Valentype 2013 | The Winners

  • Fonts in Use
Fonts in Use | Yves Peters | February 18, 2013

Before we reveal the winners, allow me to remind everyone that strictly speaking Valentype is not so much a pure design contest. We asked for love declarations, and this was of primary concern for the five jury members. To be honest, personally I consider a simple “I love you because you’re beautiful” a cop-out. So I asked the jury to favour wit and inventiveness. A well-designed image was a bonus, but whoever managed to cleverly use the typeface name, its concept or design, the general perception of the type style etc. received a good score. Also creatively playing with the general idea of a Valentine’s note or love declaration was a clear plus.

Unlike two years ago I decide to shake up the jury a little. Because I didn’t want it to be a boys-only club anymore, I invited two winners of the last edition. Designer Tiffany Wardle de Sousa a.k.a. Typegirl and Swiss graphic and type designer Nina Stössinger joined FontFont marketing director Ivo Gabrowitsch, FontShop USA type expert David Sudweeks, and myself. This means I was joined by two men and two women, two FontShop people and two non-FontShop, two Americans and two Europeans. Each one of us compiled a Top 10, and the added scores resulted in five clear winners – although numbers 6 and 7 were very close this time. Here they are, in no particular order (chronologically):

Those that say first love is blind
at best, must be
insipid tim’rous fools.

One glance upon your well proportion’d lines,
my heart was drawn
by your magnetic pull.

You fill my mind, no matter where I go
your face appears,
Oh Dax I love you so!

And yet I fear…


Days pass by, months stretch to years,
I wait alone
for smallest love returned.

Am I the fool to shed my ready tears,
about a love
so likely to be spurned?

My heart is fixed. In faithful tender tone,
I will be blind
to Serif and Didone.

Oh Dax, be mine?


Life would be a different place
with you, my love,
to aid in each design.

Your worthy form could lay a page with grace,
your words, I know
would better any line.

Twas meant to be – my heart is sure of this,
for Cupid’s bow
has spoken not amiss…

… Dax, Romeo.

9 | Samalah Gray (Marlborough, New Zealand) loves FF Dax

25 | Ruben David Marques (Leiria, Portugal) loves FF Quadraat

36 | Eva-Lotta Lamm (London, UK) loves Fakir

50 | Laura Yates (Paris, France) loves Fedra Serif B

52 | Florian Fecher (Würzburg, Germany) loves Vinter

Honorable mentions go to Ruben David Marques’ beautifully handwritten love letter to Skolar and Cristo Aleister’s dark and strikingly designed love declaration with a twist for Priori Acute. The undisputed winner with double the score of the next in the list is Eva-Lotta Lamm’s animated GIF which we found witty, cute and really nicely drawn.

Congratulations to the five winners; send us an e-mail detailing what four weights of the typeface you wish to receive, and we’ll get back to you with instructions.

Thanks to everyone for participating. We’ve had a few entries less than in 2011, but I removed the ones that couldn’t contend due to various technical reasons, and personally I think the overall quality improved. I am pretty sure we’ll have another Valentype contest next year. Until then, keep on loving type.

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  1. Well, I thanked Yves in the email, but I want to publicly thank him and “the rest of the panel”, Tiffany, Ivo, David and Nina, very, very much. Thank you all for this most precious, amazing and useful prize a designer could get! I am quite honoured to be “awarded” by such distinguished group.

    Also, congratulations to Samalah, Laura, Florian, and, most of all, Eva, whose wonderfully simple, restrainedly cute and well executed submission unsurprisingly got the most votes and whose sketchbooks we all can’t help but love. I am also quite honoured to be part of this group of winners!

    Posted by Ruben David Marques on Feb. 20, 2013
  2. I’d like to second Ruben’s comments! Thank you to Yves and to FontShop for organising this contest, and to all the judges. It was lots of fun and very inspiring to see the submissions that everyone came up with. I’ve certainly discovered some new typefaces that I’d like to try thanks to many of the other entries.

    I should probably also apologise to fellow Brits and literature lovers for massacring Shakespeare in my enthusiasm for my chosen typeface…

    Posted by Laura Yates on Feb. 21, 2013
  3. Ruben said it best! Nevertheless, it bears saying again – thank you FontShop for a delightful and well run competition, and for all those who gave their time in collating, considering and judging the entries. Eva-Lotta’s little GIF really brought a smile to my face, and I so enjoyed the variety of entries and font choices. Well done everyone!

    Posted by Samalah on Feb. 21, 2013
  4. I have the impression that one week after the contest closed our typographic love fest was still going strong. Thank you all! : )

    Posted by Yves Peters on Feb. 23, 2013
  5. Greetings again! I’ve sent a couple of emails, but they may well be caught in your spam filter. Just wondering who I should contact so I can receive my weights of Dax? Thank you! :)

    Posted by Samalah on Mar. 3, 2013
  6. Found your e-mail and sent it through to FontShop Sales. You’ll get your four weights of FF Dax shortly. : )
    Sorry you had to wait for it.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Mar. 4, 2013
  7. Waiting just heightens the anticipation! ;) Thanks so much, I’m still so excited about this – really appreciate it.

    Posted by Samalah on Mar. 4, 2013

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