2008 Typophile Tee Battle

Type Battle 25 - 2008 Typophile Tee Design

// UPDATE We've announced the winner. Stay alert for pre-ordering information.


Design it any way you want. Literal, figurative, custom-lettering, &c. There are no requirements to use the word Typophile or any given logo. (Just follow the terms outlined below.)

Below are the past few years' tees for reference.


1 Download the 2008 Tee Template
2 Design your tee. Include your suggested shirt color from the American Apparel website
3 Turn all your fonts to outlines. (We don't own every font!)
4 Convert to vector EPS and name your file thusly: Battle25_FirstName_LastName.eps
5 Compress the Illustrator EPS file (Zip, Stuffit, etc.)
6 Email the file to typophile [at] punchcut.com on or before Monday, June 30th 2008
7 You’re not done! You must post a GIF to this thread.


Judging // Punchcut will judge the entries, keeping in mind the popularity of the entries in the thread. We'll determine which design(s) get printed and the quantity of the print run.

Copyright Retention // Participants (those who submit entries to Typophile) grant Typophile permission to use the artwork/design for promotional use, including a t-shirt, as we see fit, for applications not limited to apparel. Any mentions of products or promotional items will be accompanied by proper credit to the designer (in online product listings, etc). Participants retain copyrights and Typophile agrees not to sell or transfer our usage rights. (In other words, we don’t require exclusive rights, just unlimited usage.)

Prizes // This is a battle. There are no prizes (unless some benefactor makes something available for us to give away). We will mail the winner 3 tees in your choice of sizes.* Your finished designs will be appropriately credited with your name or your firm’s name as you specify. By participating you pledge that your work is of your own design and further, that fonts or other rights-protected imagery used in your design are licensed for such use by you or the organization you represent.

*UPDATE! In addition to receiving three t-shirts, the winner will also receive their choice of the most complete digital type reference in the world, FontBook from FontShop International or Made with FontFont, a beautiful showcase of the history and influence of award winning foundry FontFont.

Thanks so much to FontShop for this generous offer.

**UPDATE! OK, so we aren't done there. Threadless has been keeping their eye on this battle, they like what they see and have offered to give our winner a $100 gift certificate to their shop! What a deal - our winner is going to be the happiest little typographer, and the hippest.

A big THANK YOU to Threadless for their generosity.


jupiterboy's picture

Speaking of song, we should think about permission issues on that bit. And FWIW, here’s a sleeve tag.

So now I’m getting some positive feedback I should consider a copy of Blaktur and really rocking it out.

juliushui's picture

New comer from Hong Kong, China. Have been a 'CD-Rom' for a year and it is my 1st time to write in typophile! :)
Here you are the quote from Martin Majoor's type design philosophy for all AG lover :) and the quote decided the tee color (Lapis) as well.


dezcom's picture

Another attempt:


Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Almar and Jupiterboy, I like each of your latest versions best.

Eben, you absolutely cracked me up with yours! :-D

Tiffany, nice and subtle. (But I like the first one better -- the second one seems like too much of a mystery.)

And Chris, you punster! :-)

rs_donsata's picture

A quick one.


ebensorkin's picture

I am still liking James' best although there are some quite decent choices now. Still, I wonder if we can somehow do even better...

BB's picture

Hi all, here is my first effort. Cheers.

ebensorkin's picture

Getting crafty on ya!

Jos Buivenga's picture

Nice one Eben. A bit large thou.

Thank you Miss Tiffany, mili & jupiterboy. Tiffany, that sleeve tag is marvelous!

BB's picture

number 2...Cheers

ebensorkin's picture

At the risk of cheatin' - here is about how big I guess I was thinking. Is this still too big? It is a lot of ink on the chest.

kevinf's picture

Here's a first effort...

henry's picture

sweet one kevinf but the placement is a bit off. also, does anyone else think back prints look tacky?

sarmanemani's picture

good "T" guys, thinking to make one soon... will get entry from India.

kevinf's picture

I wanted to place the "t" off centre. Were you commenting on mine (re: back prints). There's no printing on the reverse.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Nice one, Eben! I agree that it's a bit too big, though.

KevinF, I like your design, but I too think it looks a bit weird being off-center... If it were a bit smaller it might fit nicely in the center.

gf_022's picture

This my 2nd artwork,

I find this number from a button on my cellphone, when I press the word "Typophile".

Sorry for my bad English...

: p

ihoff's picture

Hi all! What fun! Where can we see previous year's entries to avoid repetition?

ihoff's picture

And a variation on the previous.

andi emery's picture

I love Jupiter Boy's halftone image (might this be printed on a long sleeve tee with the heart on the sleeve??) and I also vote for Almar's last version with the connected single quotes on front and the T rating on back: well done! I'd love to see both of these images on bags and even a hoodie. And now I'm humming "It's your love, how deep is your love..." Thanks Tiff! ; )

kevinf's picture

Hi all...
here's an amended version of my design.

dezcom's picture

Kevinf, that is brilliant stuff, it should fly like Ikarus to the top of the world!


AGL's picture

Eben's pix heart is awesome, but, I commend Héctor for his Arial, actually I was thinking on using Magritte as well :-)
I guess I will have to come up with something before the end of the week.



jupiterboy's picture

$50 later. Updated based on positive response. I would be really open to colors and items on something like this. Hoodie in dk grey with a lighter silver ink, etc.


ihoff's picture

almar – love your first idea (69) and the movie rating. genius and my favourite so far.

dezcom – like your first entry (words to light, set the sun).

gf–022 – like the concept. what are the fractions about? (having a thick moment).

henry's picture

i ment back prints in general. they reminds me of free tshirts you get at exhibitions, that might just be me though...

anyway, kevinf good revision!

Ehague's picture

$50 seriously well spent, James. It has my vote.

Zara Evens's picture

@James: this design is looking great! Blaktur is a wonderful fit.

@Kevin: I like this a lot, and the off-center version is interesting. I think it might work better though if it was *really* pushed over to the side - think bottom corner or something like that.

Hiroshige's picture

[trash talk]

This battle is over! Even though my submission is just coming out of rough draft phase, it kicks y'all to the curb!

Please, for the love of TYPE - save your vectors! Save them another time...

[/trash talk]

graph's picture

My first post, yay!

good luck you-all!

Miss Tiffany's picture

Eben, I think that is too big on the chest.

jselig's picture

I love the first one Tiffany, with either the mark on back or the tag on the sleeve.

Though really it should all go on the sleeve… wearing our hearts on our sleeves and all.

And I have that song in my head now. thanks.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Thanks, Jonathan. The whole purpose was to see how many people might curse me for putting that song into their minds. ;^>

ebensorkin's picture

Better? Or still too big?

5 more days are left. I wonder what else will arrive?

rubenDmarkes's picture


Well, I'd hate to get all nasty…

On second thought, I don't care. Just showcasing an idea, though. Brainstorming! :P I had another idea which involved making the long S into the symbol for a lisp, but I came up with nothing good enough…

Nice work, everybody! But I feel like we could kick it up a notch… come on! I KNOW you can all do better! Let's go, people! Let's rock! Let's get those (creative) juices flowin'! Let's get all typophile! :D


fallenartist's picture

OK let's try :)

There are definitely Good Types and Bad Types here on Typophile:


Ricardo Cordoba's picture

OK, here is one of my ideas... With apologies to Emil Ruder!

(Nothing on the back)

Here's a detail of the bottom left corner:

rubenDmarkes's picture

What about this one? I kind of like it roughly designed. Also, I'm being a bit lazy about this. I do strongly encourage anyone who wants to run with my ideas and make them look better, though. :)
The idea is, nothing is actually squooshed on the design. Except for the exclamation mark, obviously (HA!). Well, maybe the two Os are squooshed together, but “squashed” would probably be more appropriate.
[This would be even sweeter on a tight (woman's, but not necessarily) tee, of course.]

The shirt colour is ash grey (or gray, if you're into that). Doesn't work that well as negative.

That praying angel A to mermaid/demon Z is nice! Very suggestive and well thought out. Interesting! :)

hj's picture


kalinka's picture

Here you can see my contribution. Good luck to everyone.

Shirtcolor: Asphalt

BB's picture

Hi again, not sure if this idea has surfaced in previous years but here it is anyway....

BB's picture

Another alternative......

boardman's picture

Here's mine. Thanks and good luck, everyone!


hj's picture

Are multiple entries allowed?

boardman's picture

Can we vote? I vote for eduardm's tee.

Stephen Coles's picture

A tribute to Raph Levien and what is probably my favorite topic title on Typophile. I'm sure an even more amusing design could be achieved if someone wanted to draw a centaur, Napoleon Dynamite style.

White and red ink on an Asphalt tee. The typeface is WPA Gothic.

Joe Pemberton's picture

This tee was submitted in the 2004 tee contest. Do you know who submitted it? I still want to wear this and I'm on a mission to find out who designed it.

kevinf's picture

Thanks to those who commented on my design.
I quite like Sharon Van Lieu's, as I had to read it!
Also liked gf_022's design, simply because of the mystery about where those numbers came from?!

Joe Pemberton's picture

And this one. Pure genius.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Those two older entries you posted are terrific, Joe!

Graham Rendoth's picture

I've been revisiting a modular font developed in 1997. I call it marz... definitely not for text. Thought it might pull it's weight here.

BB's picture

Ok this idea maybe a crime in itself....

ihoff's picture

Another one.

ihoff's picture


This is my idea:
Typophile is a collaborative effort, so I propose the T-shirt design contain a front and back panel made up of Typophile member icons OR typographic portraits of Typophile members in the style of dezman's excellent portrait (assuming it's a portrait?).

I'll put a mock up together soon.

barthak's picture

Bonus points for who can identify the glyphs.

jupiterboy's picture

The Tetris idea is really smart. I suspect it could be simplified, and maybe the rules at the side could go away.

In general, I’m amazed at how many of us approach the project as writers.

gf_022's picture

Thanks for the commented

Q: What are the fractions about? (having a thick moment).
A: The fraction number are position of alphabet on a cellphone button.

Anone (gf_022)

ebensorkin's picture

Miguel, I dismissed your idea when I first saw it but more & more it's growing on me. It lacks the high concept that Joe's postings have but it is sure to get people who don't know what it is. And I like that it can be read as "I Typophile" as if Typophile was a verb.

Graham Rendoth, what is that 1st word? I can't suss it out.

ihoff's picture

Jupiter boy: Thanks for your comment. Not sure what you mean by the rules at the side could go away? Re: simplication, yeah, I did a version with the T a Typophile T, but it looked less 'Tetris'. Might post later.

ihoff's picture

Here's a mockup of one of the ideas mentioned earlier. Only problem is, it's not vector.

andalepedro's picture


this is my second one.
it's a custom lettering i made starting from
basic elements.


ihoff's picture

robsob, the more i look at it the more i love the LOOK of your t-shirt (type and colour). not sure about the 'LETTERS ARE THINGS' line, though.

fallenartist's picture

Not sure about type though :)

Edit: I think I like sleeve logo as Miss Tiffany's. Can I? :)


paul d hunt's picture

will a black and white tiff not work?

andi emery's picture

I like Stephen Coles' design front.
Maybe the back could read: thequickbrownfoxjumpsoverthelazydog.
(Yet another unexplored idea).

Very clever ideas, people! Well done!

eduardm's picture

@ boardman: Thanks for the vote. Perhaps you were one of the few that appreciated "typophile" in unicode?


John Langdon's picture

Ah. Now you've appealed to my weakness: design without pay.

Things are as they appear to be; and they are otherwise.

andi emery's picture

One BIG vote for John Langdon's design from me!

ihoff's picture

Jupiter boy: Appreciated the feedback, thanks. Better?

jupiterboy's picture

Yes. I think it is. FWIW, I would consider reducing the image to red and shades of grey, and also consider just putting "typophile" or repeating the tetris T on the back. I think the idea and image stand without the text.

Look at leaving the top a bit more ragged as well.

Lovely Zara.

Sharon Van Lieu's picture

Ohhh...nice one, Zara!

andi emery's picture

Colourful like you, Zara! Well done; love it. The asterisk also reminds me of those rubbery flowers you can put down on your bath tub so that you don't slip and fall. : )

ihoff's picture

Jupiter boy, want to have a go? I can email you the file and it'll be a joint entry. Even better ;)

Alvin Martinez's picture

ihoff, your revised Tetris concept works much more effectively now, although reducing the colors might be advisable given the cost factors involved with inks for tee shirt printing.

Good work!

jupiterboy's picture

Irene, please enter it just the way you like. I can offer my ideas but it is your concept. I think it is strong as is. Like Alvin, my thought was about the cost and number of inks, but also about putting emphasis on the T. I’m glad I don’t have to make the call on this contest.

Alvin Martinez's picture

Also Jupiter, I have to concur on the idea of leaving the top of the Tetris grid ragged to emphasize the characteristic of the game more. Maybe even have a smaller piece falling even further above from the "T" shape to have a sense of movement and continuity of the game.

J. van den Broek's picture

This is mine, courtesy of Tom Waits …

iffy's picture

I love the Tetris! Almar's right though, and any complete line would have disappeared so you might want to make some spaces in there on the full lines.

I have a few ideas, although nothing close to the bar that has been set, but I can get the template to download.

Ultra-Bob's picture

I just love the word ^_^

Sharon Van Lieu's picture

Some poster ideas I'm working on:

First my tee as a poster -

And another poster -

kalinka's picture

[sry for doublepost]

kalinka's picture

I like your Tetris, Irene. But i think the backprint is not necessary. Perhaps you can play with the colors of the shirt and the squares? I think the squares are a bit to colorfull. Maybe you reduce the colors to a minimum and get a more effective contrast.

Just my opinion :)

Stay typophile!

Sharon Van Lieu's picture

A little lighter. I may have to break out a light.

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