Your 2011 Web Font Awards Judges' Choice Winners on Designing with Web Fonts

Matt Brinkerhoff

Matt Brinkerhoff in Archive on November 18, 2011

The dust has settled and the winners of the 2011 Web Font Awards have been chosen. Our panel of expert judges – composed of Dan Rhatigan, Jason Pamental and Josh Clark – pulled no punches and subjected our three finalists to the critique of a lifetime! Here’s how the judges ranked the winners.

3rd Place: SAM | Mamus Creative

SAM | Mamus Creative

While some may criticize the usage of a font so similar to other Web-safe options out there, MAMUS Creative managed to differentiate its entry by choosing less common weights of the Helvetica® face served by Web Fonts, creating an experience that reflects the high-end nature of SAM’s offerings. designer John Mamus has shown us that sometimes the smallest alterations can have a large impact on the final product.

“Here at the MAMUS studio, we are absolutely thrilled to have proper fonts at our disposal. It has already changed how we work. In fact, every new Web initiative we are working on makes use of Web fonts. What’s more, we can now align the brand typographical usage to match in print, Web, broadcast and beyond. It is an excellent time to be a creative person.”


2nd Place: Portfolio of Debbie Millman | Armin Vit

Debbie Millman | Armin Vit

Our judges were impressed by the use of the Neue Haas Grotesk™ design, also served by Web Fonts, to create a bold but accessible look for portfolio site of writer/educator Debbie Millman. Our judges also praised the layout, which held up well on mobile platforms. The man behind UnderConsideration and last year’s Judges’ Choice runner-up Armin Vit returns with another award-winning project.

“It was so exciting to control such a beautiful typeface through CSS and it rendered so nicely. Plus, of course, the artwork just came through behind it perfectly. This also led quite by accident to a very well proportioned mobile version of the site. The backgrounds were [acting up] on the iPad® and iPhone® devices, so I just stripped them away and the type by itself looked great. I couldn’t have pulled this off with Arial® — no offense.”

None taken, Armin.


1st Place: Fork Unstable Media | Fork Unstable Media

Fork Unstable Media | Fork

Our panel loved’s innovative Web design techniques, but it was its dedication to using Web fonts wherever possible that helped propel them to the top of the contest. You won’t find a single piece of traditional Web-safe or rasterized text on Self-hosting the Malabar™ Pro typeface from the Linotype® collection, FORK Unstable Media has truly taken its use of Web fonts to the next level.

Roman Hilmer, Creative Director at Fork on why Malabar was selected: “Karin came across Malabar at just the right time. We wanted a serif typeface that fit with our “antique” oracle concept but also brought in something new. It needed to look like it was carved in stone, but also be a bit of a showoff, and naturally work on the Web. Right away we all knew we wanted to use it as a Web font.”

Congratulations to all of the winners and many thanks to our media partners, sponsors, entrants and the entire community for your contributions to the 2011 Web Font Awards!

Matt Brinkerhoff
Matt Brinkerhoff holds a bachelor’s degree in E-Business from Champlain College and has experience in user experience, multivariate testing, design and Web development. Through his work as a freelance designer, Matt developed an affinity for typography years before joining the team.

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