alphabet contest: vote for your top 3!

by Grace Bonney

Man! It was a tight race but we finally have our third finalist in the Design Your Own Alphabet Contest and now it’s your turn to decide who should be first second and third! Starting now, you’ll have until tomorrow morning at 10am to choose the order of the contestants.

Who do you think should take the grand home prize? Vote below (after the jump) and tomorrow we’ll reveal who takes home 1st, 2nd and 3rd (Placement will be decided by the number of total votes for each artist). Before the contest officially comes to a close I just want to say thank you to everyone who entered. I honestly thought we’d receive between 30-50 applications drawn on notebook paper. I had NO idea that we’d been blown away by so many applicants of such exceptional quality. This makes me so excited for next year’s contest and to make sure we prepare for the applications and voting process way ahead of time. Thank you again to everyone who entered- your work was phenomenal and it was such an honor to share it here on the site. So, let the voting begin! Polls will close November 19th at 10AM EST.

*If you have a problem voting try your home computer (offices often share IP addresses) shoot me an email so I can confirm your IP and log your vote manually*

CLICK HERE to view the top three again and log your vote!

Image above: Jason Jones “Skunkling”

Image above: Brian Carroll (“Icarus”)

Image above: “Dog Eared” by Andy Babb

(Please only vote for your #1. #2 and #3 will be determined by the second and third highest vote numbers)

[poll id=”11″]

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  • All of three are fantastic but I really like how Icarus has the maze continuing for each letter. It’s a nice touch

  • I’m kind of disappointed in the top 3. None of these fonts is very interesting and most are really similar to already existing fonts. Bah.

  • I’m a little disappointed that a woman didn’t make the top three. I don’t think there are enough female font designers out there, and I had hoped that this contest might deservedly highlight one. But hey, each of the three designs are very beautiful. Long live type design!

    • sarah

      almost half of the top 30 were women (there were 13 in total), but i’m afraid they didn’t receive enough votes from readers to make the top 3.


  • Agree with Joe or “Thesseus” or “Minotaur”… u need to dig a bit more to find the relationship between “Icarus” and the laberinth.
    Still is my favourite.

  • I agree with Joe. Theseus is much more apropos for the maze font. Oh well. All are great. I think Dog eared for the combination of creativity AND usability, but I’d love to have Skunkling to use right now! How great would this comment look in Skunkling.

    • ben

      peacock lost by a record 1 vote. don’t worry, i’m trying to work out a little special something for the two close calls: peacock and black toast. ;)


  • Bummer… None of my favorites made it into the top 3… Hopefully Veer will pick up some of the others that didn’t make it this far, because I’d buy a bunch!

  • Props to all three designers, but “Dog eared” gets my vote. It’s an awesome combination of taste and functionality with the quirks of a truly hand-made font.

    Google the designer’s website – dude has duplicates for every alphanumeric character in upper and lower case. The commitment and passion is palpable in the product for sure.

    All in all a premium set to choose from. Three relatively functional fonts that do their inspirations one better. I do wish Peacock had made the finally three though.

  • Very grateful to have made the top 3 and I thank you all for the kind words these last few days!

    About the name: You don’t have to dig that far to find the relationship between Icarus and the labyrinth considering his father was the one who built it. I would have named it “Theseus” but I thought “Icarus” sounded snapper, was shorter, and didn’t have any repeat letters!

    Happy voting!

    • hi guys!

      just a quick reminder- votes left in the comment section will not count towards the total. all votes need to be registered in the poll above. if you have any issues with voting please see my comment in the post, you can email me to log it manually :)


  • all great fonts. i definitely love the retro vibe of skunkling and the whimsy of the different colors. i think it takes on such a different vibe than had the designer made the font in black & white only.

  • Casted my votes over the last few days – just commenting here that I loved this contest and I found it often very difficult to choose – so many original and great ideas, and som much attention to detail. Great work all of the contestants!

  • I’m paralyzed by indecision! They are all really cool. Icarus & Dog Eared are maybe more intricate, but Skunkling has that freakin’ adorable skunk!

  • SKUNKLING is so awesome! I think this one is the best one for sure. I’d use this for so many projects I’ve got going right now. Go Jason Go!

  • just like in the real world, majority rules! Complaining about something you didn’t take the time to do yourself is just a bit silly. This contest was a real eye opener in Font Design, super fun. Thanks D.S

  • Like Brian, I’m very grateful to have made it to this final round. It’s also very humbling to have my work here alongside Brian and Jason’s amazing pieces, both of which I could see using and would buy this instant if they were available.

    The line work of the labyrinth within the letters of Icarus is confounding in its intricacy, not to mention the forms of the letters themselves are very strong—I especially like the W.

    The playfulness of its forms make Skunkling, to me, absolutely stellar. I agree with Tamar that the choices of colors for the letters were key; they give it an irresistible charm and point of view.

    Congrats, gentlemen!

  • Thank you all for the kind words and encouragement!
    I am honored to be in the top 3 and inspired by all the other designers. Keep up the great work everyone!

  • What a great contest! All of the entries were impressive and the final three were great, but I was hoping to vote for peacock :(

  • Sorry to learn Black Toast did not make it. Great idea..very usable fonts for all sorts of unique projects. Love the concept. Out of these three Icarus has my vote!

    • eva

      i’m hoping some of the artists will pursue turning them into fonts for sale, but i hope they don’t just give them away. these took a lot of work and definitely deserve to be for-sale pieces.


  • I looked at the Part 3 polling posted on November 17th and you have it listed that 24% of votes went to peacock and 24% for skunking – both with 981 votes each.

    Based on the number of votes you posted, both Skunking and Peacock qualify to be in the finals!

    • erica

      when i load the page i see them as 980 to 981. it was definitely a close contest.

      that said, i’ve arranged for special prizes for both of the artists who were in close-call races (peacock and black toast) :)


  • Oh Peacock….how I loved thee! My vote went to Icarus. I’m a nut for balance and symmetry (total Libra). Good luck top 3!

  • I was sad not to see Peacock, it was so beautiful. But it’s great that you’ll still be recognizing the next top 2 :) This was a lot of fun Grace!

  • So cool of you to award Peacock something as it was edged out by a single vote. Nice of you to also think of Black Toast, too, but I don’t know if I’d consider that a close-call; sure it tied ~initially~ with Dog Eared, but it then got burnt by a good 600 votes!

  • This has been such a fun contest, and I’ve loved all the entries! Thank you for running this for us, I’ve really had a great time these last few days looking at all the new fonts.

    And BIG thanks to the folks making the fonts!!!!!

  • These are so *incredibly* impressive. Super hard to pick – these 3 were my votes from each separate category! Had to go with Icarus – all 3 should be proud though. =) Please someone make Tshirts with these as the typeface….

  • wow Grace, (and team) kudos to such an exciting contest!! i’ve been on the ‘operations’ end of online voting and i know how much work it is! the typefaces are AMAZING, and big props to the team for putting on this super fun contest :)

  • I love love love skunkling. So much time and effort to do both upper and lower case, as well as numbers making it super functional. When can I download it?!?!

    Also I appreciate what a great moderator you are Grace! This was such a good idea putting peoples minds at work to be creative and productive.

  • C’mon Icarus – spread your wings and fly my dear font!

    ps – Is it possible to buy the icarus alphabet as a poster? Love it.

    • hi guys

      just another quick reminder before the polls close at 10am- i’ve noticed that the IPs of the people registering votes via comments are not showing up in the poll. just a reminder: votes left as comments will not be counted towards totals. if you’d like to vote for your favorite alphabet please do so in the poll above. if you can’t vote for some reason shoot me an email at designsponge at gmail dot com and i’ll register it manually right away. there have been quite a few complaints about not being able to vote but only 3-4 people have actually emailed me to log votes since yesterday. if you have a second, just shoot me a quick email and i’ll handle the voting for you right away. i just want to make sure your votes all get through :)


  • Although these fonts are nice, I am highly disappointed with the top three. They are so similar to fonts already in existence . It’s kind of a shame because of how many of the other fonts submitted were more original. I know it’s not any one person’s fault, I’m just disappointed.

  • Grace…I still LOVE love LoVe! BLACK TOAST! I’m so glad that you are planning to honor that talented designer in some way, as well.

  • katie: it’s too bad you didn’t include a URL in your comment, so that we could see all of the innovative fonts you’ve designed!

    take a moment to consider; what would typography be if no two fonts were similar? we wouldn’t have Futura if Renner didn’t do something similar in style to Kabel; wouldn’t have Helvetica if Miedinger hadn’t referenced Akzidenz Grotesk!

  • And that’s a wrap everyone!

    My thanks to Design*Sponge and its generous host, Grace! Thanks to Veer and to all that entered!

    Also, a hearty thanks and congratulations to Andy Babb and Jason Jones, both of whom I was honored to lose to!

    To all those with well-wishes towards Icarus, I will soon have information on its availability (and perhaps a poster of the alphabet) at http://www.litchytype.com

    Thanks all! This was a blast!

  • cheers to the MANY alphabet submissions that employed the human hand & use of physical mediums (ink, pencil, watercolor, coffee stains, pencil shavings, toast…etc.) People were really thinking outside of the box, and I found that SO inspiring and a breath of fresh air. blessed to have been a part of it all.

  • Such a fun contest! I managed to get in a vote in the three prior rounds but missed the finals by 45 minutes — cursed work meeting!

    Congrats to the winners and all those gorgeous fonts this week!

  • Grace definitely deserves an award herself for putting on and managing such a great contest.

    Congrats to Jason for his win with Skunkling, an awesome face with personality in spades, and to Brian, whose Icarus I could get lost in (excuse the horrid pun).

    Thanks to everyone who voted for Dog Eared; I hope to go to market with it early spring, so keep your eyes peeled!

  • I LOVE Skunkling and Icarus!
    I still keep my fingers crossed that we’ll gain access to all the fonts at some point though. They were all so awesome!

  • Okay, so now that we know the winners, where can we download them? I totally want to use Dog-Eared, Peacock, and Skunkling…

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