Brick by Brick, the FontStruct Blog

Illustration Competition: Winners

Competitions | | May 13th, 2011

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.

Pixel Worlds

pixel worlds

Perhaps with half an eye on our special guest judge Kai Vermehr from eBoy, several FontStructors created pixel illustration fonts. “MI BARRIO TEPITO” by desvisible for example is a pixel sketch of the Tepito neighbourhood in Mexico City which drew praise from several jurors. It contained John Skelton‘s favorite glyph of the competition (the “j”), and Gustavo Ferreira wrote:

“I really like how he managed to encode his neighbourhood in a font using just a few glyphs. The characters are well drawn and have a lot of details and personality — it’s like a little documentary film in form of a font. The sample gives an insight into the ‘real’ world, and his (in my opinion very interesting) translation process. I also like the kind of honesty and pride expressed by the work, the fact that he chose this particular topic.”

Other pixel-oriented works included “Pixellian nights” by softhunterdevil with its haunting, inverted, pixel landscape, and Sketchbook B‘s awesome army of pixel robots “Dingbots and Monsters XL“.

Modular Portraits

Another group of entries worked within a classic illustrative genre: The facial portrait.


Moustaches & Beards” by broti is an perfectly executed example of the art of pixel illustration. The designer’s response to community suggestions – adding, and removing(!) characters – made this entry even more special. “Indonesian Woman” by Adien Gunarta is both graphically strong and a wonderful introduction to Indonesian culture and traditional dress, while “Legendary” is a masterwork of brick-by-brick vectorization from FontStruct legend kix .

Happy Easter


A couple of designers took inspiration from the spring season. “Easter Eggs” contains 3 dozen imperfectly egg-shaped ideas, textures and patterns with bricks layed out by CMunk. “Hippity Hop” is a mad, break-dancing bunny from funk_king which I personally would love to see in animated form. In the sample above you can also see an example of Em42‘s quiet brilliance in the decoration and border FontStruction “Arancito Fleurs“. Tylo who made many of the samples for this post really enjoyed working with this design. It’s utility and beauty only becomes clear when it’s used.


Some designers obviously FontStruct on empty stomachs. I imagine elmoyenique put together the hilarious “ztoasts eYe/FS” before breakfast, while “Pizza Pie” by LexKominek is for later in the day – a strong, clear and fun idea as well as a genuinely useful graphic resource, especially if you’re selling pizza!


And now to our three prizewinners.

The Winners

Third place and FontStructors’ favorite is “xe Micropolis“. What FontStructor has not dreamt of living in a city like this? In our chaotic postmodern world, how sweet to find this island of order and optimistic beauty. Well done xenophilius!

MicropolisSecond place goes to “Abneurone Neuroticons” by neurone error. Gustavo wrote:

“… very rich, weird, expressive, crazy alien cyborg shapes — lots of them. The samples show very well that he knows what he is doing: art!”

Abneurone Neuroticons

Congratulations neurone!

The clear winner of the competition is “Rise of the Cellphone” by anexasajoop AKA Pooja Saxena who will receive a copy of the FontBook. Gustavo wrote about the winning entry:

“A little masterpiece: well-researched and well-built, informative and useful font. I like how it is self-contained, a limited collection of existing iconic objects, like a small museum.”

Rise of the Cellphone

The idea is very original and the designer’s illustration is quite brilliant. A great demonstration of how creating a good sample can reveal the true sense and quality of a FontStruction. Congratulations Pooja!

Winners will be contacted in the next few days, regarding prizes and sizes.

Many, many thanks once again to our judges who gave so generously of their time. Do check out their links to learn more about them and what they do.

Kai Vermehr (eBoy)
Stephen Coles (typographica, Fonts in Use)
Theresa de la Cruz (FontShop) – some great educational resources here!
John Skelton (Afrojet)
Gustavo Ferreira (hipertipo)

Looking forward to the next competition? I am!


  1. 3moDuDe

    Congratulations to all the winners!! :DDD

    3moDuDe — May 13, 2011 #

  2. naveenchandru

    Congratulations to all the winners!

    – naveenchandru — May 13, 2011 #

  3. funk_king

    congrats to all the winners and special thanks again to FS for making it all possible :)

    funk_king — May 13, 2011 #

  4. Sketchbook B

    Congrats to the winners and thanks to FontStruct for the great competition. Can’t wait to see what they pick next.

    Sketchbook B — May 13, 2011 #

  5. Adien Gunarta

    am i win??

    Adien Gunarta — May 13, 2011 #

  6. Rob Meek (meek)

    @Adien Gunarta. Not a prize I’m afraid. But the judges really liked your entry “Indonesian Woman”.

    Rob Meek (meek) — May 13, 2011 #

  7. Adien Gunarta

    i think no :|

    Adien Gunarta — May 13, 2011 #

  8. Adien Gunarta

    aa.. just like nominee LOL

    Adien Gunarta — May 13, 2011 #

  9. elmoyenique

    Congrats to the three great and magnific winners!!! Congrats too to the other people who participates on this very happy challenge!! And congrats too to R. Meek and his Staff who makes this possible once again! I love FS for things like this…

    elmoyenique — May 13, 2011 #

  10. xenophilius

    Congratulations on the other winners! This is the first competition I have won! And @Adien: Indonesian Woman was great, and I would have selected it to be a winner… but I’m not a judge.

    xenophilius — May 13, 2011 #

  11. CMunk

    Oh, I’ve been dying to know who would win this competition. This was so exciting. I am very happy for the winners and they all deserve it.

    But I am looking forward to a rematch in the next competition ;)

    CMunk — May 13, 2011 #

  12. djnippa

    It seems a little strange that Moustaches & Beards did not get in the Top 3!
    It was voted TOP Balanced Rating, and also TOP votes.
    It has very artistic and creative pixelated illustrative caricatures. Within the limited space, I find the placing of each brick captures the portrait of the character perfectly. A very difficult and skilled type of illustration.

    We all have our favourites, but I’m sorry to say I can’t make any sense of the final choices.

    djnippa — May 13, 2011 #

  13. crispycraker

    congrats to everybody, winners and participants!

    crispycraker — May 13, 2011 #

  14. softhunterdevil

    Congratulations to winners !!! Looking forward to another competition

    softhunterdevil — May 14, 2011 #

  15. Rob Meek (meek)

    Sorry about the slow moderation of comments. My internet is down until monday. I can hopefully catch up then.

    Rob Meek (meek) — May 14, 2011 #

  16. Adien Gunarta

    im looking for next competition? when meek?

    Adien Gunarta — May 14, 2011 #

  17. Upixel

    Congrats to everyone who participate. It was fun to whatch awsome illustrations coming out

    Upixel — May 14, 2011 #

  18. Rob Meek (meek)

    @Adien Gunarta Me too. Its starting to feel bi-annual. So maybe in the Autumn. Maybe something more typographic next time. I’m open to ideas.

    Rob Meek (meek) — May 16, 2011 #

  19. Rob Meek (meek)

    I’m back online more or less. A couple of people posted multiple, very similar comments on this post. I published one from each if there’s anything you wanted to say that’s not in those comments, please post again (once).

    Rob Meek (meek) — May 16, 2011 #

  20. Rob Meek (meek)

    @djnippa. You’ve a right to your opinion. Thanks for sharing. I’m happy with the decision regarding the people’s choice – only the favorite count on the deadline is counted. Votes or favorites that come in later are not taken into account.

    Rob Meek (meek) — May 16, 2011 #

  21. Em42

    Congratulations to the winners!

    @Rob: I’m happy that Arancito Fleurs was mentioned in the post, and that Tylo enjoyed using it!

    Em42 — May 16, 2011 #