Page 1 of 1

Suggestion for a competition - opinions sought please

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 7:30 pm
by William
Recently, I suggested an idea to an establishment here in England. The establishment is a registered charity related to the arts.

Here is the suggestion. I have used name_of_establishment in this otherwise transcript where the original text contained the actual name of the establishment.


I am writing to suggest an idea for a competition in the hope that name_of_establishment will take up the idea.

Name_of_establishment would invite font designers to send in one or more of the fonts which they have produced.

Name_of_establishment would assess the fonts which it receives and choose none, some or all of them as winning fonts.

Winning fonts would each be used by name_of_establishment, at least once for each winning font, on printed items produced by name_of_establishment.

Each winning font might well be used in conjunction with other fonts in the production of the printed item. Those other fonts may be other winning fonts from the competition or could just be other fonts which are used by name_of_establishment.

Each designer of a winning font would receive two copies of the printed item which had been produced by name_of_establishment using that font. Receiving two copies would enable a designer to place one copy in his or her design archive and one copy in a design portfolio.


I have now received a reply which suggests that the demand is not high enough to run such a specialised competition.

I am wondering: if such a competition were launched along the above lines by a registered charity related to the arts, is it a competition which readers would seriously consider entering?

As things stand, I know that I would be keen to enter such a competition but I just do not know how other font designers would react to such a competition.

Depending on whether there are replies to this post and, if so, how many replies and how people feel about the idea, I suppose that this could just be an idea which just disappears into history as an idea which never became implemented or maybe the idea could develop into an event which attracts entries not only from England but also from around the world.

William Overington

28 November 2007

Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 2:41 pm
by metalfoot
I don't think there is really enough font designers to warrant such a competition; and, on the other hand, the arts society in question may be afraid of having to process the responses. Not all would-be designers are equally gifted!

Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 4:13 pm
by William
Thank you for replying.

> Not all would-be designers are equally gifted!

You raise an interesting matter.

One thing which I regard as a good part of the idea that I am suggesting is that there is no limit on the number of winners.

I have seen type design competitions where the competition is structured such that there are a few large prizes and just a very few winners. The competition gets lots of entries and most entrants get nothing.

With the competition which I am suggesting the idea would be that many people could be winners.

The prizes would be small in monetary terms, they could be in money terms worth something like one pound if the publication is a booklet or in money terms nothing if the publication is tickets for a theatre performance and the performance date has passed.

Yet for someone wishing to make progress as a font designer the prize could be worth a great deal, namely that one's font had been used for a real print project by an arts centre.

Maybe a poster for an exhibition in the gallery, maybe tickets for a performance in the theatre, maybe a publicity leaflet for one of the courses.

The competition could be organized with an intention of using as many of the entered fonts as possible. So, it would not be a matter of selecting one font which stands out in the mind of the judges, it would be a matter of trying to encourage designers of all present levels of achievement, from hobbyist to professionally trained.

William Overington

30 November 2007