Brick by Brick, the FontStruct Blog

Competition: Illustration

Competitions, News | | April 8th, 2011

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.

The Brief

Many FontStructors concentrate on designing alphabets and letterforms, but the FontStructor has also proven a wonderful tool for creating useful and fun libraries of modular illustrations. We’d like to invite FontStructors to take a brief holiday from the familiar comforts of the letter, and build some pictures.

Competition entries can be icon fonts, pictogram fonts for a particular purpose, or simply a series of illustrations, built as a FontStruction. Most importantly, no letters from real or imaginary writing systems should be included. Alternative forms of symbolic notation such as musical notation, braille or morse code will also not qualify.

You can take your inspiration from anywhere. You may like to take a look at the almost 200 existing top picks in the picture/symbol category – not all of these are purely illustrative (some would not qualify as they contain letters) – but here you will find examples of icon fonts, fonts full of wierd and wonderful characters, pattern fonts, architectural fonts, and fonts consisting entirely of sheep, cars, clocks, flowers, even moustaches!

more illustrative FontStructions

Competition time period

April 8th – April 29th 2011

Competition rules

1. You must be a registered FontStruct user.

2. Your submission(s) must be posted and made “public” between April 8th –April 29th 2011. 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 April 29th at 11pm PST. Additionally, your submission(s) must remain public until May 13th in order to give the judges enough time to review all qualifying entries.

3. Your submission(s) must be tagged with a “IlluComp” tag. (For fairness, during the competition time period, April 8th to April 29th, no FontStruction with the “IlluComp” 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 “IlluComp” tag to an already published font is strictly prohibited.

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, including Kai Vermehr from eBoy, between the April 30th to May 6th. Three prizewinners (One winner and two runners-ups) will be chosen. One of these will be the FontStructors’ Favorite. Winners will be announced in a FontStruct Blog post on May 13th.



First prize is a copy of the coveted FontBook from our ever generous sponsors, 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 their choice of one of the great t-shirts from the FontStruct Shop.

In addition, all winners will have their winning FontStructions posted as Featured FontStructions for two weeks starting May 13th 2011.

FontStructors’ Favorite

The valid entry with the greatest number of legitimate favorites at 11pm PST on April 29th 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!


  1. CMunk

    Great! I can’t wait to get started.

    – CMunk — April 8, 2011 #

  2. funk_king

    sounds challenging and fun. what is the minimum number of characters that must be contained in each set?

    – funk_king — April 8, 2011 #

  3. Rob Meek (meek)

    @funk_king hmm good question. I guess there is no minimum – as many as makes sense for the concept. I can’t imagine a one-glyph wonder would win though.

    Rob Meek (meek) — April 8, 2011 #

  4. 3moDuDe

    Mmmmm…..this is an intriguing idea. I don’t know if I have the time to commit though…..

    – 3moDuDe — April 8, 2011 #

  5. Gunarta

    IlluComb (point 3) or PictureComb (point 5) tag? which one?

    – Gunarta — April 8, 2011 #

  6. 3moDuDe

    IlluComb (point 3) or PictureComb (point 5)? which one?

    3moDuDe — April 8, 2011 #

  7. thalamic

    Great idea. Totally out of my league. I’ll just sit back, observe and admire. Good luck.

    – thalamic — April 8, 2011 #

  8. Rob Meek (meek)

    IlluComp” – thanks 3moDuDe and Gunarta for pointing out the mistake in the post (now corrected)

    Rob Meek (meek) — April 8, 2011 #

  9. CMunk

    Let the creative games begin! ;P

    CMunk — April 8, 2011 #

  10. BanjoZebra

    Cool! Two questions:
    1. How many fonts can we enter?
    2. What is the FontMortar?

    – BanjoZebra — April 8, 2011 #

  11. Xenophilius

    Awesome! I can hardly wait to see what the entries are. I noticed several good ones before this that probably would have won (I noticed kix had several illustration fonts.)

    I have a few more ideas for competitions. There could be a “GothicComp” that would be related to the Handmadecomp, except it focuses primarily on black letter and other styles of medieval calligraphy. And perhaps an “ArtdecoComp”… and a “FutureComp”… and a “PixelComp”. This one would have the limits of 15 pixels or so for the height of the letters.

    So… that’s it.

    – Xenophilius — April 8, 2011 #

  12. patricknas

    Thanx for using my cars-font for your competition- illustration.
    About time to make a new one.

    – patricknas — April 9, 2011 #

  13. BIsmuth

    @Banjozebra- 3- f.s.

    BIsmuth — April 9, 2011 #

  14. Bismuth

    Do hearts in the eyes count as “symbolic notation?”

    Bismuth — April 9, 2011 #

  15. Dan Schechner

    I’m very happy that you used my DiamondsMono font as part of the illustration for the announcement of this competition. Thanks, Rob!

    –Dan Schechner (fontcollector)

    Dan Schechner — April 9, 2011 #

  16. Rob Meek (meek)

    @Bismuth. Hearts in eyes are fine. Just no complete alphabets, morse code, braille, musical notation – things like that.

    Rob Meek (meek) — April 11, 2011 #

  17. Rob Meek (meek)

    @Banjo Zebra. The FontMortar is the software which actually generates the fonts for download. Basically your fonts just needs to be downloadable.

    Rob Meek (meek) — April 11, 2011 #

  18. Cynthia

    Submitted and tagged mine. This should be fun. =)

    Cynthia — April 12, 2011 #

  19. Rob Meek (meek)

    There seems to have been a bug with the commenting on this post. Apologies to anyone whose comments were not published. The bug should have been fixed now.

    Rob Meek (meek) — May 3, 2011 #