all participants and everyone else had as much fun as I did. The standard of entries was extremely high, making the task of judging an extremely difficult. The judges came up with a very broad and diverse range of favorites, but once the votes had been added together, some clear winners emerged. Continue reading…


Handmade Competition Closed for Entries

The Handmade competition is now closed for entries.

Thank you, thank you everyone for taking part, and for all your incredible work. I’m truly amazed at the quality and range of entries this time around. I’ve enjoyed watching all the entries appearing over the past three weeks and I sense that enjoyment has been shared by many of you. The winners will be announced in a blog post on the 18th of October. In fact there are plenty of entries which deserve a blog post to themselves.

Important: Don’t forget to “heart” your favorites over the next week for the people’s choice award. This favorite voting will stop at 11pm PST on October 15th.

You can view all the entries in the gallery or you can follow this link and use the “Next” and “Previous” links at the top of each page to marvel at each entry in detail, one after the other.


Competition: Handmade

handmade

The last competition was a huge success. Today, by popular request, we’re launching a new one with the theme “Handmade”. And yes, there are prizes.

Continue reading…