The World's Sweetest Scrabble Set Is Now A Reality

One of the most popular games gets upgraded with a medley of typefaces and a solid walnut board.

Scrabble is such a mainstay of American board games that it’s easy to overlook the fact that there’s much that it could so easily be improved. In fact, it’s ripe for a major redesign if you ask Andrew Capener. A recent design-school grad, he created a special typographic edition, which we featured last year and is now available for pre-order.

In keeping with his A-1 Scrabble prototype, Capener dispenses with the original News Gothic-y look in favor of an assortment of 15 typefaces. (The final list of which will be decided once he has finished negotiations with the various foundries.) The board, too, has been upgraded: Six magnetized panels come in a solid walnut box and snap together to form a 19-by-17-inch playing surface. Whereas the designer originally specified the tile racks be made of wood, he has since changed the material to metal. “The board and tile rack combination became too monochromatic, and I felt that there needed to be some pacing in the set,” Capener tells Co.Design. “The material echoes the magnets that hold the six game panels together. We also wanted to do all that we could to give the end user a set that was made from the finest materials possible.”

The first limited-edition run of 1,200 (each hand-signed and numbered) is expected to ship in August, after which Capener will release single-type packs, so type obsessives can collect their favorites. (We’re guessing Helvetica will be among them.) “We really want to excite current type lovers and encourage a whole new crowd of people to explore the beauty that is the art of typography,” the designer says.

Order Scrabble Typography Edition for $199 through Winning Solution, an official licensee of some Hasbro games. And do so soon--as of this posting, there were only 66 left!

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11 Comments

  • Robert Gillis

    Are the tiles magnetized so that they only stick centered in a square?  If so, that would be very pleasing to place the tiles. Then I'd add a magnetized turntable and edge pieced to round out the entire board so that a real (timed) game could be played as we do in tournaments. Regardless, it makes a great piece of art!

  • qianniciello

    Definitely misinterpreted the headline and photos. My brain immediately went to "OMG THIS IS A CHOCOLATE VERSION OF SCRABBLE. YOU NEED THIS CHOCOLATE SCRABBLE RIGHT NOW. Sigh, kind of disappointed.

  • Stevie G

    You're not the only one.  I totally read this as the same thing until I started reading the article.  It's still cool, but not as awesome as chocolate scrabble could be.

  • Southern B

    This is completely impractical for any real Scrabble player, though. Pretty is as pretty does. If it's not functional, it's useless.

  • YacoRoca

    If the board & tiles carry magnets, then it could solve the problem of "slipping into their home" quite elegantly.

    As it is the "Typography Edition" then it makes sense to have the assorted typefaces, & as Scrabble deals with lone words & is not extended reading, like an article or even a phrase, I think it does what it's supposed to nicely as a collectors item. 

    Still, have to see the final type choices... at $199 for each Typography Edition board I imagine licensing fees won't be much of a hindrance.

  • TwoFourFixate™

    Southern B,

    I could not agree with you more.  ¿What could be easier than the current version where the tiles slip so easily into their “home”?

    Also, I like the fact that, in the current version, the colors are brighter, and the type face is uniform.  This new version is very dark and—to me—not aesthetically appealing in the least.

    Any number of studies indicate that varying typefaces slow down the reader and make it much more difficult to stay interested in what is in front of them.  ¿Could you imaging picking up the daily newspaper—or reading any major news Web site—and having to contend with a different typeface for every letter of every word?

    This is madness.

    But I guess there are plenty of people who have $199 burning their purse or wallet and want to get rid of it.