ProtoType Competition

Promoting Speculative Typeface Design

6 Jun 2016
28 Aug 2016

The deadline for submissions is July 3rd, 2016.

Show us your most experimental and innovative type designs — be they finished, published, or not. Your work may be selected by a notable group of jurors to appear in an exhibition at TypeCon2016: Resound, taking place in Seattle, Washington, August 24th–28th, and in an online gallery right here on protoType. The exhibit will highlight speculation in typeface design in order to help new ideas inform future design efforts and enrich the cultural landscape.

There are no entry fees. http://prototype.typegallery.com/entry-form/

protoType_SOTA_2016 -

We must give voice to speculation in typeface design, to help ground-breaking designers spread their ideas of cultural progress. To this end, SOTA is organizing protoType, a competition and exhibition of the most innovative ideas in type design; it aims to promote not only innovative fonts but essentially the speculative ideas behind them, in order to amplify their relevance to future design efforts, enriching the cultural landscape. The selected typefaces will not necessarily be finished products; for the purposes of protoType they essentially serve as vehicles for ideas.

The typefaces selected for inclusion in protoType will be exhibited during TypeCon 2016 and have specimens published online, with the further possibility of being part of a traveling exhibition. In addition TypeCon will publish an explanatory video of one overall winner chosen by the jury.


Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès
Timothy Donaldson
Joachim Müller-Lancé
Hrant Papazian
Mariko Takagi


There is no cost to enter, and no eligibility timeframe. There is a limit of three submissions per party. No form of anonymity will be implemented.

The party submitting a typeface may be any of its designers, the foundry, or any of its distributors; in the case of a typeface being submitted by multiple parties, all parties will be credited. For typefaces that have no current ownership (typically historical designs) any party can submit, and will be credited.

A submitted design does not necessarily have to be an installable font, although the practical usability of a typeface may be taken into consideration by the jurors (who may request additional information to that end). In the case of a submission in a writing system unfamiliar to the jury, an outside expert may be consulted; failing that the typeface will regrettably be excluded from consideration.

In addition to the specimen PDF/webpage each entry must include a textual explanation (maximum of 300 words) in English concerning the innovation intended by the typeface. This text will be reworked by the jury (possibly in consultation with the submitting party) if the design is selected for inclusion in the exhibition.