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Stencil Competition Results

Competitions, News | | October 26th, 2012

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

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!




  1. fontstructer101

    The winning selections were created to win. No, literally!

    fontstructer101 — October 26, 2012 #

  2. Yautja

    Congratulations to the winners! Was a fun comp.

    Yautja — October 26, 2012 #

  3. will.i.ૐ

    Three cheers for beate, Frodo7, and four!!!

    Three more cheers to all who participated in this stunning celebration of stencils and fontstructing!!! You all were amazing.

    Big thanks to Rob Meek for making this all possible – and to all the judges for contributing their valuable time and expert attention to the task of selecting just three winners from a delightfully dense field of entries.

    And to the legendary Ray Larabie: You teach us volumes with your musings on the winners. Thank you!

    Now I will proceed to speculate endlessly on what these new bricks in the works might be. ;)

    will.i.ૐ — October 26, 2012 #

  4. queencat

    Congratulations for the winners!
    You’re all the best! :)

    queencat — October 26, 2012 #

  5. Abneurone Fluid Types

    I’ve just one question : why the winners of the Illustrationcomp were never featured download fontstructions as those of the other comps were ?

    Abneurone Fluid Types — October 26, 2012 #

  6. architaraz

    Congratulations everybody! It was my first comp and it was fun :)

    architaraz — October 26, 2012 #

  7. p2pnut

    Well done to beate, Frodo7 and four. All produced excellent designs that are outstanding winners.

    The judges must have had a trying time sorting through some great entries – but their experience and wisdom shone through with their final selection.

    Hmmmmmmmmm, new bricks! Slurp, drool – exciting times ahead :)

    p2pnut — October 26, 2012 #

  8. Rob Meek (meek)

    @Abneurone That was an oversight and will be corrected in the future.

    Rob Meek (meek) — October 26, 2012 #

  9. laynecom


    May I just quote myself?

    > laynecom Fri, 28th September, 12:53 PM
    > And the winner is…

    Well, wasn’t I right? ;-)

    To all three of you: Very well deserved and what an honour to get such feedback by Ray Larabie.

    I’d also like to emphasize that I agree with Rob Meek’s remarks under Special Mentions!

    laynecom — October 26, 2012 #

  10. aphoria

    Congratulations to beate, Frodo7, and four. Your entries are all fantastic and deserving of the recognition.

    – aphoria — October 26, 2012 #

  11. demonics

    Great job everyone!!

    did I hear “new bricks?”

    Cannot WAIT!

    demonics — October 26, 2012 #

  12. elmoyenique

    Congrats from the heart to my very admired three winners: beate, Frodo7 and four! This challenge was a feast for me, thanks again for play here and teach us!

    – elmoyenique — October 26, 2012 #

  13. naveenchandru

    Congratulations to all the winners. You really deserve this. Congratulations to all participants! :)

    – naveenchandru — October 26, 2012 #

  14. jmarquez

    Congrats to the winners!!!
    And to every fontstructer who participated, and to Fontstruct by allowing this wonderful contest, showing once more it’s a great way to promote creativity!

    ps: old school x-acto is the way I roll!

    jmarquez — October 26, 2012 #

  15. cablecomputer

    Congrats for the winners!
    And, don’t forget to all participants, you’re all the best :)

    Btw, I can’t wait for the NEW BRICKS!!!

    cablecomputer — October 26, 2012 #

  16. four

    Wow, what a huge honor to be one of three winners in a competition with so many strong entries, many of which I greatly admire. Thanks to the fontstruct community for being a support and an inspiration and congratulations to Frodo7 and beate!

    A big thank you also to the judges for volunteering their time and to Rob Meek for every minute he spends working on fontstruct (and I am sure there are some days with quite a few of them in it).

    I really enjoyed participating in this competition and following the entries coming in and it pushed my creative boundaries immensely.

    Finally ‘all composites saved in my bricks’ was a great tool in building Crazy Fredericka and other fonts. Thank you djnippa!

    four — October 26, 2012 #

  17. elmoyenique

    Sorry, I’m with jmarquez:
    Congrats to the winners!! And to every fontstructer who participated, and to Fontstruct by allowing this wonderful contest, showing once more it’s a great way to promote creativity!

    elmoyenique — October 26, 2012 #

  18. elmoyenique

    And what about the all high high leve in the fonts for the challenge!! That’s the direct way to learn more, IMHO. Impresive!!

    elmoyenique — October 26, 2012 #

  19. softhunterdevil

    Congrats to all winners :) Well deserved win. Very nice fonts. Also other fonts entered in the competition were outstanding… looking forward to more competitions.

    softhunterdevil — October 26, 2012 #

  20. Umbreon126

    Congratulations :D I can imagind the judges deciding the winner… they chose well! New bricks? :o

    Umbreon126 — October 26, 2012 #

  21. 3moDuDe

    Congratulations to all the winners! And also thank you to all the participating FontStructers for displaying your insane creativity and producing some amazing work! I’m looking forward to the new bricks as well (:

    3moDuDe — October 26, 2012 #

  22. thalamic

    This was an awesome competition. The quality of work produced was exemplary and the variety staggering. Everyone brought their A game and the results were delightful. Great work everyone. So glad I was here to watch the whole thing unfold. Thank you.

    thalamic — October 27, 2012 #

  23. Rahi-Tak

    Hooray for the winners! I’d be disappointed that I didn’t win, but looking back, my entries weren’t too good. ;P

    Next competition, you all might have a new archenemy! Because from here on out, I only have plans for improvement… xP

    But yeah. Congrats to the winners, I’m super excited for the new bricks, and happy ‘structing, everyone!

    Rahi-Tak — October 27, 2012 #

  24. Neoqueto

    Yay, it was the best comp so far!

    Congrats to four, Frodo and Beate – well deserved prizes.

    Can’t wait for those new bricks, honestly – even if I won – that would be the best info to me.

    Neoqueto — October 28, 2012 #

  25. will.i.ૐ

    Well said Neoqueto!

    will.i.ૐ — October 29, 2012 #

  26. SquarePeg

    Congrats to the winners! Great work!

    SquarePeg — October 30, 2012 #

  27. funk_king

    a belated, but sincere congratulations to all the winners of stencilcomp. it was great to once again publicly participate in a fontstruct event. the winners are all true champions whose work shows the greatness that fontstruct can achieve. the field was thick for sure. and no doubt, in light of the fact that there were so many great entries, very sweet :) beate, frodo, and four – a magnificent trio of designers and artists. you are all very gifted and each of you has established an impressive body of work, frodo, you get an extra big hug for old times sake; well done to an esteemed colleague and best wishes for your continued growth and success. thanks to meek and the fs staff for conducting the comp. and for your kind notice. i shall always be grateful for what fs has contributed to my life. while i continue to seek success in the larger typographic world, i shall always remain indebted to you for allowing me to easily explore something i might never have even bothered with. and thanks to mr. larabie for considering my work; if anyone is a true typographic living legend, he is it.i hope to continue to use fs and can’t wait to see the new bricks :)~ it was a great joy to watch and then participate in the action. reminded me of old times when the early fontstructers used to put out crazy stuff all the time – such heady times. and to see many participating really stirred by soul. add to that UWE and i had to take a time out :) such joy and perfection is seldom realized online. and do not take offense, i continue to view the feed and take notice of the innovative and inspiring work taking place here. you newer fontstructers are doing a fine job of continuing the tradition of fontstruct as a breeding ground for typographic beasts who are fearless and boundless in their passions to bring forth their vision and share their gift. thanks for allowing me to share mine.

    funk_king — October 31, 2012 #

  28. demonics

    That was inspiring funk_king; thanks.

    New bricks tomorrow. I need to calm myself down. :-)

    demonics — November 1, 2012 #

  29. elmoyenique

    Dear fk: If you leave us now… (I want to say here something like “…the world can’t rule without your fonts”).
    But, really: Glad to meet you once again, master!


    elmoyenique — November 1, 2012 #

  30. Rahi-Tak

    Something that has always bothered me–I don’t think that Cycle should be the default pen. It’s a handy tool to have, but when you’re doing complex brickwork and go from any tool to the pen, it switches to cycle, even if you had simple enabled beforehand. Personally, I’ve never used cycle, and I don’t think I ever will.
    So, in my opinion, Simple should be default, and Cycle a side option. It’d be much less bothersome.

    Rahi-Tak — November 1, 2012 #