Type design and typography competitions

A selection of contests where you can submit a typeface, lettering, or an identity built around a typographic solution

April 9, 2024


​​D&AD (Design and Art Direction) is a nearly 70 years old award with (probably) the most recognisable prize, yellow pencils. The competition runs in eight categories, such as casting direction and fundraising. There are six categories for type designers: Single Typeface, Typeface Family, Superfamily, Multi-script, Variable Font, Symbols (typefaces consisting of character sets for specialised application), Lettering. It costs £195 to enter the awards for a studio of less than 20 designers employed. The traditional deadline for entry is early March.

Elma and Ottessa from our library were shortlisted for ​​D&AD-2023.

Ottessa, Philipp Neumeyer. D&AD 2023 shortlist

Elma, Philipp Neumeyer. D&AD 2023 shortlist

Newsreader, Production Type. D&AD 2021 shortlist


Granshan seeks to strike a balance between focusing on the global trends and addressing the problems of small local communities. The competition covers three categories: non-Latin (a typeface supporting one script), non-Latin-Latin (a typeface supporting two scripts, one of which is Latin), and multi-script non-Latin (three or more scripts). Each category chooses the best text and display typeface. In 2024, entries were submitted until late February, next time the submission will be opened is Autumn 2025. This year’s entry fee is €100.

The competition jury includes experts on Latin, Cyrillic, Arabic, Armenian, Georgian, Hebrew, CJK languages, Devanagari, Tamil scripts. These include Vera Evstavieva, the author of Amalta. One of 2024 jury chairmen is the author of Codelia, Toshi Omagari.

Nekst, Norbert, Tomasa, Spektra, Kazimir from our library were awarded by the Granshan competition.

Klaket, Omega Type Foundry. 1st Prize, Granshan 2022

Tomasa, Fer Cozzi. Special mention, Granshan 2022

European design awards

As the European Design Awards jury consists of art directors, publishers, and journalists professionally involved in curatorial work (selecting content for exhibitions and publications, teaching or mentoring designers or agencies), most winners of the competition are provided a chance to be published or take part in exhibitions.

The EDA has two categories for type designers (Original Typeface Text and Original Typeface Display) and one category for typographers (Typographic Applications). The entry costs €169, next submission period is set for December 2024.

Ilya Ruderman and our manual’s author Anya Danilova are among the previous winners of the European Design Awards.

Rezak, Anya Danilova. 2nd prize, European design awards 2022

Novina, Superior Type. 3rd prize, European design awards 2022

Permian, Ilya Ruderman. 3rd prize, European design awards 2012. The updated version of Permian will soon become a part of collection

Morisawa design awards

Morisawa design awards accepts typefaces supporting any of these five scripts: Latin, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Japanese, Hangul. The jury picks one winner in each category, and one more typeface project gets a Fan Favorite award, determined by a vote of the public on their website. The entry fee for participants outside Japan is $75, applications will open in May 2024.

Curbe from our tomorrow storefront won a special prize at Morisawa Design Awards 2019.

Ribaasu, Tien-Min Liao, 3rd prize, Morisawa design awards 2019

Curbe, Olga Pankova. Special mention, Morisawa design awards 2019

Communication Arts Design Competition

Communication Arts is a family business which is now run by children of its founders Richard Coyne and Robert Blanchard. Besides holding a competition, they publish a bimonthly magazine on design and advertising trends and provide student scholarships.

The Communication Arts annual competition has two categories for type designers: commercially available typefaces and hand-drawn type. It costs $95 to submit one typographic project, entries must be registered no later than September 13, 2024.

Trois Mille, Sharp Type. Type Design winner, Communication Arts Design Competition 2020

Taters, Tommy Sharp. Type Design winner (Student category), Communication Arts Design Competition 2020

Type Directors Club awards

The TDC competition has been held since 1953. This contest focuses on how type exists and is used all over the world. The competition jury is composed of experts on Arabic, Cyrillic, CJK languages, Devanagari as well as some scripts of the indigenous peoples of America. As the TDC seeks to make its contest accessible for the participants from various parts of the world, the entry fee differs for designers from different countries. The biggest amount, which is $200 for a project, is required from any US-based designer. One can submit lettering or typeface design (including emoji or symbols fonts), with application deadline being the end of February.

Commercial Type cofounder Christian Schwarz and David Jonathan Ross, author of Input, Fit, Forma DJR, Megazoid and Roslindale from our library, are among those awarded by the TDC competition in the previous years.

TPTQ Sans CJK, Typotheque. Type Design winner, TDC Awards 2023

Marienlyst, ANTI. Type Design winner, TDC Awards 2023

Hiii Typography

Hiii Typography is a competition run by Taiwan-based studio Arphic. The contest celebrates companies with unconventional marketing or communication strategies as well as designers using an experimental approach to graphics. Type designers can enter the competition submitting a custom or retail typeface, while a graphic designer can apply with an identity project built around a type solution. The application costs $28; this year’s call for entries has not been announced yet.

Qommodore by Hugues Gentile was shortlisted by the contest in 2023.

Qommodore, Hugues Gentile. Hiii Typography 2023 shortlist

Railcube, Antifactum. 1st prize, Hiii Typography 2023

Mentioned fonts