The Fine Press Book Association’s inaugural Student Type Design Competition sprang from the hope that by building bridges between printers and young type designers we might end up creating new material resources for the fine press community. Cash prizes were offered in two categories: text families and titling faces. The winning titling typeface not only won a cash prize, but also was to be engraved and cast in metal by Ed Rayher of Swamp Press. The jury was a lively mix of digital type designers and fine press printers: Ben Kiel of House Industries, Sara Soskolne of Hoefler & Frere-Jones, Louise Fili of Louise Fili Ltd., Chip Schilling of Indulgence Press, Andrew Steeves of Gaspereau Press, Bob Baris of the Press on Scroll Road, and Russell Maret. There were thirty-eight designs submitted by thirty-six designers, representing nineteen collegiate programs from around the world. The entries distinguished themselves, particularly in the text families, for their complexity and ingenuity. When compared to initial type releases of the hot metal era, these type designs encompass a breadth and completeness of which most metal foundries could only dream. After a number of rounds of judging, the jury finally reduced the field to six winning designs, submitted by students from Australia, France, Germany, Latvia, Mexico, and Venezuela.
Money to cover the cost of matrix engraving was provided by a generous donation from Anne and David Bromer. We were also able to offer significant cash prizes to one winner and two runners-up in each category thanks to funding provided by Monty Montgomery and Ian J. Kahn of Lux Mentis, Booksellers.