Competition

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Competition submission deadline extend to the 29th of February

13th GRANSHAN Type Design Competition 2023/2024: Guidelines 

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen! 

We are very pleased that you are interested in submitting to the 13th GRANSHAN Type Design Competition 2023/2024. NEW submission deadline is 29th February.

Below we have compiled all the information you need for a submission in detail, from the timetable to the judging procedure, from the submission fees to the special criteria to be considered in some Script Groups and the submission formats. All these informations you will find also in a PDF in the download section. Additionally you can find there the most essential information in Korean, Chinese, and Georgian as PDFs for download.

To help you prepare the general poster we added a detailed How-to-Guide

We kindly ask you to follow the detailed instructions for the components to be submitted – these are described in detail here!

We are looking forward to your submissions! 

Veronika Burian, Boris Kochan and Toshi Omagari

General Information
about the GRANSHAN Competition
 

GRANSHAN celebrates the diversity and richness of typographic scripts that underpin global communication, empower communities, and enable identity. The GRANSHAN Competition covers a growing range of scripts for communities on a global scale – from the most widely used, to scripts used by small communities or those under threat.

All type designers, type foundries, and clients with custom typefaces from all parts of the world are invited to take part.

International type competitions – of which there are few – usually focus on the Latin script. The GRANSHAN type competition on the other hand explicitly seeks to recognise the most notable typefaces for individual scripts beyond Latin as well as multiscript families. 

The number of multilingual typeface developments has grown continuously in recent years – and there are more and more Typefaces covering scripts beyond Latin, designed either in conjunction with new Latin typefaces or as script extensions of existing Latin typefaces. Therefore, GRANSHAN now offers submissions in ten SCRIPT GROUPS in six CATEGORIES.

Script Groups

In this year's competition entries in the following ten SCRIPT GROUPS are welcome: 

  • Arabic (Arabic, Persian, Kurdish, Urdu)
  • Edik Ghabuzyan Lifetime Achievement Award for Armenian Type Design
  • Chinese (traditional or simplified)
  • Cyrillic (Bulgarian, Mongolian, Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian, etc.)
  • Georgian
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • South Asian Scripts (Devanagari, Bengali, Gurmukhi, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati, Malayalam, Sinhala, etc.)
  • Korean
  • South East Asian Scripts (
Thai, Burmese, Laos, Khmer)

Categories

CATEGORY A1: TEXT TYPEFACES

This category is reserved exclusively for Text Typefaces in one or more of the Script Groups listed above. Note that display typefaces are not accepted in this category. 

CATEGORY A2: DISPLAY TYPEFACES

This category is reserved exclusively for Display Typefaces in one or more of the Script Groups listed above. Note that text typefaces are not accepted in this category. 

CATEGORY B1: TEXT TYPEFACES with a latin complement

This category is designated for Text Typefaces with a Latin complement to be used in combination. This can be a pairing with both scripts developed at the same time, or one of the two scripts newly developed. In the case of a new developed Latin complement, the quality of the Latin will also be evaluated along with the quality of the Text Typeface. In any case, the interaction between the two scripts will be rated. Typefaces from the nine Script Groups listed above can be submitted. Note that display typefaces are not accepted in this category.

CATEGORY B2: DISPLAY TYPEFACES with a latin complement

This category is designated for Display Typefaces with a Latin complement to be used in combination. This can be a pairing with both scripts developed at the same time, or one of the two scripts newly developed. In the case of a new developed Latin complement, the quality of the Latin will also be evaluated along with the quality of the Display Typeface. In any case, the interaction between the two scripts will be rated. Typefaces from the nine Script Groups listed above can be submitted. Note that text typefaces are not accepted in this category.

CATEGORY C1: MULTISCRIPT TEXT TYPEFACES 

This category is reserved for Text Typefaces with at least two script complements beyond Latin intended to work together. An accompanying Latin version shall be accepted but not required. Display typefaces are not accepted in this category.

CATEGORY C2: MULTISCRIPT DISPLAY TYPEFACES

This category is reserved for Display Typefaces with at least two script complements beyond Latin intended to work together. An accompanying Latin version shall be accepted but not required. Text typefaces are not accepted in this category.

Awards

In each of the ten SCRIPT GROUPS (Arabic, Chinese, etc.), for each of the CATEGORIES A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2 a first, second and third prize can be awarded as well as special mentions.
With the special mentions, the jury will honour projects where single aspects or a very advanced stage of development have convinced the jury, while their overall impression remains lower in quality than the award-winning projects of this or previous years.

One GRANSHAN GRAND PRIZE of € 3,000 will be awarded by the jury at the end of the judging process to the best of the best.

Jury

The 13th GRANSHAN Competition Jury once again consists of numerous internationally acclaimed specialists: for each Script Group a minimum of three dedicated specialists will provide reviews of the submission. Each Script Group is moderated by a Script Chair, who is also casting a vote and whose vote acts as a tie-breaker.

To ensure continuity in the evaluation over the years, the Script Chairs are designated for several years. The Script Specialists are chosen collectively by the Script Chairs together with the Chairpersons.

The Chairpersons of the GRANSHAN competition, Veronika Burian and Toshi Omagari, are responsible for the appointment of the Script Chairs and for moderating the competition as non-voting chairpersons.  

Competition Script Chairs

Arabic: Haytham Nawar

Edik Ghabuzyan Lifetime Achievement Award for Armenian Type Design: Angela Poghosova

Chinese: Liu Zhao

Cyrillic: Temporarily managed by the Chairpersons

Georgian: Nino Jishkariani (new)

Greek: Irene Vlachou (new)

Hebrew: Shani Avni

South Asian Scripts: Kalapi Gajjar-Bordawekar & Rathna Ramanathan (new)

Korean: Eunyou Noh (new)

South East Asian Scripts: Anuthin Wongsunkakon

List of Script Experts

For each SCRIPT GROUP, a minimum of three renowned specialists have again agreed to support the GRANSHAN competition with their outstanding expertise on a voluntary basis. We will publish the names of the more than 60 Script Experts on the GRANSHAN website and in the social media channels over the next few weeks.

Below you will find an overview of the current groups, which will be updated when the full list is confirmed.

Arabic 

Huda Abifares, Lara Assouad, Lara Captan, Kamal Mansour, Haytham Nawar (Script Chair), Titus Nemeth

Edik Ghabuzyan Lifetime Achievement Award for Armenian Type Design

Davit Ghazaryan, Hrachuhi Grigorian, Angela Poghosova (Script Chair), Liana Shushanyan

Chinese

Cheng Xunchang, Curt Huang, Keith Tam, Wang Wen, Ma Yiyuan, Liu Zhao (Script Chair)

Cyrillic

Vedran Erakovic, Vera Evstafieva, Tetiana Ivanenko, Krista Radoeva, Alexei Vanyashin, Script Chair is temporarily managed by the Chairpersons

Georgian

Merab Getsadze, Lasha Giorgadze, Giga Khatiashvili, Sopho Kvantaliani, Nino Jishkariani (Script Chair)

Greek

Kostas Bartsokas, Eleni Beveratou, Gerry Leonidas, Natalia Qadreh, Emilios Theofanous, George Triantafyllakos, Panos Vassiliou, Irene Vlachou (Script Chair)

Hebrew

Shani Avni (Script Chair), Nitzan Chelouche, Daniel Grumer, Liron Lavi Turkenich, Meir Sadan

Korean

Minjoo Ham, Chang Sik Kim, Bon Min, Eunyou Noh (Script Chair), Yanghee Ryu

South Asian Scripts

Kalapi Gajjar-Bordawekar (co-Script Chair), John Hudson, Shiva Nallaperumal, Rathna Ramanathan (co-Script Chair), Fiona Ross, more TBA

South East Asian Scripts

Suppakit Chalermlarp, Sirin Gunkloi, Tristan Hinkel, Jinda Nuangjumnong, Sovichet Tep, Panuwat Usakulwattana, Sasikarn Vongin, Anuthin Wongsunkakon (Script Chair)

GRANSHAN Newcomers: The Community Growth Program

This year for the first time we are also inviting, in some of the Script Groups,  young and very talented  professionals to join the jury as non-voting observers. With this we want to strengthen the international non-Latin community. We aim to involve and capture better the contemporary local design scene and prepare new colleagues to become jury members and thus slowly expand the pool of Script Specialists. The GRANSHAN Newcomers will evaluate the entries and take part in the discussions, but their vote will not be counted.

Greek: Myria Konnaris, Natassa Pappas, George Strouzas, Tasos Varipatis, Konstantina Yiannakopoulou

South Asia Scripts: Ragini Siruguri

Cyrillic: Anya Danilova

Evaluation procedure

All entries shall be anonymized and evaluated in a three-level procedure:

First level: longlist
All entries shall be gathered in a longlist for each Script Group in each of the five Categories A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2. The Script Specialists and the Script Chair shall evaluate every entry with an online scoring system. In addition to the scoring system, the jury members may add separate review comments to accompany their evaluation in a designated box. The results of the voting are visible to other Specialists. In this first step, the evaluation of the Script Chairs and of the Script Specialists shall be equally weighted. Outcome: entries with a minimum score shall make it to the second level, the shortlist.

Second level: shortlist
In this step, the Script Specialists together with the Script Chairs of each Script Group will discuss in an online video conference which submissions are worthy of recognition. After the discussion each Script Specialist and the Script Chair will make their own recommendation for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize, and special mentions, with an online scoring system. All the entries that reach this second level shall be published on the GRANSHAN website. Outcome: potential prize winners shall move on to the third level.

Third level: prize winners
The price winners and the special mentions shall be determined in an online video conference of all Script Chairs together with both Chairpersons. The final jury will again evaluate the recommended prize winners of level two – with the possibility to downgrade and to determine the ranking from 1st to 3rd prize and special mentions in each Script Group.

At the very end, the Script Chairs together with the Chairpersons will decide the GRANSHAN Grand Prize winner by vote.

Presentation & Ceremony

The winners will be announced on the www.granshan.com website, will be promoted in all social media channels, and will receive a GRANSHAN diploma. Posters of the winning entries will be exhibited at various international conferences throughout 2024 and an award ceremony of the winners of the GRANSHAN Type Design Competition 2023/24 is in planning, but not confirmed.

Organizers of the GRANSHAN competition reserve the right to display submitted typefaces at the exhibitions, in press, social media and any other relevant publications. Therefore, we kindly ask for a short 20-word-bio and a portrait photo of the type designer(s) in printable resolution in A6. 

No font source files will be made publicly available! 

Timetable

Submissions
Can be made using the submission tool on https://granshan.submit.to
from 27 November 2023 to 15 February to the now extended deadline 29 February 2024

Start of jury work
March/April 2024

Announcement of winners
June 2024

Eligibility

Type designers from all over the world are invited to take part in the competition. All typefaces designed or digitized in or after 2020 complying with the requirements of the competition are eligible for submission. 

Typefaces may be submitted by anyone involved in their design, production, or marketing (please define your position). All submitted typefaces shall comply with and use the Unicode encoding system. Entries can be single typefaces or type families, revivals or new developments. Custom fonts are welcome, as well as student projects (no special student category exists).

In the submission form you can explain the concept behind the typeface and give details about any special characteristics you want to be taken into account when evaluating the typeface. Provide any information you think is relevant regarding historical or other models, and if the typeface is intended to function alongside other typefaces. This description will not be published – its sole purpose is to provide the jury with as much background information as possible for the evaluation.

Please anonymise your text and do not mention the name of the submitted typeface, the designer or the type foundry.

You can of course submit multiple entries to this contest. Please use a separate form in the online application for each entry and submit separate PDFs. Also please note that each submission must be paid separately.

Typefaces by the Chairpersons, the members of the organizing committee and Script Chairs are not eligible for submission. Script Specialists are allowed to submit their own projects, but will be excluded from evaluating and voting for their own entry. Script Chairs and Script Specialists have the opportunity to opt out due to bias for any of the submissions.

Submissions

Submissions are accepted exclusively via the online submission tool available at https://granshan.submit.to. Participants can register for free and create an unlimited number of drafts. The submissions won’t be charged unless you press the submit button. For further assessment, only those submissions will be considered that comply with the conditions of participation and that were submitted between 27 November 2023 and the now extended deadline 29 February 2024. Drafts are not considered completed submissions.

By filling in and sending the application form, you confirm that you have the right to submit the typeface to the GRANSHAN competition 2023/24 and that you indemnify GRANSHAN Foundation e.V. from all claims made by third parties. The organizers are not responsible for the information given in the application form.

Before submitting we ask you to sign the GRANSHAN Self Commitment Statement complying with GRANSHAN’s stance against any form of war of aggression, terrorism, and any kind of discrimination and harassment.

Fees

Your registration in the submission tool as well as the creation of drafts are free of charge. Submissions are subject to a fee from the time the submission is completed. After that, submissions cannot be canceled or refunded. 

The revised fee policy reflects differences in global living standards and possibilities, the difference between students, freelancers and small, medium and bigger type design foundries.

There are three basic triers:

  1. Low income countries (on the basis of self-assessment), students and freelancers
  2. Small and medium size companies with less than 20 employees or collaborators
  3. Bigger companies with 20 employees or collaborators and more 

The fees outlined in the table are set as a minimum. Any additional higher payment on a voluntary basis would be very welcomed.

Fees include VAT. For the first time, payment can be made now directly in the submission tool via Stripe (Credit cards, Paypal, and others).

Category

A1

A2

B1

B2

C1

C2

Low-income countries, students, freelancers

25,00 € / $29.00

25,00 € / $29.00

50,00 € / $59.00

50,00 € / $ 59.00

75,00 € / $87.00

75,00 € / $87.00

Small & medium companies
(<20 employees/collab)

50,00 € / $59.00

50,00 € / $59.00

75,00 € / $87.00

75,00 € / $ 87.00

100,00 € / $117.00

100,00 € / $117.00

Bigger companies
(≥20 employees/collab)

100,00 € / $117.00

100,00 € / $117.00

125,00 € / $146.00

125,00 € / $146.00

150,00 € / $175.00

150,00 € / $175.00

Please enter your »submission title« that is assigned by the system
in the online submission form as a reference.

Please note that your submission will be admitted to the jury
only after successful payment.

Anonymity and GDPR

The competition is anonymous. Please do NOT mention your name, the name of your typeface or your company in the specimen pages!

 All personal information will be kept only for the sake of submission and will not be passed on to third parties.

Special submissions specification
for some SCRIPT GROUPS 

  • Arabic should include numerals, punctuation and diacritics.
  • Armenian typefaces in the “Edik Ghabuzyan Lifetime Achievement Award for Armenian Type Design” should include the Armenian currency symbol (dram), the eternity symbol and the symbol of index numbers. For the A1 Text Category it is advised to present the Armenian graphemes (for example: ho, men, now), as promoted by Edik Ghabuzyan. For Display Category creativity and new approaches for creating typefaces are welcomed.
  • Chinese typefaces should contain 300 characters including punctuations like comma, ideographic full stop, ideographic comma, colon, semicolon, ellipsis, question mark, double quotation mark, parenthesis (逗号、句号、顿号、冒号、分号、省略号、问号、引号、括号). The competition must conform to Chinese national GB standard. Layout must show both horizontal and vertical typography design.
  • Korean should include numerals, punctuation and diacritics.
  • South Asian Scripts should include a selection of ligatures/conjuncts, as are appropriate, in addition to the basic characters of the syllabary, numerals, punctuation and other symbols. A listing of all the characters designed for the typeface should accompany any sample texts

Submission format

Please submit your project as PDF in 420 x 297 mm / A3 landscape format. Also add two posters as described below as PDF in 850 x 1189 mm portrait format.

CATEGORY A1 and A2
max. four pages A3 landscape plus two posters in portrait format;

CATEGORY B1 and B2
max. eight pages A3 landscape plus two posters in portrait format;

CATEGORY C1 and C2
max. pages depends on the number of different non-Latin scripts that will be entered (max. four pages per script) plus two posters in portrait format.

Make sure your PDF document can be printed and is not protected by a password. Please always add the »submission title« (not the name of the script or typeface!) as used in the online submission form in the upper left corner of every page and number the pages (1 of 6, 2 of 6, etc.).

For best results, the material submitted should contain the following:

CATEGORY A1: TEXT TYPEFACES

One page: overview of the character set in max. four styles
The first page showing the complete glyph set of the script with black glyphs on white background – as large as possible. Please show as minimum: regular (upright) and, if applicable, regular italic, a bold upright and a bold italic. Any additional styles should be shown on the next page.

One page: overview of styles and how they fit together as font family
On this page, please submit the character sets of the whole font family. However, if the full character sets of all the family styles do not fit the page, it is sufficient to show only a fraction of the character sets, preferably as large as possible (minimum 16 pt) with black glyphs on white background. 

One page: typographic use in different sizes
One page of text in different sizes in one or two styles typical for the typeface, we recommend a 8-, 11-, 16- and 24-point version; if the typeface is designed for smaller text setting then reduce the text sizes accordingly. 

One page: typographic use in different styles
Please show here the interplay of the different styles in different sizes using longer text in paragraphs, titles or any other way you see fit for the typeface, with black glyphs on white background in a way that is typical for the typeface.

One poster: overview poster for the exhibition
Please use the template that you can download here. If your project wins a prize or receives a special mention, we will display this poster in the traveling exhibitions. 

One poster: typeface in creative use
This is the freestyle page in color – please create a poster that documents the idea of the typeface with its typical forms as well as its specific applications. Apart from serving the judging process, we will use this poster, if your project wins a prize or receives a special mention, especially for exhibitions with enough space or in places and at events attended by font users. Please do not mention the name of the typeface.

CATEGORY A2: DISPLAY TYPEFACES

One page: overview of the full character set
The first page showing the complete glyph set of the script with black glyphs on white background – as large as possible and in the style that is most representative of the typefamily. Any additional styles should be shown on the next page.

One page: overview of styles and how they fit together as font family
On this page, please submit the character sets of the whole font family. However, if the full character sets of all the family styles do not fit the page, it is sufficient to show only a fraction of the character sets, preferably as large as possible (minimum 16 pt) with black glyphs on white background. If the typeface has only one style, you don’t need to submit this page.

One page: typographic use in different sizes
One page of text and titles in different sizes in one or two styles typical for the typeface. Please submit display typefaces only in sizes they have been developed for – again with black glyphs on white background.

One page: typographic use in different styles
Please show here the interplay of the different styles in different sizes using longer text in paragraphs, titles or any other way you see fit for the typeface, with black glyphs on white background in a way that is typical for the typeface.

One poster: overview poster for the exhibition
Please use the template that you can download here. If your project wins a prize or receives a special mention, we will display this poster in the traveling exhibitions. 

One poster: typeface in creative use
This is the freestyle page in color – please create a poster that documents the idea of the typeface with its typical forms as well as its specific applications. Apart from serving the judging process, we will use this poster, if your project wins a prize or receives a special mention, especially for exhibitions with enough space or in places and at events attended by font users. Please do not mention the name of the typeface.

CATEGORY B1: TEXT TYPEFACES WITH A LATIN COMPLEMENT

Pages one to four as in Category A1 – once for the main script and once for the Latin version (= max. eight pages). Please use the page for typographic use in different styles to demonstrate compatibility and interplay of both scripts. Also two additional posters as described before (one poster with an overview, one with the typeface in creative use), each presenting the typeface project as a whole.

All entries need to depict not only the full character set (see above Category A1) but also their compatibility and interplay of the two scripts. Please ensure that the presentation is comprehensive enough to allow the jury to evaluate the design appropriately.

CATEGORY B2: DISPLAY TYPEFACES WITH A LATIN COMPLEMENT

Pages one to four as in Category A2 – once for the main script and once for the Latin version (= max. eight pages). Please use the page for typographic use in different styles to demonstrate compatibility and interplay of both scripts. Also two additional posters as described before (one poster with an overview, one with the typeface in creative use), each presenting the typeface project as a whole.

All entries need to depict not only the full character set (see above Category A2) but also their compatibility and interplay of the two scripts. Please ensure that the presentation is comprehensive enough to allow the jury to evaluate the design appropriately.

CATEGORY C1: MULTISCRIPT TEXT TYPEFACES 

Pages one to four as in Category A1 – once for each script and, if applicable, once for the optional Latin version. Please use the page for »*typographic use in different styles* to demonstrate compatibility and interplay of both scripts. And two additional posters as described before (one poster with an overview, one with the typeface in creative use), each presenting the typeface project as a whole.

All entries need to depict not only the full character set (see above Category A) but also the compatibility and interplay between the different SCRIPT GROUPS. Please ensure that the showing is comprehensive enough to allow the jury to evaluate the design appropriately.

CATEGORY C2: MULTISCRIPT DISPLAY TYPEFACES 

Pages one to four as in Category A2 – once for each script and, if applicable, once for the optional Latin version. Please use the page for typographic use in different styles to demonstrate compatibility and interplay of both scripts. And two additional posters as described before (one poster with an overview, one with the typeface in creative use), each presenting the typeface project as a whole.

All entries need to depict not only the full character set (see above Category A) but also the compatibility and interplay between the different SCRIPT GROUPS. Please ensure that the showing is comprehensive enough to allow the jury to evaluate the design appropriately.

Special Thanks

The Chairpersons and the President would love to say THANK YOU for the intensive work in the preparation of the GRANSHAN competition: for example, for this paper with information and regulations, the revised website, the new sponsors and so much more.

We especially thank Sandra Hachmann, Kathrin Schäfer, Sabine Riedel and Pavlo Kochan, the GRANSHAN Founding Members, the GRANSHAN Script Chairs, the GRANSHAN Script Specialists and our partners like alpha awards/79 Blue Elephants, Google and Glyphs.

You are great!

Veronika Burian
Co-Chairwoman of the GRANSHAN Type Design Competition

Toshi Omagari
Co-Chairman of the GRANSHAN Type Design Competition

Boris Kochan
President of the GRANSHAN Foundation e.V.