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The Numbers Competition Results

fontstruct-numbers-competition-results

From top to bottom: tm Strokes by thalamic, Ploeg by four, Fat LCD Font by Frodo7*

Dear FontStructors,

I thought we had you this time. I thought we’d chosen a competition theme so fiendishly narrow, so intangible and niche, that you would surely struggle to deliver. How wrong, I was, how very wrong! With a record 82 entries and an extraordinary display of collective creativity, you blew the judges away.

As is always the case, there will be a large number of excellent typefaces – designs which might easily have won on another day – which will not be mentioned at all in this post. There are simply too many. Do not doubt that all of your efforts were admired. Congratulations to all participants!

Before we review a sample of the entries and finally reveal the winners, a special thanks to our judges: type designer, communicator and digital punchcutter Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer from our sponsors Glyphs App, and type designer and educator Ben Mitchell from the Fontpad. Thank you Rainer and Ben!

Now, let’s look at some of the entries.

Conceptual Approaches

Many designers came up with ingenious conceptual approaches to the “numbers” theme. D3C0DR by Gr4ftY (groan) for example is a simple but attractive pixel serif which replaces certain alphabetical letters with numbers and symbols. It’s a strong concept, rigorously pursued but not overdone:

D3C0DR

D3C0DR by Gr4ftY (groan)

It took me a while to work out what was going on with Nonografia 6×6 by V. Sarela (Yautja) I didn’t know what nonograms are, but then I installed the font and started trying to fill out the grid in my image editor (sorry I wasn’t very precise with my yellow globs). Nonografia is an extremely clever take on the interface between FontStructing and puzzling, and great fun, almost like climbing inside the mind of a FontStructor at work. As thalamic put it, “This might be the best interpretation of number competition. It only contains numbers yet it contains the letters. Brilliant.”

nonografia

Nonografia 6×6 by V. Sarela (Yautja)

A number of entries focused on the standard numerical encoding of digital letters. As-kee r0 by riccard0 is an elegant monospaced font which includes, miraculously, an attractive microcosmic metafont showing the ascii codes for upper and lower case as decimals and binaries. Comfortably Numbers by Peter Stanford (textgod) has a similar flavour and a more reduced and extreme concept. All glyphs, aside from the digits, are represented by their decimal codes. Beautiful work.

encodings

As-kee r0 by riccard0 (top) Comfortably Numbers by Peter Stanford AKA textgod (last three lines)

Only a few designers added numbers for non-latin scripts. Numerio by Bryndan W. Meyerholt (BWM) includes tamil, devanagari, some chinese numerals and many more.
11-Unbenummert by Aeolien meanwhile produced an interesting reverse take on the “letters as numbers” approach seen above, instead replacing her number glyphs with their full german names.

numbersconcepts2

Numerio by Bryndan W. Meyerholt AKA BWM (first line) 11-Unbenummert by Aeolien (bottom)

Experimental Families

Two notable experimental families emerged from the competition: choruchor by jirinvk, and Stu by faux_icing. The dogged minimalist beauty of jiri’s variations will be familiar to many from his previous work. Beneath the superficial repetition lie complex, thoughtful variations.

Stu is an intriguing concept, documented in detail in this blog post which I thoroughly recommend reading. The designer states “[I wanted] to create a font family consisting of 3 styles: ‘Hi’ (all glyphs having only ascenders), ‘Mid’ (all glyphs to be strictly within x-height), and ‘Lo’ (all glyphs having only descenders)”. Great work.

Experimental Families

choruchorAC18 by jirinvk, and Mx Stu Lo by faux_icing

Classical Finesse

There were a huge number of entries in the competition which were simply beautiful, balanced, inventive examples of FontStructive craft.
Below you can enjoy some sumptious digits from Thiny by Peter (Petruuccio), 2Minutes by frongile and fs dotout by moontr3. All three have larger character sets extending beyond these digits.

With 80+ designs to look at, the judges cannot download, install and try out every font in a design, but in truth it’s only when you do this that a font comes alive and you hope to understand it’s true qualities and potential. So, since I do need to install quite a few of the entries in order to make the samples for this post, I’m lucky. There’s always a rich hidden seam to discover in Beate’s fonts – alternate forms, original solutions to the conflict between the grid and the bricks and the challenges of a particular letterform – endless geometrical wit. Beate has 103 staff picks and it’s no wonder. Any one of her three entries (db Number Two, db Number Three or db Monuck) might have won on a different day:

From top to bottom: db Number Two by beate, db Number Three by beate, db Monuck by beate

fs numberceptionist by moontr3 consists only of digits, but they are extremely beautiful ones, with their high contrast curves and ball terminals. Very ingenious technique!

Deco Geometries

Ok, I’m not sure the first of these next two is really deco, but I’m struggling to categorize given the diversity of the entries, so please forgive me! numerical ext by AidenFont is a cute, chunky pixel design, with three grooves drawn up through the centre of each glyph. Beneath that you will find the wonderful hiero’s glyph by caterpillar’s.kimono, one of FontStruct’s deco cracks.

Future Display

More tenuous categorization ahead … Three extravagant, display fonts with some kind of sci-fi, retro-futuristic reference. zombriya eYe/FS by elmoyenique probably doesn’t really fit here, but it had to be included somewhere. As beate put it in the comments, “This font has the ability to bring a big smile to anyone’s face”.

Beneath zombriya we find STF_MARTIAN AMBASSADOR by Sed4tives, one of his three, exceptionally strong entries to the competition. I’m not entirely sure what kind of worlds are being conjured up by this typeface, but I think I’d like to visit them, or at least see the movie.

Last of the three is winder by Dmitriy Sychiov (Sychoff) A wide, futuristic, technoid typeface with some innovative dynamic, digit designs.

Color Entries

The intricate design of Solace in Geometry is the result of Frodo7’s lifelong fascination with aperiodic tiling patterns. The genesis of the design is described in detail here (multiple comments). This font reimagines the grid entirely. A brilliant tour de force.

The Winners

Overall winner, your FontStructor’s favourite, and also a first-time winner is tortoiseshell for skhematique. Skhematique is a unique Nouveau-tinged serif with a blueprint underlay and annotations in a characterful microcosmic font. I really can’t imagine how this was done with FontStruct. Each of the 99 glyphs is a distinct work of art, but the whole is nevertheless coherent. Congratulations tortoiseshell. You have a won a free license for Glyphs 3 worth 299€!

Skhematique

skhematique by tortoiseshell

Our second winner chosen by the judges is Outnumbered by four. Our jury said:

… we were impressed by the well-balanced use of the decorative element without compromising on the shape structures. A nicely executed blend of two concepts that must have been difficult to achieve …

outnumbered

Outnumbered by four

Finally, our third winner is zrebmun eYe/FS by elmoyenique. Our jury said:

the designer managed to juxtapose the stroboscopic psychedelia with a reduced geometric aesthetic. Clever diagonal interventions in a vertical stroke order replace the usual foreground-background structure of typographic shapes.

zrebmun-eye-fs

zrebmun eYe/FS by elmoyenique

Thank you!

Thanks again to everyone who took part. Thanks to whoever it was who categorized all the entries!

Thanks to our generous sponsors Glyphs App, the world’s leading desktop font editor for OSX. Glyphs continues to quietly and kindly support FontStruct in 2024.

Last but not least, thanks to our guest judges Rainer and Ben, for gifting us their time and expertise.

Have an idea for our next competition theme? Please add it in the comments.

Happy FontStructing!

*I added the image at the top of this post as an afterthought, having forgotten that it might be a good idea to start with an image. I wondered whether I could still find three top-notch designs among those not already mentioned in this blog post. It wasn’t hard at all – there was so much quality among the entries. The three designs with links:  tm Strokes by thalamic, Ploeg by four and Fat LCD Font by Frodo7.

Heavy Competition Results

Dear FontStructors,

The “Heavy” competition has ended and, once again, the staff at FontStruct Towers were overwhelmed by your creativity. Sixty amazing entries! I hope that everyone had fun taking part, and took pleasure in designing and sharing your work. I’m only sorry that we will feature only a few FontStructions in this post.

With judging a more daunting prospect than ever, we sought and found the assistance of a genuine typographical heavyweight. As well as being the managing editor at Fonts in Use and founding partner of design agency Kaune & Hardwig, Florian Hardwig has been a FontStruct supporter since its earliest days. (Of our 2.1 million+ registrations, he is number 99!) He’s also used FontStruct as a tool in his teaching practice in the past, even smuggling FontStruct right into the Bauhaus Archive itself!

Without further ado, Florian’s favourites:

Winner #1 db HeavyLight by beate

db heavy light

Florian wrote:

I’m fond of FontStructions that embrace the limitations of the grid and explore an idea without dialing up the resolution endlessly. db HeavyLight is a great example. The square glyphs with their monospaced width and unconventional weight distribution seem to channel the lettering made by Chris Lebeau in the 1920s. In their playfulness, they also remind me of Ben Shahn’s work. The ingenious thing about db HeavyLight is that the lowercase holds alternate caps, shown white against black. By mixing positive and negative glyphs, one can unleash a fascinating play of figure and ground, of light and dark.

Winner #2 tm about a square by thalamic

tm about a square

Florian wrote:

Blocky typefaces of very heavy height tend to look clunky and boring. It helps to add a dash of white, to open up the black surface a little, and also to hint at counters and stem boundaries. One clever and minimalist way of doing so is to overlay the glyphs with fine lines. In True Cross Fire and Watzlcross, two film faces from the 1970s, this resembles cross hairs. In tm About a Square  I see a more peaceful and pleasant analogy: each glyph looks like a gift, wrapped in paper and tied with a ribbon!

Winner #3 Metaal by four

Metaal

Florian wrote:

I had a hard time deciding between Metaal and Zwaar, another compelling entry by the same contestant. In the end, Metaal’s fun and (seemingly) simple concept won me over. Basic letterforms defined by monolinear strokes for contours and counters, abutted against each other – just like we used to draw them on graph paper during lesson, while dreaming of the next festival weekend. What makes Metaal so cool is its steep angle. Together with the diagonal terminals that oscillate around the baseline and x-height, it yields a wicked look. This font is a machine for making instant band logos.

Colour Winner: KD Kalyn by architaraz

KD Kalyn

As it turned out, Florian’s choices were all monochromatic although he did admire the colour entries, picking out this one in particular. KD Kalyn by architaraz was also my favourite from among the polychromatics. It’s wonderful that it works, both as a plain single colour design, and as this chunky array of escheresque facets.

The People’s Choice

The People’s choice was Zwaar. So double well-done four!

Honorable Mentions

I seriously recommend that everyone takes a close look at each and every entry – ideally download them and try them out. But here are a few more which I particularily enjoyed:
G1 Defkhan by geneus1, cicmankaputAB4028ii by jirinvk, Moon Machine A by V. Sarela (Yautja), Tennessine Slab by Frodo7, corpus opulentia by tortoiseshell, Ailurophilia FS by Haley Wakamatsu.

Thank you!

Thanks again to everyone who took part.

Thanks to our generous sponsors Glyphs App, the world’s leading desktop font editor for OSX. Glyphs continues to quietly and kindly support FontStruct in 2022.

Last but not least, thanks to our guest judge Florian Hardwig, for gifting us his time and expertise.

Have an idea for our next competition theme? Please add it in the comments.

Happy FontStructing!

Twenties Competition Results

Dear FontStructors,

Wow! That was amazing. I didn’t think it possible, but you have surpassed yourselves once again.

I’m sorry that it took an extra week to complete this blog post. One major difficulty was simply that there were so many competition entries worthy of recognition. Indeed, many entries merit a blog post all to themselves. I would encourage anyone reading this to browse all the entries directly because they simply cannot all be represented here.

Let’s have a look at a selection of the entries. You’ll find the prizewinners at the very end of the post, but everyone who entered is a champion. Well done!

From top to bottom: Codarte by V. Sarela (Yautja), db Mangold by beate, twentysomething by four, KD Dekorat by architaraz.

– We start with four wonderful, intelligent designs, all of which were a delight to work with as installed fonts. I love the dot details in Codarte.

db Mangold leaves me speechless. I’m guessing the inspiration is Bernhard Antique but this seems to be a completely original and mature design that goes far beyond what I thought was possible with FontStruct. Amazing.

twentysomething is a lovely, light and playful thing which ended up being the FontStructor’s favourite this time around.

KD Dekorat with its maze-like panelling is a beautiful example of how diverse Deco typography can be.

Twenties Comp Samples 2From top to bottom: G1 Decoreus by geneus1, KD Jermaine by architaraz, db Ventica by beate, KD Xxies by architaraz

I’m not sure what G1 Decoreus was inspired by, I’d love to know, but it certainly feels true to the architectural and decorative spirit of the 1920s. Stout and elegant at the same time. I love it.

KD Jermaine is an intricate and pretty multilined deco typeface, but note also the clever XX pun running right through the alphabet.

db Ventica: Um. What? How? ?? Another virtuoso re-FontStruction of an original ’20s typeface, this time, I believe, Fanfare. Amazing!

KD Xxies is yet another fine Deco typeface from architaraz. Note that although I have only used the caps here, there is also a lower case.

From top to bottom: bulbambulAF3630 by jirinvk, tm RenMac by minimum, Caligari by erictom333, Gilded Teatro and Gilded Teatro Double by Haley Wakamatsu (UkiyoMoji Fonts) (japanyoshi).

The inimitable jirinvk created an entire family of graphically strong bulbambuls for the competition, inspired by Gunta Stölzl (1897–1983), the Queen of Bauhaus. Note that the letters in the sample are rotated slightly from the original typeface.

TM RenMac, shown very much out of context here, cleverly takes the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the Glaswegian Designer and Architect, and reinterprets it on the FontStruct grid. Thanks for this one miminum!

Caligari is a lovely, messy cutout design which inspired the sample as a whole, while Gilded Teatro forms another little family: A perfect articulation of deco style in two pixel fonts, both a pleasure to work with.

From top to bottom: Noar2 by Galo (galoreporter), G1 Broadwaif by geneus1, ztefan eYe/FS by elmoyenique, Shooting Star by Echo Heo (bluemon).

Deco all the way in the above image.

Noar2 is a classic, condensed, deco typeface with a small-caps lower case, full of subtle and characterful details.

G1 Broadwaif is simply beautiful. There are alternate caps in the lower case.

ztefan eYe/FS will appear again later in this post so I’ll skip that one for now.

Shooting Star is that FontStruction rarity: a legible typeface which can work for copy at medium and smallish sizes. Well done Echo Heo!

 

Twenties Comp Samples

From top: KEM-base by nightpegasus, STRUCTURES by Oli Town (not a competition entry), briste by four, Moderto by V. Sarela (Yautja)

KEM Base is inspired by the work of designer Kem Weber. I enjoy the quirky asymmetry. For me the design is suggestive of early 20th century primitivism.

The beautiful leaf-like “briste” also has an organic character, belying the grid beneath, while right at the bottom you see the ambicase Moderto – a perfectly executed and very legible design inspired by Futura Display.

From Top: OshanDeco by Wataru (Wataru Aiso), ginevra’s typewriter by swash.buckler, (the third typeface in this sample sadly seems to have been deleted from FontStruct since I downloaded it. I think it’s great), strawberry by time.peace.

– A second breakfast decofest in the form of four diverse and perfectly-executed deco designs.

Twenties Comp SamplesFrom Top: Baardusan by Echo Heo (bluemon)ztefan eYe/FS, zergei eYe/FS and zandrine eYe/FS by elmoyenique. Pattern element from Brick Basket Rev2 by zephram (not part of competition).

Some extravagant deco geometry in Baardusan, and then three FontStructions from elmoyenique. I really enjoyed the rich back story to his entries, connecting three art and design movements which marked the 1920s – Bauhaus, Deco and Contstructivism – with their three European capitals, and with three mysterious figures appearing in a series of period photos. When the novel comes out, I will read it. With Zandrine, as with beate’s entries we’re going back into typographic history, perhaps well beyond the 1920s in this case, to Rubens perhaps?

From top: tm The XX by minimum, Russian AG by Frodo7, Twenty-tmchty by m_cm, TwenTwenty by BWM, Frunze Stencil by Frodo7

tm The XX caught the eye of our guest judge, Nick Sherman:

“I love type that pushes the boundaries of how type should work or how it even can be rendered with current digital rendering technology. This typeface does both of those things. In many typical typographic contexts of size and resolution, all the little details of the design turn to mush (the fact that there are specific instructions on how to zoom to see it properly on the FontStruct site is just one such example). But if you have the bravery to set it at gigantic sizes, you can really see how wonderfully bonkers it is. Between the underlying patterns and the variants of each letter, there is also all kinds of potential for cool effects with color and overlaid glyphs.”

Russian AG is an impeccable Rodchenko-inspired slab-serif with cyrillic support.
Twenty-tmchty is a highly conceptual interpretation of the theme – a twenty-by-twenty grid and only twenty unique glyphs covering 66(?) different symbols. So for example, one glyph is used to represent l,u,v,L,U and V. Fascinating!

Twenties Comp Samples

From top: G1 2020 Vision by geneus1, db Questura by beate, NX Chaos by Nyxo8803

Nick was impressed by G1 2020 Vision:

“This typeface occupies a spot among other halftone typefaces like Calypso, Tonal, and especially Process. I’ve always had a fondness for type that plays with halftones, and the fact that this one recreates the effect so effectively within the limitations of FontStruct is admirable. The play on the concept of 20/20 vision by creating a blurred effect is also a nice visual tie-in to the ‘twenties’ theme.”

He liked the “Mexico Olympics vibe” of db Questura and appreciated the full character set, and he also saw something special in NX Chaos:

“At first I was on the fence about including this typeface among the highlights of the ‘twenties’ competition. There were other designs that were executed with more skill, had more complete character support, etc. But I kept coming back to this one because it’s a rare embodiment of pure nihilism in the form of a typeface. It follows a style of glitchy digital graphics right to the brink of complete illegibility, as if to say: ‘Go to hell. I don’t even care if you can read this’. It’s like a font from a cyberpunk nightmare, and sometimes that’s the kind of energy you need when designing in the 2020s.”

Winners

The winners are G1 2020 Vision by geneus1, db Questura by beate and tm The XX by minimum, and, as the FontStructor’s choice, twentysomething by four. Congratulations! You will be contacted in the next few days about your prizes.

Thanks again to everyone who took part.

Happy FontStructing!

Thank You!

To our guest judge for this competition: Nick Sherman. Nick runs HEX a typographic company that makes fonts and websites. He’s a founder and designer of v-fonts.com and Fonts In Use, and art director of the Typographics design festival. Nick is a graduate of the Type@Cooper Extended Program in typeface design and has served on the Type Directors Club board of directors, the Adobe Typography Customer Advisory Board, and the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum artistic board.

To our patrons – those FontStructors who support the ongoing development of the project and help make events like this competition possible.

To our generous sponsors Glyphs producers of the world’s leading desktop font editor for OSX.

Future Competition Results

Many thanks to all participants for another tremendous Structathon.

I hope everyone had as much enjoyment building their FontStructions as I did in seeing all your diverse and wonderful ideas land in the Gallery over the past few weeks.

There’s one thing I haven’t enjoyed so much: The judging. To those of you whose work is not mentioned in this post: I’m genuinely sorry! The selection included below is just a subjective sampling.

There were many, many other entries which could easily have won had the wind at FontStruct Towers swirled in a different direction on the day.

Anyway, let’s start with a review of some of the standout entries.

Alien Folk

Future Competition Entries Oddballs Alien Folk

I love the psychedelic, folk-horror connotations of “The Eyes Have It” from jonrgrover. When I retire to roam the hollow ways in my spooky carnival wagon, I’ll be daubing these glyphs on the side.

KD erutuF from architaraz also teasingly marries the primitive and the futuristic. If that black obelisk from “2001: A Space Odyssey” had some runes carved into its base, I believe they would look exactly like this. 

zmokephantom eYe/FS from elmoyenique is an oddball amongst oddballs, a bizarre rippling italic, perhaps the first FontStruction to actually melt the bricks, while Galactic Gothic from bluemon is an ingenious attempt to hack blackletter and technoid features into a single font. 

Techno Stencil

Future competition: Technoid entries

Quite a number of entries explored a classically technoid, futuristic trope with heavy, slabby designs – fonts all ready to be stencilled on the hull of a rusting, refurbished star-cruiser. Cyberbug from elzero, Broad Band Ultrawide from japanyoshi, Future Proof from four, Stardrifter, also from elzero and Rollerball_1 from JingYo are all examples for this genre and demonstrate the excitingly diverse possibilities within it.

Future Restraint

Future Competition: Clean Entries

Some visions of the future were cleaner and more restrained.

Zoltank is a constructivist-flavoured, geometric display face from FontStruct’s long-time master of retro-futuristic typography, our very own Stanisław Lem, V.Sarela (I hope that’s a compliment. It’s intended as one).

Designed for “the future of Telerobotic medicine.” I recommend reading geneus1’s full explanation for the cool and elegant G1 Prone.

Like Zoltank, Cosmoknot by time.peace is expertly FontStructed and subtly complex. I believe it to be the only outline font among the entries. It’s full of fun glyph shapes, and makes a neat, oblique reference to the NASA worm.

I also really enjoyed Neo-Tokyo from Frodo7. Hints of flicking brushwork bring life to the otherwise technoid forms.

Catch and Patch

Future Competition Catch and Patch

– Two leet entries from FontStructing legends. db Catch by beate has no obvious futuristic reference or connotation that I can see but it’s a fascinating and highly original entry. I love the internal dots on the i and j, and the umläute. Are they the “catch”?

And then we come to the mysterious, the ominous FS Patchman.

From William Leverette, the designer who discovered and shared the original brick stack hack, we have the promise of a new technique called “brick patching”. This may not be the FontStruction of the future, but could it be the future of FontStructing? I’m mesmerised by the x-rayed ‘S’ in William’s sample:

Sample for FS Patchman

The Prizewinners

– In no particular order, as chosen by you and by our guest judge Ivo Gabrowitsch. There are actually four rather than three prizewinners since I asked Ivo for one winner too many.

FontStruct Competition Winning Entries

First up, “G1 Nanocore” by geneus1. Apparently inspired by certain whacky contemporary ideas, this is a really fun font and sensitive microscopes may reveal it to be in your bloodstream already. I recommend reading geneus1’s own description of his design.

Next, Padomela LDR from Neoqueto. This was actually Ivo’s number one choice – “the closest to my projection of the future.”

Thalamic wins twice over (only one prize though sorry!). Ivo chose tm Forward as a favourite (“I like the more organic projection of the future”) while the “people’s favourite” was the ingenious font-within-a-font “tm two in one”.

As with beate’s other entry, the relationship to the future is unclear, but Ivo could not resist the impressive qualities of db tempo.

Finally (number two on Ivo’s list) I’m really delighted that someone new has made it onto the podium for this competition. Congratulations to japanyoshi for kognigear – a simple but usable design, clearly addressing the theme with a well developed character set.

Prizewinners will be contacted by email over the next few days.

Watch this space!

We’ll be adding a few new features to FontStruct over the next couple of weeks, so please stay tuned for an announcement on that – or follow FontStruct on Twitter if that’s your kind of thing.

Thanks!

To Ivo Gabrowitsch for helping us out again with judging. Having worked for brands like FontShop, FontFont, MyFonts, Linotype, and Monotype, Ivo understands the type business like no other. His company Fontwerk is dedicated to help type designers and foundries making a living with their passion.

And, as always, thanks to our principal sponsor Glyphs.

Please remember that you can get 10% off the Glyphs desktop font editing software (OSX only) if you buy it from the FontStruct website. This is an exclusive offer and by taking it up, you will also help support the free FontStruct service.

Counter Competition Results

 

 

Dear FontStructors,

Another fun-packed competition is complete, leaving us to celebrate a wonderful assembly of diversely-inspired and inspiring entries.

As so often in previous competitions, there are simply too many high-quality entries to give each and every one the attention which they merit, so I’d like to congratulate all participants on their creativity and skill, and encourage everyone to have a long look at all the entries to discover those many gems which are not featured in this post.

Some Honorable Mentions:

▲ from top to bottom, nocturnal by time.peace, KD Spaceband by architaraz, and Connect 42 by jonrgrover.

 

– I don’t entirely see how nocturnal addresses the “counter” theme, but, nevertheless, it’s a beautiful, clean design from FontStruct’s master of filigree, Art Deco design: time.peace.

architaraz’s KD Spaceband meanwhile is perhaps the most original and usable entry of all, cleverly exploring and reinventing the spaces enclosed within its glyphs.

Connect 42 by jonrgrover represents all those competitors who chose to explore the gaming counter metaphor, and it’s a simple but playful entry.

 

 

– I profoundly love the tattered geometry of zcrapedium. So much so, that you’ll find it lurking in the background of every sample within this post. The variants in the upper case are a great idea, and I can think of plenty of real-world applications for this one.

Below it: the mysterious N8Lite – but who is nightpegasus, its designer? I have my suspicions. Whoever they are, they demonstrate a highly idiosyncratic and expectation-confounding style, of which N8Lite is a great example – rule-bound yes, but how strange and elusive are those rules!

Serifia la printe represents a larger group of excellent, more “classical”, filled-counter entries. “Serifia” contains many surprising, and indeed inconsistent, design choices, but therein lies the strength of its oddball character.

 

 

– All three of these entries would likely have fared very well in the Inline Competition.

fs psyline and KD Hachure are examples of sophisticated and mature FontStructing – ready to be moved on into the character-set expansion phase and suitable for all kinds of design applications.

Below them. the charming and ingeniously entitled Owl Circle by Waturu Aiso  has a more mannered, fantastical look.

 

 

Last, but not least, in this short and selective tour, we have a group of three diverse entries, beginning with NAL’s Zirconia – its glyphs like the aerial view of an extra-terrestrial base,  revealing its intricate, bevelled construction only at larger point sizes.

Geometrica B&L turns out to be barely legible, so it’s probably best suited to a logo or short headline, but the patterns of its semaphore-like, cuneiform patternings are wonderful nevertheless.

And finally, geneus1 offered us an array of exceptional contributions to this competition– all expertly-crafted, things of beauty. You really have to install G1 Recoil and start playing with it, in order to fully appreciate the richness of its ornate strudel. Definitely a recommended download.

The Winners:

breach” by four is a standout winner and the “FontStructor’s favourite” for the “Counter” competition. An ingenious warping and rupturing of the boundaries between interior and exterior space, it’s a thought-provoking work of art in itself, and invites extended contemplation.

UPDATE: Some twitter users have pointed out a similarity between “breach” and the very beautiful commercial release “Clip” from Setup (previously Urtd). Personally I suspect and see coincidental inspiration rather than imitation, but please visit the Setup site and make the comparison for yourself.

 

O yes! This was love at first sight. Starbird by V.Sarela (Yautja) is a perfect example of what one might call “groovy deco”, and I can easily imagine it gracing the worn cover of some favourite ’70s sci-fi paperback. The contrast of the fine circle with the smooth and heavy fill beneath it is quite sumptuous.

 

Elmoyenique’s zykowarfare reminds me of plastic letter stencils –  incorrectly yet playfully filled out perhaps, at the back of a classroom on a hot afternoon. There are scores of intriguing nuggety forms to discover in this one, hidden away amongst its self-interlocking glyphs .

 

Thanks!

That’s it! Congratulations to all our winners and everyone who took part!

Winners will be contacted regarding their prizes over the next few days. But right now, I have an inexplicable urge to go and remodel the kitchen …

Happy FontStructing!

 

 

Acknowledgements:

The rules at the head and foot of this post are built with “Counter Top” by geneus1.
The text in the samples is from “Figures in the Carpets” by David Schloss.

Many thanks, as always, to our current sponsors:  Google Fonts.

 

Serif Competition Results

Oh FontStructors,

Will you ever disappoint? This time you were faced with what seemed, at first glance, a relatively staid and technical theme: “serif”. Nevertheless you rose to the challenge, with your inimitable imagination and energy – endlessly riffing, playing and transmogrifying to produce a magnificently rich and diverse array of 58 entries – a record haul for a FontStruct competition. Many thanks and congratulations to everyone who entered.

Judging was more difficult than ever, but, thanks to the excellent input of our guest judge beate, we finally reached consensus.

First up, and in no particular order, the four winning entrants:

1. G1 Radia by geneus1 (in red)

G1 Radia was a unanimous choice of the judges. With it’s high-contrast strokes, ball-terminals and discreet little serifs this FontStruction genuinely radiates a curvesome beauty, although on closer inspection one also sees intriguing traces of its cruder, modular roots.

All four winners actually made multiple high-quality entries, some of which we couldn’t resist including in the samples, so below G1 Radia you can also marvel at the monumental G1 Valora – one of the serifiest serifs this side of the Pecos.

2. Hoek by four (shown in red)

Hoek was elected by the FontStruct community as the “people’s favorite” . It obviously stems from a clear and precise concept for a bevelled slab, thoughtfully executed in every perfect detail.
In fact, the judges were even more excited by the highly-inventive “elza” (the second design featured above) in which wiry strokes terminate in a questioning hook-shape rather than a traditional serif or terminal. Planetarium, also shown above, was another strong and popular slab entry.

3. Cembrel B by V. Sarela AKA yautja

The judges were enchanted by Cembrel B: a subtle, attractive, and eminently-usable, high-contrast serif, part of a developing new family. Nouveaumbre was another really excellent entry from yautja.

And last but not least …

4. AT Bals by architaraz

A classifier’s nightmare: a slab serif concealed inside a sans! – what an innovative interpretation of the theme. Beyond the high concept, architaraz also succeeds in delivering a coherent and attractive typeface. Beneath AT Bals you can see the elegant inline ”AT Migdalia” with it’s hairline serifs.

Many, many congratulations to our four prizewinners.

Some Honorable Mentions:

tm Almost by thalamic

– A classic serif with an unusual calligraphic twist, created on a pin-board matrix.

zlabby eYe/FS by elmoyenique

– A convivial, super-chunky slab-serif, given added character by the idiosyncratic snips in certain letter-tops.

atomic by time.peace

– Actually I’m not sure whether this is (at least in any sense known to me) a serif, but a strong, clear design nevertheless.

cyclops by funk_king

– One of three strong entries from the master of the dotted font. Some really charming glyphs in this one.

fs luxor by ETHproductions

– Ultra-high-contrast strokes and serifs in a stencil-flavoured entry.

tyvojtoAD2820 by jirinvk

– Calculated, cutout crudity. Shamelessly modular and yet also wonderfully imperfect.

Kuliboni Punk by Dmitriy Sychiov (Sychoff)

This brutal disfiguration of an existing design by Sychoff came very close to a prize. Although tagged as punk, there’s also something quite primitive and ancient going on here. I can see these glyphs scratched into the base of an amphora, or perhaps arranged in the border of a mosaic. Compare the Jekyll to this Hyde.

Congratulations again to all winners, who will be contacted about their prizes in the next few days; thanks to our judges; and, most of all, thanks to everyone who took part. I look forward to our next competition.

Happy FontStructing!

Rob

 


FontStruct would like to thank our sponsor: Creative Fabrica – your number #1 source for premium design elements.

 

Reverse Competition Results

What a wonderful competition.

Yet again the FontStruct community has demonstrated its unbounded creativity in interpreting a difficult theme in diverse and original ways. I would encourage everyone to have a close look at each of the entries, many of which really only reveal their conceptual secrets and precious details upon closer examination.

While the winners are doubtlessly worthy ones, there could easily have been many, many more, so don’t be too downhearted if you didn’t win, and please pity the judges their impossible task.

Before we announce the winners,

Some Honorable Mentions:

A number of designers decided to explore reversal in the sense of symmetry. ben17’s reflection for example (above), which despite the high concept manages to be legible and strikingly attractive, or architaraz’s similarly practical and well-formed AT Imago Reversed which is also an ingenious mirroring stencil:

Also playing with symmetry and continuing a distinctive FontStruct tradition of esoteric, decorative glyph sets is “Charm Spells” by Aeolien: Every glyph a mystery, like ancient lines scratched in the desert:

tm up dn” by thalamic is an ingenious attempt to build a usable letter set by rotating or flipping other glyphs – both a crazy catalogue of intentional mistakes, and a clever way to explore new forms:

geneus1 gave us, as so often before, several strong and original entries, including the intricately woven G1 Trushae. Chainmail? alien circuitry? noodles? I’m not sure which it reminds me of more, but everyone is invited to lose themselves in the artistry:

With “SbB Codebreaker”, Sketchbook B demonstrates that it’s possible to execute an original concept using only the simplest of materials – the pixel brick. It’s a strange and very technical FontStruction but as the designer himself notes, it has a pleasing and distinctive texture:

There were so many other great entries, equally deserving of mention, but at some point we must move on to …

The Winners

The FontStructor’s Favourite was AT Esrever by architaraz. A clear and clever concept, perfectly executed and the favourite of our community:

A favourite of both judges was the cleverly named counter culture by four which opens an intriguing orthographic window on negative space. The dot-screen shading is a lovely detail.

zelbod eYe/FS by elmoyenique is a good example of a FontStruction which doesn’t reveal its full quality at the standard sizes used to display it in the Gallery and elsewhere on FontStruct.
zelbod has to be seen at a large point size in order for the unique folding concept and fine shading pattern to reveal their beauty:

Finally, I forgot, again, to invite beate to join the judging panel for this competition, and so, with three more spectacular entries, a prize is once more heading in her direction. We chose the elegantly carved db Jojo as our favourite:

Congratulations to each of the prizewinners; you will be contacted regarding your prizes shortly.

Congratulations also to EVERYONE who participated. It’s truly a great pleasure to see all your work appearing and growing on the site.

Special Thanks

To our guest judge, Stephen Coles of LetterForm Archive, Fonts In Use, Typographica, and on fortunate occasions such as this, FontStruct.

Now it’s time to wipe off our trowels and return to our hods. There are bricks to be laid.

Happy FontStructing!

 

 

 

Love Competition Results

love-comp-results-title

This was a really challenging competition thematically, but the FontStruct community once again proved their inventiveness, humour and skill in producing over 40 diverse FontStructions somehow related to the idea of “Love”. Yes, there were a lot of heart shapes, but they were almost always used in an original way or as part of a more complex idea. Congratulations to everyone who took part. You’re all winners!

Lorra Lorra Dates! (shown above), one of two strong entries by NAL, was one of the most conceptually surprising submissions and certainly put a smile on my face. Other conceptually clever entries were fs pixel heart by opipikheartbeat by ben17, and Lovers morse code by wicci. – Each either barely legible or downright cryptic, they would all lend themselves to secretive exchanges of billets-doux.

The Prizewinners

Given the high quality and diversity of the entries for this competition, there are four prizewinners. So, in no particular order, here they are:

1. floriitutaAD28 by jirinvk

love-comp-floriituta

jirinvk has been creating idiosyncratic, minimalistic FontStructions and using them in their design work for many years. Their three complementary entries are vaguely floral assemblages of amoeba-like modules. Superficially simple and restrained, The floriituta series is a great reminder of how it’s still possible to create original and attractive designs on a small grid.

2. db For You by beate

love-comp-db-for-you

Note to self: Remember to invite beate to be on the judging panel for the next competition so others have a chance of a prize.
“db for you” is yet another display of spectacular technical skill and design sensitivity from one of our leading FontStructors. A clear, expressive script, perfect for everyone’s annual declarations of affection.

3.G1 Lovelines by geneus1

love-comp-lovelines

geneus1 has been spectacularly generous on FontStruct of late: sharing gems from his secret back catalogue on an almost daily basis. He made three strong entries to this competition, any of which could have won, but this one was the people’s favorite, with the most Favorites at the deadline. G1 Lovelines is a sumptuous piece of gothic hyperbole. The carefree, heady excesses of love are well represented here.

4. ztrangelovedoc eYe/FS by elmoyenique

love-comp-results-ztrangelove

A number of FontStructors looked to the decades of love-ins and the “summer of love” for inspiration – love peace happiness by four and G1 paloma by geneus1 for example. You could argue about the legibility of this entry from elmoyenique, but the extravagant psychadelic curls make each glyph a wonderful trip in itself.

Prizewinners will be contacted soon about their prizes.

Congratulations and thanks to everyone who took part, and Happy FontStructing,

Rob

Inline Competition Results

Another fantastic competition is over, and the FontStructing community has once more surpassed itself in energy and invention.

Congratulations to everyone who took part. I hope it was as much fun to participate as it was to watch.

Judging was a pleasure, but also a painful process since we can only have three winners. Here they are.

The Prizewinners

1) fs lost by EthProductions

This was a clear winner for all judges, and also the “people’s favourite” as chosen by the community.

fs-lost

“[this was] my favorite … on all levels: creativity, execution, usability, and that x-factor: pure delight.” wrote Stephen Coles, while Paul Bokslag went into more detail:

There have been other maze-based fontstructions, such as zlabyrinths eYe/FS by elmoyenique and Mazey by lldaddy, but in fs lost ETHproductions has not only made a set of beautiful and interesting glyphs, reminiscent of seventies multiline fonts, he has also managed to create a very useable font for puzzle sections of magazines, newspapers and themed publications. Each glyph connects to the next, making it possible for editors to instantly generate unique customised mazes, every word being a new challenge.

2) Fraline by Upixel

fraline

Exquisite and coherent attention to detail attracted the judges to this gothic gem. Stephen Coles wrote:

I’ve seen a lot of Blackletter on FontStruct because the angled bricks are so well-suited for Fraktur construction, but Fraline is one of the few beauties that takes the suitability of the tool to another level.

3) NCD Deconium SC Black Serif Inlines by djnippa

ncd-deconium-sc

djnippa strikes a perfect jazz-age chord in this glimpse of a larger family. Stephen Coles wrote:

This is an excellent example of a historical typographic style (the Art Deco shaded inline) that is ideal for the FontStruct environment. Nothing is too forced here, and I like that.

Congratulations to all three prizewinners! They will be contacted about their prizes shortly.

Honorable Mentions

All the judges had very long shortlists and well over 20 other FontStructions were pushing hard for a place in the top 3. There will be many inline top picks in the coming weeks.

All the judges praised db TwoLines by beate. Paul Bokslag wrote:

The inline in this font is certainly not an afterthought that simply follows the shape of the glyph. Letterform and inline are two separate voices, each singing their own individual melody, but in perfect harmony with each other. This synthesis and the script-like character of the inline that connects certain glyphs, give this font a playful dynamic unlike any other and the samples illustrate that really well.

G1 Explo by geneus1ztainless eye/FS by elmoyenique, RM Celtic Inline by p2pnut and  AT Steglo by architaraz also all featured prominently in the judges’ feedback. Here is a collective showing of some of the judges’ favorites:

fontstuct-inline-competition-results

You can also download a printable version here.

The Judges

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

Paul Bokslag is a Dutch-born artist living and working in Ireland.  He specializes in papercuts and you can learn more about his fascinating work, including his use of FontStructions, on his website: paulbokslag.com. Paul is also known as the fontstructor four.

Rob Meek designs, develops and runs FontStruct. He is also the lead developer for Fonts In Use.

What Now?

I’m looking forward to the next competition already. As always, theme suggestions in the comments are welcome.

 

 

 

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.