True to Type: Typography & Lettering Awards Winners

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When designers breathe life into typography and lettering, it’s impossible not to listen to the vibrant stories those letters go on to tell. No designer is immune to typography, and those who embrace it—or master it—are the designers whose work tends to rise to the top. This year, we decided to formally celebrate such triumphs with Print’s all-new Typography & Lettering Awards. In our inaugural competition, letterer and illustrator Jessica Hische and letter designer and design historian Paul Shaw pored over entries in handlettered work, typeface design and typographic pieces. In the Spring issue of Print magazine, we featured their chosen Best in Class winners from each category.

Below, you’ll find more images of the Best in Class winners, plus the full roster of honorable mentions.

Best in Class Winners


Handlettered Work1. YOLO—You Only Live Once (26,000 beads)Lil’Ol’Lady, Copenhagen, Denmark; Julie Katrine Andersen (art director/designer/illustrator/photographer)

Andersen put the trendy acronym YOLO (You Only Live Once) to promotional work, using beads to craft letters made of “unhealthy things, as a way to say ‘Hey, live a little!’” she says. “It is also what I said to myself when I decided to start my own design business and quit my steady job as a design professor.”

Learn more about Julie Katrine Andersen and her thoughts on creative inspiration.


Student Handlettered Work2. Anonymous Chalkboard GraffitiColumbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH; Dangerdust (art directors/designers/illustrators/photographers), Matthew Mohr (advising instructor)

The anonymous duo behind these designs is well known for sneaking into vacant classrooms at Columbus College of Art and Design and turning chalkboards into handlettered works of art that inspire not only peers, but admirers the world over.

Learn more about Dangerdust’s creative design.


Typographic Design3. Mikkeli’s 10th Illustration TriennialPrakt Design Agency, Helsinki; Matti Tuominen (art director/designer), Erweko Oy, Mainospuu Oy (printers); Mikkeli Art Museum, Grafia—Association of Visual Communication Designers in Finland (client)

Using two typefaces (Maax by Damien Gautier and Quentin Margat, and Premiéra by Thomas Gabriel/Typejockeys), Prakt designed the visual identity for the 10th Mikkeli Illustration Triennial. “We didn’t want to create more illustrations for the exhibition already showcasing the best Finnish illustrations,” Tuominen says. “The solution was based on custom lettering formed with different picture-making tools and materials. With this typographic approach we created hybrids of pictures and letters to carry the identity inside the text written with the ‘tools.’”


Student Typographic Design4. Sorts (see the full animation at, Baltimore; Kirby Matherne (designer), Ellen Lupton, Abbott Miller, Jennifer Cole Phillips, Tal Leming, Glen Cummings (advising instructors)

“Sorts is a typeface based upon the typographic experimentation that letterpress printers utilize in the method of letterpress poster printing,” Matherne says, adding that designers would often run out of letters needed to spell words when typesetting posters. “To solve this problem, they would get creative and would make the desired letter by rotating or combining other letters. Each letter in the typeface utilizes four versions of these kinds of solutions.”


Typeface Design5. InitialsCasa Rex, São Paulo; Gustavo Piqueira (art director/designer), Samia Jacintho, Deiverson Ribeiro (designers)

This modular font, comprised of three sets of the standard Western alphabet of 26 letters, “presents a contemporary take on illuminated historiated initials, which brings them into the 21st century,” Piqueira says. “Each letter, as in its medieval predecessors, presents a visual narrative but, instead of biblical scenes, it depicts pictures of traffic jams, fast food, weapons and cell phones—an ironic portrait of our era.”


Student Typeface Design6. ConglomerateType@Cooper (the cooper union), New York City; Greg Shutters (designer), Jesse Ragan, Cara Di Edwardo, Sasha Tochilovsky, Andy Clymer (advising instructors)

“Conglomerate is an unlikely hybrid of a rational superelliptical sans and harshly stressed, broad nib calligraphy,” Shutters says, noting that although the typeface is inspired by these and other sources, it does not fit neatly into any particular category. “Despite its far-flung roots, Conglomerate sparkles in medium-sized display use, particularly in packaging, advertising and magazine design.”

Honorable Mentions

Handlettered Work

  1. All Our NamesPenguin Random House, New York City: Peter Mendelsund (art director), Isabel Urbina Peña (designer)

  2. Angelica344 Design, LLC, Pasadena, CA: Stefan G. Bucher (designer)

  3. Battle of the BatsTad Carpenter Creative, Erik Marinovich (designers)

  4. Creative Mornings DC PostcardsCarolyn Sewell Design, Carolyn Sewell (designer/illustrator), Westland Enterprises (printer), Creative Mornings DC (client)

  5. How to Enterbankovposters, Prague, Czech Republic: Peter Bankov (art director/designer), Golden Bee (client)

  6. JSTOR AlphabetSasha Prood, Brooklyn, NY: Zachariah Mattheus (senior visual designer), Sasha Prood (illustrator/handletterer), Tilde (type foundry), JSTOR (client)

  7. Make it HappenStudio Martina Flor, Berlin: Martina Flor (designer), Studio Martina Flor (client)

  8. Portlandia CookbookClarkson Potter/Penguin Random House: Jim Massey (art director/designer/illustrator), Rae Ann Spitzenberger (designer), Evan Sung (photographer), Coral Graphics (printer), Clarkson Potter (client)

  9. Self-Portrait As Your TraitorSterling Brands, New York City: Debbie Millman (designer/illustrator), Brent Taylor (photographer)

  10. Swell Cold Brew Bottlepprwrk studio, Kapolei, Hawaii: Mark Caneso (designer), Tiffany Gosden (photographer), Swell Cold Co.Op (client)

  11. The Both Vinyl LP PackagingThe Visual Strategist, New York City: Gail Marowitz (art director), Ed Sherman (designer/illustrator), Christian Lantry (photographer), A to Z Media (printer), The Both (client)

  12. The Urban TapLarry Levine, Bridgeville, PA: Larry Levine (art director), Justin Visnesky (photographer), Dan Thomson, Skip Davis (creative team), The Urban Tap (client)

Student Handlettered Work

  1. Practice Your CraftPensacola Christian College, Pensacola, FL: Katie Barich (designer), Andy Gwynn (photographer), Joseph Digangi (advising instructor)

  2. Texas Junk FestTexas State University, San Marcos: Stevie Johnston (art director/illustrator), Justin Hernandez, Raven Sanders (art directors), Zoha Shafiq (art director/photographer), Texas Junk Fest (client), Holly Sterling (advising instructor)

  3. The Woman’s PoetryEwha Womans University, Seoul, Korea: shin woo park (designer), su jin park (advising instructor)

  4. Zydeco BBQ Sauce LabelsNicholls State University, Thibodaux, LA: Amber LeBlanc (designer), Trisha Rabalais (advising instructor)

Typographic Design

  1. BlackPine Business CardDevice Creative Collaborative, Winston Salem, NC: Ross Clodfelter, Shane Cranford (art directors/designers), Full Circle Press (printer), BlackPine Development (client)

  2. California College of the Arts Architecture Lecture Series Fall 2014Aufuldish & Warinner: Bob Aufuldish (designer), Robles & Henshaw-Plath (photography), MuirMcNeil (type foundry)

  3. Chap. XXIVRed Butte Press, Salt Lake City: David Wolske (art director/desi
    gner/illustrator), Claire Taylor, Chris Dunsmore (printers), Craig Dworkin (author), Emily Tipps (binder), Robert Buchert (papermaker), Marnie Powers-Torrey (production manager)

  4. Convulsing BodiesAnne Jordan and Mitch Goldstein, Fairport, NY: Rob Ehle (art director), Anne Jordan, Mitch Goldstein (designers/photographers), Stanford University Press (client)

  5. Interactive Social posterBraley Design, Lexington, KY: Michael Braley (art director/designer), Multi-Craft (printer), Kate Davis (account director), American Advertising Federation of Lexington (client)

  6. Lifetime DevelopmentsGladstone Media, Toronto: Katya Garipova (art director), Arian Rahimian (designer), Jeremy Gladstone (creative director), Lifetime Developments (client)

  7. Roast Fine FoodsGladstone Media, Toronto: Katya Garipova (art director), Jeremy Gladstone (creative director), Arian Rahimian (designer), Anthony Cohen (photographer), One Imaging Inc. (printer)

  8. Rooster Walk 6Selman Design, Brooklyn, NY: Johnny Selman (designer), Hoefler & Co. (type foundry), Penn-Shank Memorial Foundation (client)

  9. Shiner Brooklyn Vegan PosterMcGarrah Jessee, Austin, TX: James Mikus (executive creative director), David Kampa (design director), Karl Hebert (designer), Kevin Dunleavy (copywriter)

  10. Sign AmbassadoressMercury Brand Mission, Munich, Germany: Stefan Baums (designer), Barbara Schmitz (copywriter), Ambassadoress (client)

Student Typographic Design

  1. Architecture Lecture SeriesSchool of the Art Institute of Chicago: Mitul Iyengar (designer), Mark Stammers (advising instructor)

  2. Architecture Lecture Series PosterSchool of the Art Institute of Chicago: Jessica Welikson (designer), Mark Stammers (advising instructor)

  3. Architecture Lecture Series PosterSchool of the Art Institute of Chicago: Myohan Oh (designer), Mark Stammers (advising instructor)

  4. Biodiagram | Facebook ActivityMaryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD: Hieu Tran (designer), Jennifer Cole Phillips (advising instructor)

  5. Cloverly Farms MilkTyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA: Paul Sheriff (art director/copywriter/advising instructor), Courtney Spencer (designer), Sam Fritch (photographer)

Typeface Design

  1. Alverata PETypeTogether, Praha, Czech Republic: Gerard Unger (art director), Gerry Leonidas, Irene Vlachou, Tom Grace (designers)

  2. ArbordaleAerotype, Asheville, NC: Stephen Miggas (designer)

  3. BleskSamarskaya & Partners, Brooklyn, NY: Ksenya Samarskaya (art director/designer), James Todd, Jonathan Yamakami (designers), Robert Fahs III (copywriter)

  4. Intel ClearRed Peak Group, New York City: Red Peak (designer), Dalton Maag (design/type)

  5. P22 Marcel Script ProPorterfolio, Inc., White Bear Lake, MN: Carolyn Porter (designer), P22 (type foundry)

  6. Ridewell TypefaceKostas Bartsokas, Leeds, UK

Student Typeface Design

  1. BruteMaryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD: Kirby Matherne (designer), Bruce WillenNolen Strals (advising instructors)

  2. Chaplin fontKaywon School of Art & Design, Gyeonggi-do Suwon, South Korea: hyeree jung (designer)

  3. Rebrand with Custom TypefaceColumbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH: Mike Soltis (art director/designer/illustrator), Joshua Bodman (advising instructor)

  4. Seon ParkKaywon University of Art and Design, Seoul, South Kore

  5. SinistraSchool of the Art Institute of Chicago: Quinn Keaveney (designer), Renata Gokl, Stephen Farrell (advising instructors)


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