Contest Winner Chats About Design

A close up of the detail on Balog’s winning entry.

As we reported last week, the winner of the recent Rocking FontFont’s Free Fonts contest was Mladen Balog and his interpretation of Depeche Mode’s Violator album. We asked if Mladen would share a little about his experience with putting a entry together for the contest.

1) How did you pick FF Yokkmokk to use for the design?

Of the FontFonts eligible for the competition, FF Yokkmokk/Yakkmakk immediately stood out as the perfect fit for the album I had in mind. It has a warm, synth, electronic feel to it. You could say its idiosyncratic appearance makes it a ‘violator’.

2) How did you choose this album to rework?

There had already been a couple of great submissions to the Flickr pool like Kraftwerk, Blur, Radiohead (which got my vote) so the primary reason for entering the competition was curiosity. To see if the entry would create some kind of response, either positive or negative. The final result was a complete surprise.

The illustration was programmed in Processing. The program generates FF Yokkmokk’s v-i-o-l-a-t-o-r chars (more than 70,000 instances) at random positions, matching the colour of the original image at that precise x/y coordinate. The end result looks fuzzy so the source album had to be instantly recognizable to everyone. Being a Depeche Mode fan from the late ’80s, Anton Corbijn’s strong imagery for Violator seemed only natural.

3) How did you hear about the contest?

Through FontShop’s twitter feed and blog posts.

4) How long have you been visiting FontShop?

Right from the start. You guys have a ton of interesting articles about typography on your various sites. Yves Peters’ ‘ScreenFonts’ and ‘My Type of Music’ series are especially enjoyable. I first found out about FontShop way back in early nineties, after seeing your print ads in the German ‘PAGE’ magazine.

5) What are you going to scoop up with your grand prize?

FF Suhmo is outstanding, a rightful recipient of TDC’s Certificate of Excellence. Can’t wait to try it out in Processing. Thanks to FontShop for holding the competition and to everybody who voted.


  1. Bob Rob
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

    Bit of a cheat really – using 3rd party software to do something that you wouldn’t have the patience or time to do… Shame – shows how so many go-getter typos don’t want to learn the craft anymore…

  2. jdoos
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 7:34 AM | Permalink

    @Bob Rob
    yet still, isn’t the idea and the result more important than the sum of hours it took to get there? In this particular case, what lesson could have been learned from not using 3rd party software? Isn’t programming also a valuable skill in contemporary typography? Isn’t this a simple case of picking the appropriate tools to deliver a visual?

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