New Original Hebrew Fonts

david h's picture

Finally :) my first round is ready: new original Hebrew fonts.

Shirah Joie

Shirah 25

Poster 1492

Kitra 77

Hannah Joie

Hamuel Nine Five

Ayasha

William Berkson's picture

Congratulations, David. Looking good!

At first glance I particularly like the calligraphic elegance of Shirah 25. In the info it refers to a PDF--where does one access that?

david h's picture

Thank you, Bill.

> In the info it refers to a PDF—where does one access that?

I'm looking for Grant :)

david h's picture

> In the info it refers to a PDF.....

Fixed :)

William Berkson's picture

Folks, there's a sneek peek at David's forthcoming latin fonts in the PDFs of the Hebrew ones. I particularly like the calligraphic sloped titling font. Beautiful!

david h's picture

Thank you

raphaelfreeman's picture

I quite liked Kitra but I have two comments: it doesn't appear from the pdf that the font is kerned. Also you should program your font that when there is no nikud under the ayin, then the alternate ayin is used. Again in the pdf it appears that this isn't the case. Also with this font, I think it would be very useful to add a meteg and perhaps a kamatz katan and shva na.

david h's picture

Thank you.

> I think it would be very useful to add a meteg and perhaps a kamatz katan and shva na.

?

EVERYTHING is there:

The symbol for sheva na' is two dots arranged vertically under a consonant. The "vocal sheva" (sheva na') is a brief, neutral vowel, like the first vowel in the English word.

THE SAME symbol is used to represent sheva nah, and intermediate sheva (sheva meragef)

The vowel kamats can be either short or long. the SAME symbol is used to indicate both sounds. In some siddurim -- Sim Shalom, Rinat Yisrael -- a different symbol is introduced to indicate kamats katan.

So, how do we know when the Kamats is short/katan or long/gadol? with the Te'amim/ cantillation marks: if the kamats is marked with a secondary accent -- this is kamats gadol. A kamats before dagesh hazak is Kamats katan, since the dagesh hazak closes its syllable.

More grammar? :^)

You/we can get rid of Uni 05C7 (kamats katan/short)

BTW, the fonts are modern Hebrew, and not Biblical.

> there is no nikud under the ayin, then the alternate ayin

I designed the ayin + alternate to work perfect with nikkud, so no problem that the nikkud will touch the ayin.

About the rest of your post -- try to be a little bit more regular :) so I don't feel that I'm talking to myself :)

gohebrew's picture

Where can I see the modern Hebrew font designs you created?

The shva-na has a few visual forms. In Hebrew publishing which I have seen the two dots next to each other is not used.

Some publishers use a short horizontal line, like a dash, positioned above the letter. This is problematic when a narrow letter, like the vov, has a shva-na.

Other publishers use a small asterisk positioned above the letter.

Both the meteg and shva-na are used in vocalized Hebrew texts. The meteg is used to indicate which syllable is emplasized in pronouncing that Hebrew word.

The shva-na as you mentioned is to show that the shva which appears below the character is pronounced long, as joined to the sound of the letter and vowel before it, and the letter above it. According to this grammatical rule, the shva-na can not appear above the first letter of the word.

david h's picture

> Where can I see the modern Hebrew font designs you created?

Veer.com. see he links

gohebrew's picture

I created the popular "Purim" or "Purim Party" design in Hebrew many years ago to match the popular "Broadway" design in English.

I was surprised that the design became very popular by itself, without even "Broadway".

Boruch Gorkin of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, was commissioned by Monotype to create a Hebrew design to match "Ariel". It was licensed later to Microsoft, Apple, and others.

It is extremely difficult to design a serif Hebrew font from a serif English font design, because the dominant design factor in English is vertical, while in Hebrew the dominant design factor is horizontal.

Any ideas, anyone?

hrant's picture

David, I like Ayasha.

> It is extremely difficult to design a serif
> Hebrew font from a serif English font design

Consider yourselves lucky!

In the best case Latinization results in gimmickry. In the worst case,
cultural assimilation; what we Armenians term as White Genocide.

hhp

david h's picture

Hrant, Thank you.

gohebrew's picture

David,

Your samples are in deed very beautiful.

I thought that the last one, Ayasha, was the most original.

Although "imitation is the highest form of compliment", for I could see many the origins of many designs in your talented work, and type designers have traditionally attached originality to older designs, your new original Hebrew fonts are stunning.

Since I am most perturbed and challenged by matching Hebrew and English designs, I challenge you to use your design skills to match an authentic Hebrew design to an authentic English design. Consider the eye direction to be Hebrew-like, so users can add English to a predominantly Hebrew text. Also, consider the eye direction to be English-like, so users can add Hebrew to a predominantly English text.

hrant's picture

> match an authentic Hebrew design to an authentic English design.

Define "match".
Historically it has sadly meant formal congruence (for example matching serif structures) which simply cannot be conducive to authenticity (or functionality in a text face). See the Hebrew efforts of Gill and Schonfield for a glimpse of how bad it can get; and I really haven't seen anything much better. Alphabets aren't art; they're more like animals. And a Canaan Dog can't be happy in a three-piece suit.

What you seem to be describing later in your post is encouraging however. The complication is that you need a "multilateral" system, as opposed to the sadly established approach of having one font per script, which results in either a master-slave relationship or a two-left-feet disaster!

An optimal, if -I feel necessarily- complex, system would be like this:
http://themicrofoundry.com/ss_rome2.html

hhp

gohebrew's picture

hrant,

A good match is made in heaven, don't you know? The Talmud claims that even though a good match is as hard to make as the splitting of the sea, G-d actually spends most of His "time" making matches.

Seemingly it can be done. Judging from your web site, you think so too, although I didn't see examples of Hebrew type design there.

I agree with you that it is awkward and even ugly to try to join most non-Roman type designs, which are horizontal stroke dominant together with most Roman type designs, which are vertical stroke dominant.

However, when these stroke are uniform or near uniform, then joining them together is in deed possible.

See Boruch Gorkin's Ariel Hebrew, and how it successfully works with Monotype's Ariel. The same could be done with Linotype's Helvetica and other popular sans serif type designs.

I haven't yet seen examples of Schonfield's work. I've seen drawings of Gill's failure (though David's Poster 1492 is very interesting), and even created an italic version of David (Mr. Itamar David's failed attempt at Romanization of Hebrew) although Hebrew doesn't use an italic. I think it's a great script face though.

Btw, I am an open minded liberal, just like the next guy. So, 3 piece suits on Canaanite dogs don't bother me, as long as they walk besides the trees of the wild side. Just not in my yard,please.

hrant's picture

> Seemingly it can be done.

Well, something can be done, but what? What has been done so far is no good. And some of what you've written* seems very evocative of this extant failure. Fortunately other things that you've written exhibit a nice departure from the established one-dimensionalism. What I have done myself is the only such system out there so far (except for some "reverse-Latinization" efforts, like that of Carolyn Puzzovio - but those are not multi-lateral). I hope it inspires Hebrew designers, and really everybody else, to go deeper than we collectively have so far, to go beyond the near-sighted transplantation of formal features.

* Like: "It is extremely difficult to design a serif Hebrew font from a serif English font design, because the dominant design factor in English is vertical, while in Hebrew the dominant design factor is horizontal."

If you'd like to read my full-length essay entitled "Latinization: Prevention and Cure" please try to get a copy of either Spatium #4, or Hyphen 2005.

Schonfield:
http://www.geocities.com/snortar/schonfield.html
Although to be fair that's a reform effort more than a type design effort.

> Boruch Gorkin’s Ariel Hebrew

Sample?

> 3 piece suits on Canaanite dogs don’t bother me

It's the dog I'm worried about.

hhp

gohebrew's picture

> Schonfield: etc.

Boy, that's ugly. Much worst than Gill's. Gill grows on you, because of the design integrity.

Do you have a PDF of your article?

I will either post or PDF a sample from Boruch.

Btw, when he was a young student in Israel, he visited me at my home with my new wife, and an Apple Mac Plus (remember when?) woth Altsys Fontographer 1.1.

He saw me experimenting with type design, and exclaimed: "Now, I know what I'll do in my life." He later went to art school, specialized in type design, and has a successful graphic art business today. Ariel Hebrew is his claim to fame. Needless to say, we've been good friends for about 25 years.

OK, every suit will come with a mandatory mug mask to wear, stuffed in the pocket of every vest. If that doesn't work, uhh, uhh, uhh (I know I'll get it for this), I do have a gun...

gohebrew's picture

> Schonfield: etc.

Boy, that's ugly. Much worst than Gill's. Gill grows on you, because of the design integrity.

Do you have a PDF of your article?

I will either post or PDF a sample from Boruch.

Btw, when he was a young student in Israel, he visited me at my home with my new wife, and an Apple Mac Plus (remember when?) woth Altsys Fontographer 1.1.

He saw me experimenting with type design, and exclaimed: "Now, I know what I'll do in my life." He later went to art school, specialized in type design, and has a successful graphic art business today. Ariel Hebrew is his claim to fame. Needless to say, we've been good friends for about 25 years.

OK, every suit will come with a mandatory mug mask to wear, stuffed in the pocket of every vest. If that doesn't work, uhh, uhh, uhh (I know I'll get it for this), I do have a gun...

William Berkson's picture

My knowledge of the problem of matching Hebrew and Roman is way more limited than David or Israel, but for what it's worth, here's my view, just based on looking at English with companion Hebrew. I think that with roman and Hebrew fonts of even moderate contrast, the best solution is to design to keep the two scripts visually out of the way of one another. You can minimize the clash in a variety of ways, but that's about it.

If you have lower contrast 'sans' style, you can more easily get harmony, as you are reducing the difference between the 'rules' for Hebrew and Roman (horizontal vs vertical stress).

Also if you have smaller serifs and low contrast that can still work. I put David hebrew font and Friz Quadrata roman together in a display situation, and that was not too bad.

The drawback is that the low contrast fonts for English are not so good for text, at least in my view. Is this also true for Hebrew? Are most books and newspapers in 'seriffed' fonts with noticeable contrast?

At any rate, for extended bilingual text I don't really see a solution that closely mixes text.

For roman-dominated extended text with occasional Hebrew, or Hebrew-dominated with occasional roman, I think Hrant is right in theory: two different specially designed solutions. It ought to be possible to do solutions such as Hrant advocates, but I haven't seen it done harmoniously either way yet, which is maybe what Israel is also concerned about.

I find reversed-contrast roman fonts--even Bloesma's--ungainly, but that would be the way to go for a roman subordinate to a lot of Hebrew text. The harmony with the dominating Hebrew text would be paramount, rather than the look of the roman on its own.

My impression is that there is not much English dominated with a few Hebrew words here and there. The other category seems to be more bilingual religious texts, but I may be wrong.

k.l.'s picture

A few letters of Arial Hebrew are on Mr Gorkin's site.

david h's picture

> The drawback is that the low contrast fonts for English are not so good for text, at least in my view. Is this also true for Hebrew? Are most books and newspapers in ’seriffed’ fonts with noticeable contrast?

The daily paper Yedioth Ahronoth (tran., — latest news): headlines: Haim; text: Frank-Ruhl. And this is since day one (see the samples). Their magazine, for example, '7 Days' (friday, here it's sunday) is more creative, of course.


The other paper Ma'ariv (trans., — evening; I need to look for a sample; with this paper I grew since age 0) was the same till 1980s, more or less. The paper was redesigned (layout, fonts - sans instead of serif). Back then that was a big thing. Later on Robert Maxwell acquired the paper ( the Sunday Mirror, the Daily Mirror, the Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail etc etc etc etc). Maxwell wanted to publish a new paper (weekly magazine); we worked on that; the plans were, of course, more creative and wild (layout, fonts etc etc) but he died in 1991 (there's big thing with money etc etc — a lot of info online) and so the plans (I don't know if I have samples; need to look for that).

Textbook — The Horse #1 is Frank-Ruhl; David hebrew font. Books for kids — this is more the creative & wild field.

Match Latin — Non-Latin: I've tried/I'm trying, but sometimes I like it, sometimes not. For example, with this one:

> I think Hrant is right in theory: two different specially designed solutions. It ought to be possible to do solutions such as Hrant advocates,

Both of you are right, or "Well, this is not Mission Difficult, Mr. Hunt, it's Mission
Impossible. Difficult should be a walk in the park for you." :)

And thank you, Israel.

hrant's picture

> Do you have a PDF of your article?

I would need to get the blessings of Spatium and Hyphen to send it out. First I'd try to get my hands on one of those magazine issues, since they each have a lot of great stuff. You should see the Hebrew+Arabic flavored Latin font in Spatium!

Gorkin’s Hebrew Arial: it's nicer than I expected.

hhp

gohebrew's picture

hrant,

I was preparing a sample of Ariel HB (for Hebrew) from the Mac with the standard Ariel, when you posted a link to Gorkin's web site.

I noticed by the Mac version, the thickness of the strokes did not match, and there a were an "odd couple" together, but on the posted samples (I trust like the Windows version) the thickness of the strokes matched, and they looked like "kissin' cousins" together.

I think Boruch designed his Ariel Hebrew at first just as an attractive sans Hebrew font, and later "matched" it to Ariel, and named it Ariel Hebrew. When I see him, I'll ask him.

If you notice, his Hebrew font has much more design integrity than the English version, which is a poor knock-off of Helvetica (sorry, Monotype, we designers call a spade a spade).

About the article, do you still have the original file, or did they translate it?

gohebrew's picture

I'm sorry. KL posted Gorkin's link to Ariel Hebrew.

hrant's picture

I gave the magazines a Word file, plus illustrations. Spatium published it in English and German; Hyphen in English only. Spatium especially deserves to get dibs on people wanting to read it, since they originally approached me to write about the topic. When Hyphen wanted to publish it as well, I asked them to get Spatium's OK, which they did, and they got. I imagine that if another publication (possibly an Israeli design magazine? :-) wanted to publish it too, it wouldn't be a problem.

hhp

gohebrew's picture

How do I read it?

Contact Spatium?

I lived in Israel, does that count? Although I'm not a DIB... uhh, is that politically correct? It means: "D ear I sraeli B B B rother." Right?

I'm a design, too. AAnd I published a magazine. Hey, that's everything. And I blue eyes too!

gohebrew's picture

Hrant,

I'm convinced that a good matching of Roman and non-Roman is doable, but I can't yet imagine it for Arabic, because Arabic is a script, and a Roman script-like design that is Times-Romanish and serious I believe hasn't been designed yet.

But I believe it can be done.

Maybe, when I finish with this advanced OpenType Biblical Hebrew stuff, I'll do that an retire... yes, to play golf all day, how exciting?

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