TYPE BATTLE: Week 12 (22 May)

Christian Robertson's picture

TYPE BATTLE: Week 12 (22 May)

Here's your chance to stretch your type muscles on a weekly basis. Each game kicks off on Monday with a new challenge, and closes at midnight PST on Friday. Anyone may submit a design response to the challenge. You may enter as often as you wish. Post anytime. Critiques and comments are welcome throughout the game, from participants and spectators alike. Smack talk is encouraged.

Winner take all, no holds barred. May be the best designer win.

Link directly to this thread: http://www.typophile.com/battle12


- Size: 600 width x 400 height. 72 dpi
- Color: Black and white only
- Format: Please save your graphics as PNG
- Only respond with the characters posted in the challenge.

// Complete an entire lower case optimized for text, and set a paragraph. This is a speed contest. Don't worry about making everything perfect (just better than everyone else's).

Christian Robertson's picture

What, no entries yet? :)

paul d hunt's picture

so it has to be from scratch?

samadam's picture

what does "optimized for text" mean, specifically?

Christian Robertson's picture

We're looking for text faces, not display. Really, though, the final result is a paragraph so anything that will look good in a block of text is cool.

david h's picture

> // Complete an entire lower case optimized for text...

This isn't Type Battle, but WW3 :)

Christian Robertson's picture

The first salvo:

J Weltin's picture

My two pennies. Actually, this should rather be for bigger sizes than 12p, but nevertheless. Time is a bit short to make it suitable for text sizes.

Jürgen Weltin

Pieter van Rosmalen's picture

Here is mine. Monospaced though...

crossgrove's picture


Would you like to carefully clarify the rules for this week's competition? I would like you to.

Christian Robertson's picture

Sorry for the confusion, folks. Simply draw a lower-case from scratch and set a paragraph. As for rules, this is pretty informal; just do whatever you think will make your stuff cooler than everyone else's.

As for the "optimized for text" thing: obviously some types are going to work better in body copy than others, but really you can interpret it any way you want. Just make the paragraph look good. (Hey, if you can make a retro log face work in body copy, go for it.)

Christian Robertson's picture

By the way, Peiter, your f is just cool. Jürgen, your letters are looking good in text. I'm especially digging the g. Can you post a larger image of the individual characters?

David Jonathan Ross's picture

Hello battlers,

I'm new at all of this, so you'll have to forgive me. My strategy was to use the serifs to emphasize the horizontal line of text and improve reading. Of course, the inconsistencies in contrast and spacing don't help. I'm really impressed with the work put up so far.

Well, critique away.


J Weltin's picture

Here they come.


Kristian M's picture

I’m new in this forum and it’s my first comment ever!
But it’s good start?

Kristian Möller

Christian Robertson's picture

Kristian, I think you might have just taken the lead. Respect.

William Berkson's picture

Kristian, yours reminds me of Ruse.

Kristian M's picture

Yes! I admit, I’m a big Gerrit Noordzsij fan. But this is different…

dtw's picture

Wow, these are gooood. Almost ashamed to post mine now. Still, I put the time in so here goes... (Please excuse the dodgy spacing - suppose I could have spent time playing with kerning but Christian did say it was about speed! Oh, but I just had to do a 'fi' lig 'cause it really needed one):

Ever since I chose to block pop-ups, my toaster's stopped working.

Sebastian Nagel's picture

So this is mine, done in about 12 hours.
Won't be the winner, there are some inconsistencies and flaws, but I claim a medal of honour, as if my girlfriend finds out that I was participating in type battle 12 – WW3, instead of travelling to her a day earlier, this will be my last post on typophile for a while...


Christian Robertson's picture

Ha, Sebastian, that's funny. There should be a support group for type designers' significant others.

crossgrove's picture


I still can't tell whether you intended for participants to use something they already had in progress, or start from scratch when the challenge was thrown down (as Sebastian did). Not fair to Sebastian (or his girlfriend) if it's ok to use something existing, is it?

Christian Robertson's picture

I think that it's against the spirit of battles in general to use previous work. I guess we should put that into the header.

David Jonathan Ross's picture

To my slowly-becoming-less-untrained eye, I am, again, really impressed. I agree that Kristian's is pretty incredible, and I really dig the little hooks on Sebastian's. And I'm glad that dtw even took the time to do a ligature. I'm interested in how all of you went about this problem, and what your strategies were behind optimizing the letters for text setting.

Not knowing really how to start, here's what I did: After I messed around a little yesterday with a pen, I decided that it was gorgeous out, so I went out on the deck and drew out each letter on graph paper, x-height about an inch an a quarter (3cm). Then I came inside a couple hours later, scanned that, and traced it in illustrator, doing a lot of copying and pasting of serifs and stems in the process (a quick way to establish consistency, I figured). Then, the copy and paste job in illustrator was another hour and change, spacing the letters manually (that was a mistake). My thinking behind this alphabet is that I wanted to allow for reasonably high ascenders without ridiculous leading. So I made big blocky serifs to emphasize the line of text so that I didn't have to make the leading too generous. Of course, my submission is no battle-winner, but it's a start (for me at least).

Is that similar/different to what you did/thought about while doing? Just curious.

Joe Pemberton's picture

Nice stuff so far and it's only Wednesday!

dtw's picture

Well for speed I went for draw-it-straight-in-the-computer. Lots of modular bits (verticals, horizontals, serifs), plug 'em together and tweak to fit, with occasional sideways glances at Karen Cheng's book...

All drawn on one line in CorelDraw and then imported into TypeTool (see, a non-designer with non-designer's software! LOL). Sidebearings as per Cheng, kerned about ¼ of the necessary pairs then thought 'stuff this, it's taking too long'... Paragraph assembled line by line in Photoshop as I'd stuffed up the vertical metrics.

I do like Kristian's: those serifs are far more elegant than my hobnail-boot-like ones!
Ever since I chose to block pop-ups, my toaster's stopped working.

Sebastian Nagel's picture

drawn some glyphs on paper, about 10cm in height:
r a b n o x c q g j

Then switched to the computer as it took too long, and did a redraw (no tracing &c.)

Text optimizations: sturdy strokes, rather short ascenders and descenders (for my means...)

Anti-text: maybe too detailed yet, and there are two different designs in it at the moment. There would be so much to do, but I have to leave now, otherwise we need a support group for typedesigners hunted down by the support group for typedesigners' significant others.

PS. I think I'll call it "Type Battle 12 #7"

Yotam's picture

i am speechless. every single entry is brilliant.
you guy rock.

Randy's picture

Further proof that fonts are addicting. Just a few more minutes ... Doh

Christian Robertson's picture

1 hour? Go Randy! My post took four. Of course, an hour of that was trying to make the darn thing look good in photoshop.

Randy's picture

No curves = mucho speedier. Curves = tweek, check, tweek, check, tweek check.
4 hours is downright miraculous given your spacing and polish. Everyone elses look great too. Nice job all!

Kristian M's picture

Remarkable! Good work!

andyclymer's picture

Randy, this is fantastic!

dave gath's picture

Here's my crack-a-lack....

Sebastian Nagel's picture

Randy, the concept of yours reminds me of Beowulf, which reads surprisingly well in small sizes as well.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Randy, that is gorgeous.

dave gath's picture

The one thing that I've gotta say about looking at your own work after a full night's sleep... it turns out looking really different than the night before. And lots of ideas come to you about how to change it or do it differently and make it better when you're not staring at it trying to get it done so quickly. A tricky assignment for this battle. And a good exercise.

I am really impressed with all of the stuff that was posted... even more so after my own attempt. Can't wait for the next battle.

timd's picture

I think anyone who completed this battle has done an impressive job. Randy's reminds me of Preissig.

pica pusher's picture

Damn, my "job" had to pick this week to become time-consuming. Bang-up job, everybody.

Why was there such a long gap between week 11 and week 12?

Also, Dave, I like your alternate take on a "dg" monogram... It avoids encroaching on my marca registrada quite nicely.

Sye's picture

nice work everyone (yes i know i'm almost 3 years late).

randy did you ever do anything with your idea? it looks great!

Yaronimus-Maximus's picture

whoa, what a challenge!!
i don't think i am able enough to participate in this one,
but my salute to all of you!

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