Typeface Design Categories

  • Single Typeface

    Individual typefaces designed to stand alone, with no stylistic variants.

  • Type Family

    Typefaces designed and entered for competition with stylistic variants such as roman, italic, bold, or small capitals. Up to and including eight variants are allowed.

  • Type Superfamily

    Typeface designs that comprise more than eight closely-related variants are considered Type Superfamilies; Superfamilies also include Pi and Dingbat fonts that are stylistically related to the main alphabetic or ideographic typeface designs, as well as variable fonts.

  • Type System

    Extensive groups of related typefaces featuring separate designs for text and display composition, or groups of related typefaces featuring designs belonging to different style categories, such as serif and sans-serif, serif and slab serif, and serif and semi-serif. Digital fonts in Multiple Master or in OpenType format often fall within this subcategory.

  • Pi or Ornament

    Typefaces featuring special character sets for mathematical, phonetic, and other specialized applications, as well as ding-bats, icons, symbols, and other pictorial items in a font format. Ornament and border designs are also included in this subcategory.

  • Global (Non-Latin)

    Typefaces created for alphabets or writing systems other than Latin are eligible, and should be entered in the appropriate Family, Competition, and Design categories. As necessary, experts in the relevant global (Non-Latin) scripts may be invited by the jury for consultation.

Competition Closed typographic ornament Competition Closed

Student Category


Designed for a class assignment in 2019


All student entries are entered in the student category and will be judged by the Typeface Design judges, side-by-side with the professional entries.

Cash Prize

In addition to being included as winners in the TDC competition’s world-traveling show, the TDC’s website, and The World’s Best Typography annual publication, judges will select a Student First Prize. This top honor comes with a cash prize of $1000 (US).

Please note: Students are welcome to enter either personal or paid work (work NOT created for a class assignment) into the professional category of the Communication Design Competition or the 23rd Annual Typeface Design Competition. Please see the corresponding RULES section for a complete list of competition guidelines.