Alice in the Land of Typography

alphadesigner-bulgaria-moderna-font-presentation-01

Being a graphic designer, I have been flirting with typography for years but I was always superstitiously afraid to get really serious about it. I always thought font creation required some kind of special magic, one that I didn’t necessarily possess.

Just think about it – fonts are so essential for most design projects. They seem so simple and to a certain extent even god-given – the stupendous variety that we have at the tips of our fingers makes us use them impulsively, without much thinking about how hard it is to really create one from scratch.

It’s a monumental effort, and a challenge to all your skills as a designer and illustrator. On top of that, it requires immense organizational talent.

Fear is fear and I’ve had my share succumbing to it but I finally decided to enter the dark cave of typography. The first font project was really critical. I managed to find a really original idea – one that is naturally exotic and allows me to showcase my own design skills.

There is a forgotten Slavic alphabet, called Glagolitic, which was later replaced by the Cyrillic and therefore slowly died out. I just tried to imagine what would have happened if the alphabet was still in use today. How would it have evolved and changed through time? How would the invention of the movable type have influenced it? And finally, how should a creative designer approach it in order to create a really modern font based on its characters? I got my answer 2 weeks after I began the project – in the form of Neoglagolitic Alpha, the first (to my knowledge) modern Glagolitic font.

Alphadesigner Neoglagolitic 44 izhitsa

My second attempt made me sweat a bit more. Much more, to be precise. After all, artistic exercises like Neoglagolitc Alpha are a bit easy because you are in control of so many aesthetic and practical aspects. Reworking the original Early Cyrillic script is a whole different typographic affair. The alphabet is still in use and quite widely. Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Bulgaria, where it was first adopted in the 9th Century, all use strictly Cyrillic characters. It reached even Mongolia. On top of that, its long history and the fact that almost every South and East Slav has an opinion about it makes experimenting with any of its letters a potential sacrilege.

After a month of struggle drawing, adjusting, altering, creating ligatures, diacritics, and adding additional Latin characters while trying to constrain myself to the original aesthetic of the script, I gave birth to Bulgaria Moderna. Of course, no font is ever finished, especially those made by fresh typographers like me but seeing it in action, even at this early stage is like a dream come true.

6 comments on “Alice in the Land of Typography

  • Здравейте!
    Намерих ви посредством сайт за безплатни шрифтове предназначени за писане на кирилица. Идята и историята за сътворението на вашият шрифт много ме вдъхнови! Безкрайно съм благодарен за това че го споделяте безплатно с широкият свят. Днес започнах нов проект за който реших ще бъде изключително важно да има свой уникален почерк, макар и почти изцяло дигитален! Реших че най-малкото което мога да ви дам в замяна е моята благодарност че ще използвам такъв красив български почерк основан с вдъхновение и решителност, послужил в един изключителен проект да послужи като вдъхновение и благословия за моят!

    Още веднъж, мойте благодарности, ще следя вашето развитие и вашата работа, вярвам че ще намеря изключителни неща от които да се поуча или вдъхновя!

  • До сърбина „типометАр“ Златан…
    Поздрав от София!
    Шрифтовете, които си посочил са интересни, но са и пример КАК НЕ БИВА да се правят шрифтове на кирилица. Досега аз съм създал няколко и винаги съм добавял и буквите, които са измислени от Караджич. Добавям всички останали (извън българската писмена практика), за да могат да се ползват от всички народи. От четирите шрифта, които си дал за „пример“ само един що-годе става за писане на български, руски и украински, но няма да речем „ѝ, Ѝ“ (и ударено) и куп други. Оправете ги. Почвам да се замислям и аз в следващия си шрифт, който подготвям, да не премахна „вуковите“ добавки. Ще стане за чудо и приказ, но няма да е „за пример“, нали?

    Поздрави на Янко Цветков за България модерна и за Неоглаголица. ВЕЛИКОЛЕПНИ СА!

  • Cyrillic fonts are in problem because there is no much good fonts. One of the problem is that every Cyrillic nation has his own type of Cyrillic so Russian font can't be used for Serbian language. And not only that, MS fonts use Russian like letters t and p for Serbian italic style! Font makers from Cyrillic countries should work together to bring a beautiful fonts for all Cyrillic languages.

    You can look some free Serbian Cyrillic font at: http://www.tipometar.org/aktuelno/akcija!/Resavskhttp://www.tipometar.org/aktuelno/akcija!/Resavskhttp://www.tipometar.org/aktuelno/akcija!/Adamanthttp://www.tipometar.org/aktuelno/akcija!/Neoplan

    Поздрав из Београда!

    • @Zlatan – Well said. It's really difficult.
      Thanks for the links.

      Поздрави от Лондон! :)

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