design your own alphabet contest: $500 prize!


I’m thrilled to wrap up our font-themed day with a fantastic contest! I’ve been interested in font design for years, but after speaking with experts over the past few weeks, I realized that designing a fully functioning font would be too complicated for most of us. So I thought we’d break things down to the basic elements: letters! Today we’re launching a two-week long Design Your Own Alphabet Contest with Veer!

Whether you’re an aspiring font designer or just a constant doodler of letters (that’s me), this contest celebrates the art of the alphabet! Over the next two weeks, we’re asking readers to have fun and try their hands at designing their own alphabets. Once you have your design (which can be digitally created or hand-drawn), submit it here and in two weeks we’ll announce the top ten entries. Then the top ten will be turned over to you guys! You’ll vote for your favorite and first prize will win $500 and $150 in Veer credits to keep their font love going!

Here are the details:

  • Contest: Design Your Own Alphabet!
  • Description: Design your own alphabet (all 26 letters, numbers are optional) and provide a sample of the alphabet letters spelling the name of your font (no length requirement) using your alphabet letters. You may submit digital or hand-drawn designs.
  • Details: What do you need to turn in? Images of all 26 letters. You can combine them into one JPEG (which must be at least 500 pixels wide) or submit a zip file of all 26 letters as separate JPEGS. In addition, you must use your letters to spell the name of your alphabet. There is no length requirement for the name, but be creative and use it as a chance to see what your letters would look like together!
  • Due Date: All entries must be received by 10pm EST November 9th, 2010. (I wanted to make sure everyone has time to dive into this project and design something they really love!)
  • How to Enter: Send your email to SUBMISSIONS AT DESIGNSPONGE DOT COM with the subject line “Alphabet Contest”.
  • What to Include in Your Email: Your full name, phone number and email address (this will only be used to contact you in the event that you are a finalist and for no other purpose). In addition to your contact information, you need to include the 26 alphabet letters and your custom alphabet name spelled in your letters. You can send this as a single JPEG or a zip file of individual files measuring at least 500 pixels wide. Please attach files, do not embed them into the email body.

*Please note: neither Veer nor Design*Sponge will have any ownership of these designs*

Have any questions? Feel free to leave them in the comments section below and I’ll answer them as we go along. I hope today’s font posts will inspire you to try your hand at the basic building blocks that make up font design. I know I’m going to give this a shot (I’m not eligible to enter of course), so I can’t wait to see what you all come up with! Thanks again to our sponsor, Veer.com, for donating the $500 prize and $150 in Veer credits! xo, grace


  1. satsumabug says:

    How exciting! I’ve always been obsessed with typography so this will be a fun contest to enter.

  2. Yena says:

    yay!! this sounds so fun.

    should your font have color?

  3. Sabrina says:

    If we choose to submit multiple entries, would you prefer they be sent in different emails, or all zip files attached to one?

    1. grace says:

      sabrina

      zip files in one email is fine :)

      g

  4. Kyoku says:

    may international people participate?
    I am latinamerican!

  5. Kyoku says:

    can we submit more than one alphabet?

    1. grace says:

      yes- you can submit more than 1 :)

  6. Rachel says:

    i was wondering if we i submit my alphabet in the format ”the quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog” as it contains all the letters in the alphabet?

    1. grace says:

      rachel

      the alphabet needs to be spelled out in individual letters, sorry. we need all 26 letters and then the name of your new font spelled in that font style. you’re welcome to submit another sentence but we need the individual letters as well.

      grace

  7. marsha baker says:

    So how about starting a flickr group for everyone to post their offering? I realize posting every one’s on your site would be very time consuming, but I’d love to see every one’s creativity. I know I am working feverishly to finish my offering. Thanks for doing this!

    1. grace says:

      marsha

      i promise we’ll share the best the group has to offer. d*s has always been about editing to show the strongest of the things we see around us, so i’d like to keep that editorial eye in place with this contest too.

      that said, if any of the entrants want to create a flickr group or share their work elsewhere we will be happy to link out to it so people can see more ;)

      grace

  8. grace says:

    laura

    the first one, the email address. i type addresses out to avoid being spammed, spam services can cut and paste addresses if i spell them out.

    grace

  9. Hilary says:

    What about color? Should we submit the same font in different color schemes? Or does that matter?

    1. grace says:

      hilary

      one color is fine, but you’re welcome to send them in any color you like. :)

      g

  10. Ruark says:

    The email address to send the entries in–should it be all in caps like read above or like this: Submissions at(@ of course) Designsponge dot(.) com

    Note– I already sent mine in as: SUBMISSIONS AT(@) DESIGNSPONGE DOT(.) COM

    1. grace says:

      ruark

      the caps part doesn’t matter. and you’re not too late. however, we cannot use any fonts that have already been published elsewhere or are already available for sale.

      grace

  11. Ruark says:

    –Correct: I sent it in as Submissions at(@)Designsponge dot(.)com
    Please tell me the right format before it’s to late.

    Note: I already had my fonts created (using a font maker),
    and I’ve sent them on a free font site. Would this by any chance disqualify me?

  12. michelle says:

    Hi all! I started up a flickr group called: ABC easy as 123

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/1534395@N20/

    for everyone to post their entries!

  13. Christian says:

    I have entered… I like this contest…

  14. Brian says:

    Last minute question!

    I know it says “at least 500 pixels wide” – but is there an actual dimension limit for the combined JPG? Height and width? Or is it just “within reason?”

    1. grace says:

      brian

      please keep all files under 1MB each, dimensions are up to you as long as they’re 500 pixels wide.

      g

  15. Matthew says:

    I just submitted! A great/fun project.

  16. rosie says:

    Hi grace,
    i just submitted my files, but didn’t see your note about keeping each file under 1 mb – with both files, our zip was 3.5 – would you prefer we resize and resend our typeface?
    thanks so much
    x

  17. Charles says:

    I submitted my alphabet! Thanks for the fun.

  18. MZA says:

    i am writhing with anticipation!!

  19. Kim says:

    That was fun and *made* me finish a font I started oh so long ago! Much fun! Thank you!

  20. Ruark says:

    I haven’t been paid for any fonts I’ve sent–so you know. DaFont dot com
    was one of the sites I sent for free, but again, I don’t get paid for it–people there can download it [Lightning Strike] for free.

    Note: would this disqualify me–sending fonts to a site for free
    without being paid by them?

    If so, I understand–at least I tried.

    1. grace says:

      Ruar

      Yes, we cannot accept fonts that have been published before.

      Grace

  21. Christina says:

    I submitted mine!
    Is there a link to see all the submissions and the winner font?

    1. grace says:

      christina

      the finalists will be posted on d*s this week :)

      g

  22. kenya says:

    Grace,
    will have another edition next year? i’m from brazil, may i participate? :)

    1. grace says:

      kenya

      i’m not sure about next year, but this one was so much fun i’ll definitely keep it in mind :)

      g

  23. Kristen says:

    OH NO!! How did I not see this until today??? Rats. Would have loved to enter. Sounds like so much fun.

  24. Kristen says:

    This looked like so much fun. Can’t believe I didn’t see it until today!

  25. Selena says:

    Hi Grace,
    I’m curious when we’ll be able to see the finals. I’m so excited! Thanks!

    1. grace says:

      selena

      i made an announcement on friday, they’ll be up monday, tuesday and wednesday :)

      grace

  26. Parker Moosman says:

    Hi Grace,
    Will these fonts be available for purchase/download?

    1. grace says:

      parker

      if these artists choose to make them available i’d be more than happy to link to them but that wasn’t a requirement to enter.

      grace

  27. holly regan says:

    Love this contest but so disappointed I missed it! That’s what happens when you get behind on your daily d*s ! Good luck to all – this is a fun one! Hope to see you do a repeat next year or maybe another contest?? ALways thinkin’ Grace. U R 2 GOOD.

    1. grace says:

      holly

      i definitely want to do another one next year, so i’ll do my best to get it up and running next year- hopefully without the kinks ;)

      grace

  28. Melissa Carey says:

    I’m trying to submit my alphabet and i dont see where i can do so?

    MTSH.

    1. grace says:

      melissa

      the font contest entry process closed weeks ago, this was for the finalist voting.

      grace

  29. Juan says:

    How can I do it for my project?, we decided a name with no meaning vinculated to Desktop Virtualization or Cloud Desktop, with Zitralia and Lime Access we tried to create a new concept and name to this technology.

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