Asa

seg's picture

this I made half a year. i've made the final touchs today.
this is a strange hebrew bitmap font. the design is based on some sort of schematic geometric boumas i sketched once. i liked the contrast between the roundness of the pey,tet & samech and the sharpness of the bet and het, it gives it a very akward character.
so far, i also added nikud (punchuation marks) for allmost of the letters.. and some currency signs.

asa text example

all critique welcome.

John Hudson's picture

Good differentiation between gimel and nun; often quite difficult at small sizes.

I would consider making kaf and resh one pixel wider, but perhaps this is because I'm used to the proportions of older types and manuscript styles (I've noticed that these letters are getting narrower in Israeli types).

Mem seems a little pinched, and is probably the least well defined shape. This is traditionally one of the wider letters, so perhaps you could make it one pixel wider, and then lengthen the foot on the right? This is just a suggestion: it might easily end up looking too wide. You could also experiment with deepening the cut on the top.

Is there any way to make the alef less symetrical?

piccic's picture

It seems to be very readable and it probably works very well. I agree with John: could you make the Aleph less symmetrical? It reminds too much a roman x. Inversely, I would leave the kh

hrant's picture

Itay, it looks nice, but I know little about Hebrew type design (except some history).

> you've got people using bouma way over in Isreal?

And more seamlessly than me, it seems! :-)

> Gary Bringhurst

Gary married Robert?!
A calligrapher and a poet - match made in the 14th century.

hhp

seg's picture

ha. bouma is a great word. i dont know how i managed to talk about type before i used it :-)

claudio - i think Ezra & his partner Michal Sahar are two very promising designers today. two of the most promising designers in Israel, perheps.
but i really dont understand the picking of TDC.
are you guys familiar with the works of Yosef Iontef? he's really revolutionizing type here.

the real mystery is how Rosenberg has got his type all over the country, and good typefaces arent used. rosenberg only has his type used because he owns masterfont. his work is awfull.. the font he named after his last name is one of the worst hebrew fonts ever published, yet it is used constantly on everything i look at. in my humble opinion this is a severe case of monopoly.
oh well, maybe i should stop before i break into tears..


here are some examples using alernative mem's and alef's. i personally feel that making the alef asymmetrical gives it an old-fashioned look. it also means problems in the bold version. anyway, experimanting has never hurt me.

John Hudson's picture

Looking at the top line, I like the third alef (from the right, of course) best, and I really like the last mem although the top is a little unusual (more what I would expect for tav). I definitely think the mems with a strong angle on the lwer right are better than the ones with a pixel dropped. The second and third mems are also good.

I'm always surprised when I see the Latin question mark in Hebrew text. When I'm following the text from right to left, I always expect to see it reversed: too much time looking at Arabic I guess.

seg's picture

yeah hudson, its really a silly thing. did you notice that i reversed the comma? its exactly because of that.

im a big fan of the round calligraphic mem in Narkis Normal, which is why i use a tender mem often. but now that i've set it in text and looked at it again im starting to think the last mem (the one of the left) suits the font nicer.

narkis normal majestic mem

John Hudson's picture

I hadn't noticed the reversed comma until you mentioned it, but that's probably indicative of how natural it looks.

piccic's picture

Itay, Yanek Yontef (that's the correct name I think) has been the type design teacher of Oded at the at the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. Maybe this explains all. I know too little about Yontef to appreciate his work in full.
His Erica Sans is an *incredibly beautiful* hebrew version of Gill Sans and I'm intentioned to mail him and buy it.
On the picking of Maya: well I'm surely not enough familiar enough with Hebrew letters to judge it properly. I tend to prefer other faces from Oded, but Maya seems good. Maybe Bringhurst (sorry I called him Gary!) picking Maya has the same problem of many of us latin-based guys. He's not a "prophet", even if his "Elements" has become a "Bible" for the old as well as the new "Elite". (this is a personal joke). But Oded submitted Maya only I think, so...
BTW: Hey, that Narkis Mem is beautiful! Where do you find Narkis?

On your Asa: Reverse also the question mark: we must challenge conventions if we wish to make more sense: if it's right-to-left, it's right-to-left. I agree with John on the Aleph. The Mem, well, I would like more one of the softer versions, since it becomes too uniform if you "square it" all along. Maybe it's just my taste, but I like variability in forms which are supposed to be similar. This helps the reader, too.

John: can you tell me why in occidental packaging (I do pack design, you know), the weight of the product, when expressed in arabic, uses the numerals in reverse order?
(left-to-right)?
Also, where I work in the mornings, I've recently typeset a series of cereal boxes in 16 languages and the translator provided us tiff images for Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese and Chinese. The energetic values in Arabic are written in Times, instead of using real arabic figures. I wondered why.

piccic's picture

P.S. Who is Rosemberg?
Pleeeeease throw some examples at us!

piccic's picture

Hey, Itay, you're 17! That's almost the same age my fascination for letterforms started.
Where are you studying, if I'm not too curious?

seg's picture

heh, claudio, im not studying anywhere. im an auto-didact.. i learn from friends and books when i find some :-)
may i ask where did you start to learn design?
im planning to get some proper education soon, if things go as i plan.

I heard Yontef teachs in the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. I've been wondering how the man looks or talks, becuase unlike some of the other big names in the industry, i have never seen that dude. He is really a savior to hebrew type. I bet you my education he'll be written about in design books of the next decade..
ah Rosenberg, he runs Masterfont. thats the biggest font vendor around. Masterfont owns all the great hebrew type, like Hadasa or Koren. In Masterfont Narkis has published his fonts. (Narkis is more or less the equivalent of helvetica.)

you can see the font Rosenberg all over the Masterfont website, especially in titles. if you ask me, that font is disasterous. its a sign for the upcoming apocalypse. if i had a time machine i'd prevent rosenberg to make it.
there are plenty of things wrong with the masterfont foundry and mr.rosenberg and his infamous type, but this aint a gossip column, right? :-)

http://www.masterfont.co.il/html/catalog1.asp

hrant's picture

Itay, I myself have a problem with some of Zvika's approach, but he's a nice guy (I met him in Rome) with a lot of experience. Talk to him - see if you can get insight from each other. For one thing, type design relies heavily on the customer for many people, and you can't sell people things they don't want. On the other hand, I'm not the biggest fan of Maya... I think Bringhurst chose it for the same reason that Smeijers chose an Armenian a few years ago - but at least Smeijers admitted it (in print).

> written in Times, instead of using real arabic figures.

If I remember correctly, some -but few- Arabic countries do use Latin numerals as the standard, but overall that's not a good idea. On the other hand, most Arabs can read Latin numerals (and some Persians might have a problem with the Arabic ones), so it's not a huge problem, I guess... But I think you should change them to Arabics.

hhp

seg's picture

hrant, what is that reason? is it because the type directors want to encourge the growth of these languages?

i cant really grasp the success of that font, hrant. even if it were finacial factors that drove him to make that font.. its full of ill logic. i cant understand why would any designer buy & use it when there are so many other good (and even free) alternatives.

> Talk to him - see if you can get insight from each other.
i tried to, he wasnt so nice.

about the reversed q-mark: i was sketching qmarks today in class. and it seems really wierd. nobody would accept it, people would use verdena's qmark instead..

John Hudson's picture

John: can you tell me why in occidental packaging (I do pack design, you know), the weight of the product, when expressed in arabic, uses the numerals in reverse order?

Numbers have pretty much always been written left-to-right in Arabic and Hebrew (I'm guessing that there might be some very ancient examples of RTL numbers, but I've never seen any). Although it is commonly said that these scripts are RTL, they are actually bi-directional.

John Hudson's picture

(Narkis is more or less the equivalent of helvetica.)

A fact that caused me considerable difficulty when I was designing Helvetica Linotype Hebrew last year. It was tricky trying to make my design not look too much like Narkiss Tam, especially if I also wanted to avoid it looking like Arial Hebrew. Not a very satisfactory way to work: a kind of anti-design process in which all decisions are determined by the need to avoid similarities to existing designs. Given the constraints, I'm relatively pleased with the results.

Helvetica Linotype Hebrew

piccic's picture

Itay wrote:
"heh, claudio, im not studying anywhere. im an auto-didact.. i learn from friends and books when i find some
may i ask where did you start to learn design?
im planning to get some proper education soon, if things go as i plan."

I never started to learn graphic/type design. In fact I feel like I'm always "starting". I'm 33 by the way.
When I took my diploma in Telecommunications I was sure I would have left that behind. And so it's been. Being in Italy in the late 1980s meant "no education in design available". The thing has changed slightly, but Italy is a stagnant place for higher education when it cames to graphic design and type.

My slow work of compromise has been to work part time in contigue fields (learning "on the battlefield", if we could say so) and cutting out a space for me to learn by myself.

I don't know if this could work in Israel, but since you're 17 and since now we have the web I wouldn't worry too much. When the need arises find a job for a living but keep the necessary space to learn what's really important.

John: that Helvetica Hebrew LT looks so darn good you could never tell it's an Helvetica, except for tiny details of Helvetica's monotony preserved you've chunked out a warm and beautiful face. A pity us latin-based guys have Helvetica always looming over us.
At least Arial is more friendly.

Now I'm really curious to see Narkis!

Hrant or Itay: who is Mr. Zwika? The principal of Masterfont, the designer of that typeface, Rosemberg?

I hope to find a bit of time to write Yanek Yontef. Oded has praised him so much and I want to buy Yanek's Erica Sans.
But now I have to see that "Masterfont" vendor website. Speaking of the web: it's so precious but also so dissipating...

hrant's picture

> what is that reason?

Itay, I'm sorry, I don't know what your asking about.

> who is Mr. Zwika?

Zvika Rosenberg.
What do you want to know?

hhp

seg's picture

>Although it is commonly said that these scripts are RTL, they are actually bi-directional.

well, they become bidirectional when used with digits or LTR languages. its a royal pain. most programs make a giant mess of any multilingual text. 'Word' excels in that area greatly - it makes hell for my mom to write her work in Word, because some of the terms are in english and this screws up whole phrases.

> Not a very satisfactory way to work: a kind of anti-design process in which all decisions are determined by the need to avoid similarities to existing designs.

i feel the same about my current work. im very touchy about it. i think hebrew in its current status gives less freedom in design then, for example, english. [thats just my hunch.] and for that im trying extra hard to squeeze original shapes from my hands. its too easy to make narkis-based fonts. so many movements and ideas sprouted on narkis' ground, and i feel its getting a negative side in the last few years.

you've done a very good job with Helvetica Hebrew. the buttom of the nun is extraordinary. the shin and ayin are equally genuine. i didnt know you did that font. good to know :-)
and arial, by the way, isnt so good in the hebrew version.


claudio: Zvika Rosenberg, the principal of masterfont, designed the font Rosenberg.
hahah, i just heard from a friend he's selling a font to masterfont.. this is great.
say, 25% profit and losing the ability to sell the specimen for 10 years, is that considered a good deal to sign with a vendor?

claudio, ive learnt so much from the net. allmost everything i knows come from it. and not only about typography. its just an amazing thing.
what can i say.. if i'll be in the army, there wont be alot of time for fun.

israel isnt a good place to learn design too, if you ask me. many times im dissapointed from the works of academy graduates here. i looking forward to gather enough money experiance and courge to learn in europe.

masterfont never show good examples of their fonts, but you can check out single words set in narkis in their catalogue.

ah, and -
do you have Yontef's email, maybe?

seg's picture

hrant:
>I think Bringhurst chose it for the same reason that Smeijers chose an Armenian a few years ago - but at least Smeijers admitted it (in print).

hrant's picture

> hebrew in its current status gives less freedom in design

Could you elaborate on this?

> is it because the type directors want to encourge the growth of these languages?

Well, Smeijers essentially said (in the TDC annual) that he chose the Armenian becuase it was exotic (so not because it was a very good font). That's annoying in a type competition, but at least he's honest. I'm not sure why Bringhurst chose Maya - especially since he's such a fan of chirographic (hand-"painted") type - plus Hebrew doesn't really seem highly "exotic".

Anyway, the good side is that minority scripts get exposure. But I wonder, was it like the misguided personal pleasure when giving a blanket to a homeless person? Did they perhaps do it to feel better about themselves, to offset (but in no real measure at all) the abuse dished out at "exotics" by western culture?

hhp

John Hudson's picture

Speaking as a someone who has judged the TDC event, I think the 'judge's choice' selections do not necessarily represent what the individual judge thinks is the best overall entry in the competition. Rather, they tend to be some work with which the judge feels a particular affinity, or which otherwise strikes the judge personally. The year I judged the competition, I selected Vladimir Yefimov's Kis Cyrillic as my judge's choice. It is a very good design, but probably wouldn't have been my choice if my task had been to select the very best overall design in the competition; indeed, selecting an overall winner would have been very, very difficult. Rather, Vladimir's design struck me as an interesting and important project to which I wanted to draw additional attention and about which I appreciated the opportunity to say something extra in the TDC annual. Interestingly, the same year, Barry Deck and Kathleen Tinkel both used their judge's choice to make critical comments about designs. I don't know what Robert Bringhurst's reasons for selecting Maya were -- and I can't remember what he wrote about the design in that year's annual -- but the selection doesn't necessarily mean that he thought Maya was the best piece in the competition.

hrant's picture

This might be academic, but I can think of two good reasons for a Judge's Choice: one is your reason with the Kis, the other is if a judge feels that a design deserved to win outright but the other judges didn't agree to select it.

I also don't remember what Bringhurst wrote, but Smeijer's rationale doesn't make sense to me (even though I'm Armenian, and enjoy the promotion of "exotics" to boot), and frankly neither does the "critical comment" trick, which seems too personal-agenda-driven to be highly useful to others.

hhp

seg's picture

hrant - graffiti writers around my area tag their names in english. thats sums it all up for me: if the israeli writers cant express themselves in hebrew, it means alot about the letters.
when you tag your nick in english, you have a large bank of boumas and styles to choose from. i can make a lc r in tons of way, with just a marker. resh gives me so much less possibilities.

hrant's picture

That's pretty bad - although you could say graffiti has an inherent western angle to it. But the fact that they're not expressing graffiti in Hebrew doesn't necessarily mean the script is inherently less expressive. On the other hand, it could very well be. Morse Code for example is certainly less expressive than Tibetan.

> i can make a lc r in tons of way

What do you think prevents you doing that sort of thing with Hebrew letters?

hhp

seg's picture


i can only guess -
latin has it passed from hand to hand until the letters become flexible enough to reflect many human characteristics, notions in history, and art movements. hebrew hasnt. it lacks depth that a script can only achieve by being there.

if latin and hebrew were people, latin would be the one that partied all night and hebrew would be the one that forgot about the party and stayed home sleeping. im sympathizing with hebrew, all she can do now is try to laugh from the private jokes that latin has made with the friends he met last night. its going to take her some time to catch up.
[ill have a better metaphor once i finish adolescence.]

seg's picture

what are you feelings about graffiti, by the way?

hrant's picture

I like it.
I hate Singapore.

hhp

Stephen Coles's picture

Very nice, Itay, and might be the first of its kind. I'm afraid
I don't know Hebrew well enough to comment further.

(Hrant, you've got people using bouma way over in Isreal?)

piccic's picture

The correct name is Yanek Iontef.
While doing a search I found this old post and realized that both me and Itay miswrote the name… :=(

BTW, for anyone interested, Iontef's site:
http://www.fontef.com/

hrant's picture

For the record: I no longer hate Singapore.
Even though I still haven't been there.

hhp

gohebrew's picture

hrant,

> I like it.

What's it?

gohebrew's picture

hrant,

> I like it.

What's it?

piccic's picture

What’s it?
Graffiti (Itay asked about that, see above).

Syndicate content Syndicate content