31 October 2013

Canberra's very own font revealed

| Barcham
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The winner of the Canberra Centenary Typeface Competition was announced today!

We’ve got a font now people!

James Raftopoulos beat out 84 other entrees to claim the $10,000 prize and get his font known as Canberra’s official font.

The entrants were asked to display their font using the sentence “‘Five sexy Black Wizards judge Canberra Centenary Quest Champion“.

I don’t know if actual sexy Black Wizards were used in judging.

Thus far I can’t seem to find a place to download it, and I can’t find any mention of whether it’s going to be made available to the public. I’ll let you know as soon as I know.

So thoughts? Do you like it? Do you feel it represents Canberra? Should the RiotWRAP be written in it?

Chair of the competition and master typographer and art director, Mike Chandler, said the jury was pleased with the quality and scope of the submissions but Mr Raftopoulos’ typeface stood out because it “successfully addresses the elements and spirit of the brief”, which sought to uncover a typeface that had longevity and would be considered a “classic” well into the future.

“It delivers a typeface that captures the spirit of Canberra both for yesterday, today and tomorrow. The entry conveys a sense of the cultural and architectural history of Canberra translated in a contemporary form. The jury was impressed by the simple, clean and light expression evident in the typeface.

“We are confident that Mr Raftopoulos’ entry can be used as a display face for headlines and sub headings. It is a graceful yet modern typeface that reflects the potential of typographic design while instilling a reminiscence for the past,” Mr Chandler said.
Mr Raftopoulos, a freelance graphic designer based in Melbourne, was elated to be named the winner of the competition.

“I’m really honoured to have my typeface considered as a worthy winner,” Mr Raftopoulos said. “I entered on a whim and didn’t expect to win. It’s amazing and I still can’t believe it.”

The 26-year-old designer said his design came together relatively quickly. “It’s the first typeface I’ve ever designed and I was surprised how quickly the concept and initial letterforms came together. The challenge now will be fleshing out the rest of the characters and technical detail that comes with creating a useable typeface.”

Mr Raftopoulos, who only two years ago was working in a bank, said his idea was inspired by the brief and was loosely based on the plans that Walter Burley Griffin drew for Canberra. “I saw something there and put pen to paper and went from there.”

“The prize money will go to develop my design career,” Mr Raftopoulos said.


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Deref said :

It’s a typeface, not a font. But yeah – nice.

pedant! (i like that)

Gungahlin Al3:29 pm 31 Oct 13

There are definitely differences between what’s on the yellow graphic and the black and white examples.

In yellow, the crossbar on the e is at the halfway mark, making it look top heavy, in B&W the crossbar is up a bit from the middle, making the balance good.

In B&W the r, a and s all have blobby ends, in yellow there are either standard serifs or none at all, making the s quite different.

The W is very different.

So I’m assuming the typeface in question is actually the B&W version. And like others, I do quite like it.

Yup, the font remains property of the artist (which is fair), UC has the rights to use it for the next 3 years.

Raftopolous (the designer) says in the head post that there is still some technical work to be done before it can be released. (For example, all the spacing combinations for all the letters – in upper and lower case and also with and between the numbers – probably still have to be worked out).

They might also want to tie up some sort of copyright arrangement, if they want to restrict its use for Canberra related purposes.

So it could be a while before it is available for use.

I’ve heard back from my contact at UC, they’re investigating whether the font will be made publicly available and if so, when.

I think if this font really is for Canberra then it should probably be made available to Canberrans.

It’s a typeface, not a font. But yeah – nice.

is it just me or is the lower case ‘s’ in the top section different from what appears on the card with the generic round-a-bout mapping of canberra?

agree, s’nice. but why bother with the capitals?

p996911turbo said :

Wow, that’s actually quite a good font. It would be nice if there was somewhere we could actually get a copy…

+1 Aye!

I am a bit of a typography junkie and I like it very much. This guy (whose first effort at designing a typeface it is) has real talent.

Kudos to the judges, too. Can we put them in charge of selecting public art?

Hmmm. An old fashioned “a” with the tail on top but a modern “g” without a closed tail at the bottom. A bit like the Arial font used on this site.

I’m no connoisseur of fonts, but I like it!
Random thoughts:
I like the slightly bulbous lower case ‘a’.
The lower case ‘s’ is a thing of beauty.
LOVE the little stabby bit on the bottom of the lower case ‘b’.
The C looks a little off balance, but somehow still works.

Overall it’s got an edgy and modern look to it, but still a bit kind of soft and round and old fashioned. Exemplifies Canberra pretty well now I think about it.

I really like it. It looks clean and very readable. I don’t think too many first time viewers will look at the font and say ‘You know, that reminds me of Canberra’ – but I hope it becomes available soon. I’ll give it a run on my website (as image headings, I suppose) as soon as it does.

(Story: Years ago, a mate of mine was a printer and they had a ‘font book’ containing a dozen examples of available fonts in a mix of point sizes and different layouts from which customers could choose. They were labeled ‘Font1’, ‘Font2’ etc. and customers would leaf though it and say ‘I like Font3’. or ‘Can I have Font7 but a bit smaller?’ All 12 were Times New Roman.)

HiddenDragon11:21 am 31 Oct 13

Most elegant – and kudos to the bright spark who had the idea of running this competition.

p996911turbo10:53 am 31 Oct 13

Wow, that’s actually quite a good font. It would be nice if there was somewhere we could actually get a copy…

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