Type Battle 21: FontStruct

Zara Evens's picture

Here's your chance to stretch your type muscles on a weekly basis. We are posting a day late, but you still have one week to create and submit your entry. 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.

As with any street battle, there is no panel of judges and no prize — only the ability to call yourself the best on the block.

Link directly to this thread: http://www.typophile.com/battle21


- Image size: 550 width x 400 height. 72 dpi
- Color: Black and white only
- Format: Please save your graphics as PNG

// Utilizing the free, online font-building tool, FontStruct, complete at a minimum, a lower case typeface that will look great in a paragraph of text. Post your results in the form of a PNG, and include a link to your FontStruction.


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

ebensorkin's picture

Are you allowed to tweak the spacing or add/subtract parts? Fontstruct is awesome but sometimes the loss of a kern is catastrophic. Also serifs ruin spacing with the auto spacing. Regarding spacing/metrics and so on please read:


metalfoot's picture

Ooooh! I'm in! Guaranteed to place last, but in!

ebensorkin's picture

This has no right side serifs extending except for a few letters like x because it plays merry hell with the spacing.

Joe Pemberton's picture

Ooh, Eben, it looks like I'm looking through a microscope at some chromosomes.

ebensorkin's picture

It needs to get more chromosome-like before I am done. The p needs fixing for instance - lower connection to the stem...

Stephen Coles's picture

Beautiful, Eben. Even nicer than I expected. That really proves that we need to refine FontStruct's gallery widget. Love the way you've used smaller dots to emulate antialiasing.

Joe - get your Punchcut boys in here. They have made some excellent text-worthy FontStructions.

laserj's picture

Hi, long-time lurker here.
Spent most of this weekend trying to do just what the topic ordered.
Take her out for a spin here: http://fontstruct.fontshop.com/fontstructions/show/1967

Ben Townsend Hamm

ebensorkin's picture

Ben, Very Nice!

Stephen Coles's picture

You forgot to link to yours, Eben. Here it is.

ebensorkin's picture

Thanks! I improved it a bit last night. It has fancy numbers now & a better "p" among other things. I will post a new image Thursday.

Stephen Coles's picture

A spacing workaround: you can add more left sidebearing by leaving grid spaces between your glyph and the left guide. Jordic used this technique on all characters to loosen the spacing on his BB Tempo Extended.

Kottis's picture

About time i posted something! Here's my second fontstruction. Too bold for a lot of text, but oh well.

Link: http://fontstruct.fontshop.com/fontstructions/show/6962

Zara Evens's picture

By request, the image size has been changed to 550px in width. This should solve the scrollbar issue.

mollymonster's picture

"Joe - get your Punchcut boys in here. They have made some excellent text-worthy FontStructions."

And girls!! Punchcut has female employees as well. :)

Stephen Coles's picture

Sorry Molly! Hadn't seen any of the Punchcut girls on FontStruct, but I could be missing someone.

Zara Evens's picture

i am a girl, stewf and you know I am on FontStruct :(

Stephen Coles's picture

Whoops! And in the top 10 at that! I guess I don't think of Zara as a Punchcutter. Zara is her own entity.

paul d hunt's picture

This is SlabStruct Too, an alternate to SlabStruct. Both inspired by Cholla, but I think Too emulates the model better.

dtw's picture

Okay, let's get in there quick before I get put off by everybody else's masterpieces!

Excuse the quality of the image: I'm on a machine that doesn't have access to Photoshop or anything useful, so that was straight out of FontStruct's preview window and saved through Windows Paint! (ahem...)

I have slightly narrowed the cap S since taking this screen shot.

Link: [Bad link]

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

Jongseong's picture

I really need to get back to work, so here is my attempt:

It's got several strikes against it in terms of readability as a text face. Most obviously, it's a modern with extreme contrast--so extreme that the horizontal hairlines are merely suggested and not actually connected.

Link: http://fontstruct.fontshop.com/fontstructions/show/12896

Stephen, Eero Saarinen rocks! And so does Eerostyle--it really seems inspired by Saarinen's work. I'm impressed with everyone's work so far.

meganhill's picture



eliason's picture

Excuse the quality of the image: I’m on a machine that doesn’t have access to Photoshop or anything useful, so that was straight out of FontStruct’s preview window and saved through Windows Paint!

Hey, clever trick - that fuzziness really helps iron out one's diagonals! :-)

But seriously, Ubiety works really well! Good job, dtw.

Zara Evens's picture


This isn't the proper thread to be asking those kinds of questions. Please read the FAQ on Free Fonts:


Joe Pemberton's picture


Permalink: http://fontstruct.fontshop.com/fontstructions/show/12159

Transliterated lyrics from the former Soviet National Anthem.

Note: The lowercase, punctuation and figures are, um, teh suk right now so ignore those.

Joe Pemberton's picture

I'm sort of liking how chunky and imperfect this is, in a Rodchenko poster kind of way. (All or most of Rodchenko's lettering was hand-drawn). But this still has some trouble spots, like the weight of horizontal strokes in the E don't match some of the others.

I think the A needs to descent below the baseline, like the Cyrillic D, what do you think?

nicholasgross's picture

That is truly awesome, I can see it now screenprinted on funky posters in limited edition runs, appearing in images on the web held up by designer's fingers. I haven't had the chance to look at the tool yet but I'm impressed with everybody's efforts.

Mark Simonson's picture

Here's another one:


This came out very much like a bitmap font, but with rounded corners. I can't seem to figure out how to control the width of the space. It came out very narrow, so I had to type two in a row to get an acceptable width when I set the sample in Photoshop.

Joe Pemberton's picture

Very nice Mark. By the way, sorry I missed your visit to SF. I was home with a sick 5 year old.

dtw's picture

"Hey, clever trick - that fuzziness really helps iron out one’s diagonals! :-)"
...Good point, Eliason. Yeah, sorry about that. Sort of. :-D

Still like Eben's dotted font: kinda reminiscent of Rian Hughes' [Bad link] but more readable without having to stand well back.

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

Mark Simonson's picture

@Joe: Likewise. Sorry to have missed you.

rubenDmarkes's picture


{Edit: forgot to link you up! [Bad link].}

dtw's picture

Mmmm, now that works.

metalfoot's picture

Here's my ever-so-cruddy contribution to this thread. I'm not going to vouch for anything about it other than that I had a tonne of fun making it! Oh, and having used the mighty Windoze paint to create the PNG, the anti-aliasing is screwed up. Best bet is to look at the original.

[Bad link]

metalfoot's picture

ruben: THAT IS AWESOME! I knew mine was crap but I didn't know just how crap it was until I saw yours...

rubenDmarkes's picture

Oops… I meant «… worked OUT great!» Damned typos! :D

Thank you very much, metalfoot. :)


rubenDmarkes's picture

Eben's is quite good, and the effect that you get with Joe Pemberton's kicks ass. I'm hoping to see something created on Fontstruct that may become the new Helvetica or the new Caslon… xD

No, serious. I'd really like that.


blank's picture

Joe, that design is brutal!

eliason's picture

Ruben - love your ampersand and especially your asterisk!

Joe Pemberton's picture

Usually when I hear brutal in reference to design it means you're bleeding out of your eyes. Can you clarify? =)

theterrible's picture

I'd not tried setting [Bad link] in a paragraph yet, and this reminded me of how much FontStruct needs some metrics control. I added a few ligatures to help with some of the spacing issues (and for extra coolness factor!). Stewf, the left sidebearing trick only works in the FontStruct preview, not in the actually font, unfortunately.

russellm's picture



DrDoc's picture


The name will probably change; I was running short on creativity.


Edit: apparently I forgot to turn off spell-check. Oh, well.

Em42's picture

Just noticing how a lot of sets look flawless in paragraph (Eric's, Dmitry's and Ruben's just to mention the last ones), a thing you can't tell just by examining the fonts in FontStruct display.

Really surprised by what I'm seeing here! Bravo to all!

ebensorkin's picture

I will have to get my revisions down & set a new proper sort of paragraph to see how it compares. This has been a good type battle. I think Rueben's design might make a nice "real" outline font - in the right hands. It has a lovely ampersand.

rubenDmarkes's picture

*crossing my fingers hoping I've got the right hands*

I've been considering that, Eben. Do you think it should completely echo what it looks like on this level or do you think it should have quirks of its own on the outline level, when there's a lot more "pixels" to fill?
I've been thinking: is there a way to embed bitmap fonts onto a regular font? Because I'd like to be able to control hinting on regular outline faces the way you'd make a pixel font and make different typefaces altogether for different screen sizes that would be embedded into the original outline font file…

Oh, and thanks! To Em42 and eliason, too. :)


laserj's picture

Eben's and Ruben's are magical, I've gotta say.

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