Brick by Brick, the FontStruct Blog

The FontStruct Blog

Competition: Handmade

Competitions, News | | September 17th, 2010


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.


The square-grid and simple geometric shapes of the FontStruct brick-shapes are ideal for producing clean, systematic, logical designs. This competition is about getting your hands dirty, resisting the urge to be systematic, and trying to create something with a more human, perhaps imperfect, character.


From Top: carpetknife by typerider, FS Handot by Tylo, Orica*cut by kix, kimothy by kimothy10144 and scratch me if you can by kix

Competition brief

All you have to do is make a FontStruction AND an accompanying sample image related to the theme “Handmade”.

Of course FontStruct is a digital tool and you can’t actually pick up the brick shapes and work them with your hands (I wish you could) so this challenge is about “Mousemade” FontStructions that somehow look “Handmade”.

For example you could create something that looks cutout, hand-drawn, sketched, scratched or scribbled. This FontList and this one from FontShop might provide some inspiration. Or maybe you can think of some other way to interpret the theme. As long as it’s relevant, feel free, and go for it.

The “handmadeness” could also just be in your sample image. If you knit, carve, fry, sculpt, paint or otherwise manipulate your FontStruction and take a photo of the result, you might be able to turn the most robotic of pixel fonts into something you can call “handmade”.


Clockwise from top-left: Punched Out by Shasta, goglus menu by goglus, basicfreak by marciamartins, Budino Kiri by Em42, FS Papier 3D by Tylo, ztracted by H eYe/FS by elmoyenique, Mosaic4way by fuzzyjay

You’ve got three weeks this time. Please read the rules below carefully before you start, especially the restriction on letter height (maximum 32 bricks high).

FontStructors’ Favorite

By popular request: this time around you can help choose one of the prizewinners. The valid entry with the greatest number of favorites at 11pm PST on October 15th 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.



First prize is a copy of the coveted FontBook by FontShop International.

The FontBook is the most complete digital type reference in the world. Since 1991, “the big yellow book” has been the trusted friend of designers, typographers, advertisers, manufacturers, publishers, historians, and anyone else who uses type.

Two runners-up will win t-shirts from the FontStruct Shop.

In addition, all winners will have their winning FontStructions posted as Featured FontStructions for two weeks starting October 18th.

Competition time period

September 17th – October 8th 2010


You must be a registered FontStruct user.

Competition rules

1. Your submission(s) must be posted and made “public” between September 17th – October 8th 2010. 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 8th at 11pm PST. Additionally, your submission(s) must remain public until October 15th in order to give the judges enough time to review all qualifying entries.

2. Your submission(s) must be tagged with a “HandmadeComp” tag. (For fairness, during the competition time period, September 17th – October 8th, no FontStruction with the “HandmadeComp” tag will be awarded a Top Pick or be available for a Featured FontStruction pick.)

3. Your submission(s) must be downloadable. If your FontStruction breaks the FontMortar, the submission will be disqualified.

4. Your submission must be a newly published FontStruction. Simply adding the “HandmadeComp” tag to an already published font is strictly prohibited.

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

6. All letters in each submission must be LESS THAN 33 bricks high.

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

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

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

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


All qualifying FontStructions will by judged by the FontStruct staff between the October 9th to October 15th. Three prizewinners (One winner and two runners-ups) will be chosen. One of these will be the FontStructors’ Favorite.

Winner announcement

Winners will be announced in a FontStruct Blog post on October 18th.


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

Put on your apron, roll up your sleeves, FontStruct!

Headline set in carpetknife by typerider.


  1. neurone error

    Dear Rob, can i compete with the font Goraphobia i jut publihed today with a sample ? I think it’s really fitting in your theme. i also know it began with a clone but it evolved on a very personal work.

    – neurone error — September 17, 2010 #

  2. Rob Meek (meek)

    @neurone_error We have our first entry! You can enter clones but, as it says in the rules, “The judges will be looking for original work”.

    Rob Meek (meek) — September 17, 2010 #

  3. Rob Meek (meek)

    Last minute rule change: I’m going to limit the maximum number of entries per FontStructor to three.

    Rob Meek (meek) — September 17, 2010 #

  4. riccard0

    Just a clarification: “All letters in each submission must be LESS THAN 33 bricks high.” means that from the lowest point reached by any letter to the highest point reached by any other letter there must be at most 32 bricks? Or it is relative just to single glyphs?
    Also, are we talking about bricks or squares? (a brick can take up to two squares height using filters)

    – riccard0 — September 17, 2010 #

  5. Rob Meek (meek)

    @riccard0 Yes, overall height – from the lowest to the highest, including ascender and descender.

    Rob Meek (meek) — September 17, 2010 #

  6. riccard0

    Bricks or squares?

    – riccard0 — September 17, 2010 #

  7. Rob Meek (meek)

    @riccard0 sorry didn’t read your full comment. the answers are a) the height limit applies to individual glyphs not to the whole font. b) we are talking about grid squares – a maximum of 32 grid squares from the top to the bottom.

    Rob Meek (meek) — September 17, 2010 #

  8. Dan

    Will you make a runner ups section?

    – Dan — September 17, 2010 #

  9. Rob Meek (meek)

    @Dan hopefully we can feature some other entries in addition to the three prizewinners in the blog post which announces the winners. Have a look at the equivalent post from the last competition where we featured quite a few entries.

    Rob Meek (meek) — September 17, 2010 #

  10. Dan

    Oh cool!

    Anyhow: Heres my entries.

    hand of dan

    hand of dan [marker]

    – Dan — September 17, 2010 #

  11. 3moDuDe

    @meek: Can we submit multiple fonts in one entry? Dan’s two fonts are basically two weights of one typeface so are they one entry or two? And I’m considering splitting my font into two…

    – 3moDuDe — September 18, 2010 #

  12. Rob Meek (meek)

    @3moDuDe One FontStruction = one entry. So Dan’s two fonts are two entries. The idea behind the limit of three FontStructions per designer is to encourage quality over quantity and to try to make sure that the judges aren’t flooded with entries at the end of the comp. If you have a family, you could consider just entering one family member – you can still publish the others just without the HandmadeComp tag. You could also still use multiple family members in your sample.

    Rob Meek (meek) — September 18, 2010 #

  13. chr.s

    I may have missed something in the competition rules, but is there a minimum required number of glyphs?

    Would a monocase submission suffice or do there have to be both upper and lowercase?

    – chr.s — September 18, 2010 #

  14. Rob Meek (meek)

    @chr.s Monocase is fine. There’s no limit on the number of characters, and no reason why a monocase font shouldn’t win. You could enter a 10-glyph icon font if you want. Having said that, for some fonts, a more complete character set could impress the judges.

    Rob Meek (meek) — September 19, 2010 #

  15. Evert Albers - Streeff

    Damn, I wish I had the time to participate. Not that I would stand a chance… Good luck to y’all!

    Evert Albers - Streeff — October 4, 2010 #