Valentype | Testify and Win The Typeface You Love!

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Fonts in Use, News | Yves Peters | February 8, 2011

: : Discover all the entries in the Valentype 2011 Gallery : :
If you know what it’s like to passionately love a typeface, here’s a golden opportunity. Declare your love for a typeface* and you could win an official single license to four (4) weights/styles** in OpenType, Offc or Webfont*** format of that typeface (for example Regular, Italic, Bold, Black). This love declaration can take any form you like: a poem, an image, a short text, whatever you feel like creating.

* Only typefaces from the participating foundries apply (see the list below).
** If the typeface you love has less than four (4) weights/styles, then so be it. We don’t condone cheating nor polygamy.

***  If the fonts of your choice are not available in any of those OpenType formats you can choose between Mac or PC, PostScript Type 1 or TrueType.

You can use any typeface to design your love declaration, or use the sample setter on Take a screenshot or CTRL-click the image produced by the system and download it to your hard drive. Then open it in Photoshop. You can either use the image of the type in the program itself, or turn the background transparent and change the colour of the letters, and import it into Illustrator or Indesign, or another lay-out program of your choice.

The preferred language for text entries is English, but we accept Dutch, French, and German as well. Just make sure that we don’t have to do anything to add your entry to the dedicated gallery which will be posted soon (see technical details below).

The winner of the very first Valentype was Ruben David Marques. His love declaration for FF Legato won because (a) it was a true love letter (b) he very cleverly integrated the designer’s name in the declaration (c) it was genuinely funny (d) it looked good as well and (e) frankly almost everyone I showed the gallery picked his entry as the best one.

The contest starts now, and your submission must reach us before Valentine’s Day ends: next Monday, February 14th 2011 at midnight AKST. But there is one catch – we want at least fifty (50) submissions or the contest is void, annulled, nihil, zilch, nada. Fortunately you can enter up to three (3) submissions, so in theory if twenty very motivated people compete we’re more than good. However if submit more than one entry, your entries must be for different typefaces; you can’t submit more than one love declaration for a typeface/family.
See last year’s gallery.

The contest is open to anyone: amateurs, students and professionals alike, men and women and transgenders, straight and gay and everything in between, all races, all religions, Atlanteans and subterraneans, earthlings and aliens, no restrictions, no boundaries. So get busy in the name of love and testify! The first time we ran the competition you had a little under 48 hours; now with a week to go I don’t want to hear anyone complain. I expect submissions of the highest quality. ; )

For Valentype 2009 Chris Carpenter’s love declaration for FF Meta was the one entry that every member of the jury – FontShop Germany chief marketing officer Jürgen Siebert, FontShop San Francisco type director Stephen Coles, FontFont marketing director Ivo Gabrowitsch, and myself – had on their shortlist, and high up at that. Just like 2008’s winner, Chris’ design is brilliant in its simplicity. With dry humour and wit he surprised us by turning the concept of a love declaration upside-down. He cleverly played off the often-recurring phenomenon of exclusive corporate faces which are coveted by type lovers, and which are – just like unrequited love – even more desirable because they are unattainable. A great concept, well executed without any unnecessary frills.


  • Send us an e-mail with “Valentype2011” (no space) and the name of the typeface in the subject line. This is crucial because we filter incoming e-mails: no Valentype2011 in the subject line means we won’t see your submission. Include your name and full postal address in the message and your love declaration in attachment.
  • Poems or short texts must be saved in .TXT format.
  • Typographic art or design must be saved for web (Save for Web… command in Adobe Photoshop) as a High Quality JPEG (no progressive JPEG!), PNG, or GIF RGB image, measuring exactly 500 pixels wide and maximum 750 pixels high.
  • The file name must read “YourFullName_FontName” (plus the file extension of course). Substitute “YourFullName” with your actual name (no spaces) and “FontName” with the name of the typeface you covet.


As evaluating and posting the entries is a hell of a lot of work:

  • We will not accept love declarations for fonts not included in the libraries of the participating foundries listed below.
  • You can however design your submission with any typeface you like.
  • We will not accept submissions of the wrong dimensions.
  • We will not accept submissions that don’t conform to the naming rules.

The winner of the 2009 Valentype contest in the category OurType was Jürgen Sanides’ love declaration for Amalia. Very good use of FF Mister K and a nice play of words made Rudy Geeraerts (OurType head honcho) and me forgive the bright yellow background and somewhat ghastly cyan border (just our personal taste).

Participating foundries

If anyone wonders why Valentype is restricted to the foundries listed below – although the four fonts are given away, the designer does get the royalties, just like with any regular sale. As in everything we endeavour, we want to do right by the designers who create these beautiful typefaces for us to use. The following foundries responded to our e-mail invitation, and have agreed to this.

Missing foundries may simply have overlooked the invitation I sent out last week; it certainly doesn’t mean they didn’t want to participate.
Header: The lovely Liza Pro by Underware

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  1. Wow, Yves, you’ve brought this thing back with a vengeance! :) Great stuff.

    Posted by Nina Stössinger on Feb. 8, 2011
  2. I just received word from Jonathan Barnbrook that the invitation didn’t reach him, so we are very happy to add Virus Fonts to the list of participating foundries.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Feb. 8, 2011
  3. @Nina: When you ask me something, I don’t mock around. ; )

    Posted by Yves Peters on Feb. 8, 2011
  4. Just when I thought I loved FontShop all I could, I learn I love you more! W00t! You guys rock =)

    Posted by andrea on Feb. 8, 2011
  5. “The preferred language for text entries is English, but we accept Dutch, French, and German as well.”

    Does this mean that entries in English have a slight advantage in the competition, or do you just encourage English but assess each entry for it’s own qualities?

    And is there a word limit for the short texts?

    Posted by Sander on Feb. 8, 2011
  6. Well, not all judges speak all four languages, but we all understand English. And there is no word limit. I guess as long as we don’t fall asleep halfway through the love letter you’re good… : P

    Posted by Yves Peters on Feb. 8, 2011
  7. Bonne chance!
    Do the participants have more chance if they use Black + Yellow?

    Posted by Jean F Porchez on Feb. 9, 2011
  8. Troubleman,
    I just sent in my cheesy entry in hopes that you have a nice white wine to drink while you view it ;-P


    Posted by Chris Lozos on Feb. 9, 2011
  9. Sorry Chris, I don’t drink alcohol, and I don’t really care for French cheese. But I won’t let this influence my judgement. ; )

    Posted by Yves Peters on Feb. 9, 2011
  10. Participants in previous editions should get an email warning about this… only now am I seeing this, and I’d remembered it last week!
    Now I only have until the end of the day! :P

    Posted by Ruben David Marques on Feb. 14, 2011
  11. I was only (half) joking, of course.

    I’m sad to see I can’t declare my love for RTF Stern… :(

    Posted by Ruben David Marques on Feb. 14, 2011

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