Nick, I'm curious as to why you include some "Bulgarian" forms for letters that are not a part of the Bulgarian language. Do you view these as purely stylistic alternates?
The general idea is to make the lower case less "capital-ish" than standard Cyrillic.
That applies at the alphabetic level to glyphs that acquire ascenders in the Bulgarian version, but also to the treatment of details.
So the first changes shown here are alphabetic, but the second are typographic.
They don't effect sans fonts so much, or italic.
BTW, this principle (as I deduced it) comes from fonts such as HermesSoft "Brilliant" (their Bodoni) -- although I have applied it in a conceptual manner (eg the flag on the "be"), as well as literal copying of their forms (the "en").
Sorry, I misunderstood.
You're referring to the "softened" letters?
Again, I took my cue from HermesSoft.
Nick, thanks for showing us what you're doing with Cyrillic and Bulgarian alternates. Very helpful.
I felt bad because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no Bodoni
Nick, I think Paul is referring to the Macedonian letters Gje (ѓ) and Kja (ќ), the Serbian/Macedonian letters Lje (љ), Nje (њ), and Dzhe (џ), and the Belarusian W (ў), none of which are used in Bulgarian.
I think what you did makes sense in that it provides options in the form of stylistic alternates, and it's fun to reimagine other Cyrillic letters to follow the Bulgarian model. It won't be terribly authentic, though, at least for the Serbian letters. Now I'm curious--what's authentic for Macedonian--Serbian style, Bulgarian style, a mixture of both, or something else entirely?
So regretfully most of your questions are getting too profi for me but some I think I can answer…
You are doing marvelous job…Most glyphs given as bulgarian alternates are in deed widely used with some remarks (as pointed by Jongseong). Additional notes may be pointed: all letterforms cyrillic an “typical bulgarian” are used in hand writing, note the serbian small caps b which is also used as small caps d in hand writing. Note that the k and dj are still questionable, dough beautiful, because of latinisation issue…
The open type question is little too hard for me – all the standart software, which we are using, is supporting it, but software produced in bulgaria doesn’t. But it could be implemented with proper support in the coming years, because the majority of pro oriented applications (bank software , accounting software, medicine and etc…) is still developed for DOS environments (yeah) and in the coming years they probably will shift platforms.
Really nice article, I’ll think about it in days to come….
By the way, I've seen something close to the Bulgarian Cyrillic forms used to set Ukrainian. I'm trying to remember where from and when, but I think it was 19th C or early 20th C. So that's at least one example of Bulgarian-style forms used outside of Bulgaria.
Look at the article i have started about Milka Pejkova. See specimen attached it may be helpful or clear some questions too.
the Macedonian letters Gje (ѓ) and Kja (ќ), the Serbian/Macedonian letters Lje (љ), Nje (њ), and Dzhe (џ), and the Belarusian W (ў), none of which are used in Bulgarian.
They are not, in practical terms, redundant -- one context for the use of "loan characters" in a font being educational. If you are typesetting a Bulgarian language primer on foreign languages such as Serbian or Macedonian, you will need all of their alphabet, and the characters should be available in the same style as the main font.
And in literary works, if the text is in Bulgarian, but quoting a Serbian author in his/her original language, the foreign characters are necessary.
And surely Brian, in those contexts, the use of Bulgarian style--typographic as well as alphabetic-- is authentic.
For Russian, Serbian, etc. typesetting, people wouldn't be getting any of the Bulgarian alternates.
all the standart software, which we are using, is supporting it, but software produced in bulgaria doesn’t.
It's no different in Western Europe and North America.
The support of OpenType features is limited to professional software (CS, XPress), and somewhat in Word.
Note Thomas' comment in the Build thread linked to above, that it's only with CS3 that InDesign supports the "bgr" language tag, to support alternate language-specific glyphs.
I would also expect Word to support the Bulgarian language tag in OpenType fonts.
Nick, I completely agree with the need for the Bulgarian-style non-Bulgarian letters. I just meant they were probably not authentic in the sense that they were not likely to have been in actual use. Inauthenticity should not be an obstacle to updating typographical practices; otherwise, typefaces based on the letters on Trajan's column wouldn't have J or U, Greek typefaces in the lapidary style wouldn't have lowercase letters, and so forth.
I'm curious about your Bulgarian-style Dzhe (џ) design, though. Shouldn't it resemble the Bulgarian I (и) with a stroke?
On the whole, your Cyrillic letters look really good, and I'll be looking forward to the release. Nice to see it's based on a type produced in Kharkiv (then Kharkov), whose typographic tradition I would like to learn more about.
Any chance I can persuade you to add Old Bulgarian letters to your font?
Brian, you're right that the Bulgarianized Serbian letters are not authentic to the native language; I was wrongly interpreting "authentic" to mean true to the typographic style of the (Bulgarian part of) the font, not to the alphabetic shapes.
Bulgarian-style Dzhe (џ) design, though. Shouldn’t it resemble the Bulgarian I (и) with a stroke?
I haven't a clue, not being a linguist. I copied that interpretation from a HermesSoft font that I bought. Could you explain?
Nice to see it’s based on a type produced in Kharkiv (then Kharkov), whose typographic tradition I would like to learn more about.
The Darre style I'm reviving is taken from a specimen book in the New York Public Library; Maxim Zhukov arranged a viewing for those attending his TDC Cyrillic seminar earlier this year.
Photos: Adam Twardoch
I added four historic Russian letters, (Maxim's suggestion, re. 1918 reform).
Yat used quite a bit in the specimen above.
Strangely, I didn't find this link at typophile:www.tipometar.org or in english www.tipometar.org/tm/IndexEng.html
It's a serbian typographic community site with special accent on cirilica (serbian cyrillic).
A million thanks for the beautiful examples, Nick! I remember being delighted to see wonderful books from the period in a number of exhibits in Ukraine, including the Taras Shevchenko Museum in Kiev. I don't speak Russian or Ukrainian, so it must have confused my Ukrainian friend why I was looking into them as if I were reading them, just admiring the forms of the letters...
Returning to topic...
By 'Old Bulgarian' letters, I meant Yat (ѣ) and Yus (ѫ), which were used in the pre-1945 orthography. You already have Yat, of course, so it turns out I was just thinking of Yus... I vaguely thought there might be more letters I was forgetting about, but I guess not. So just one more letter and you've got older Bulgarian texts covered. you can do it, Nick!
p.s. I just found out that the pre-1945 Bulgarian orthography is due to one Marin Drinov, who studied and taught at Kharkiv University. He was living in Kharkiv around the time Adolf Darre was producing his types, and he died in Kharkiv as well. Just shows how important Kharkiv was as a cultural centre in that period.
Could you explain?
I'll try to. The "Bulgarian" forms are basically script forms of the letters which have been back slanted to fit within the upright paradigm. as such, the и й ц џ are all related and based on the 'u' shape that you used for all of these letters excepting the џ.
Brian, by old Bulgarian, do you mean Old Cyrillic?
Brian, by old Bulgarian, do you mean Old Cyrillic?
'Old Bulgarian' was a poor choice of words... I just meant the letters Yat (ѣ) and Yus (ѫ) that were used as recently as 1945.
I don't want Nick to go through all the trouble of resurrecting all the earliest historical Cyrillic letters and their variants described in the article you linked to, most of which were archaic by the time the Adolf Darre specimen was produced.
Regarding the 'Bulgarian' џ... Yes, I also understood the 'Bulgarian' forms as an upright script form, and so expected something based on the 'u' shape. I couldn't have explained it better myself.
Thanks for the insight, Paul.
Brian, I note that Milka Pejkova included Yus and yus in her seminal design (see Vassil's Typowiki link above).
But just so that I know what I'm getting myself in for here, I should probably produce two variants: the standard Cyrillic form (with the more curled "K" leg), plus the Bulgarian variant with straighter leg, in upper and lower case. What about the "iotified" version -- that would be very cool as it looks like a stick-figure animal, but is it necessary for the pre 1945 Bulgarian texts you're alluding to?
the italic is just about there, i might move the tail to the left a bit so it appears to come from the bottom curved portion of the u, but if you like it as it is, this is fine too. i don't like the roman as much. i think here the tail doesn't have to match the other tails and can be a wedge shape with the narrow portion at the top, again connected to the round portion of the u. something like this, notably the Palatino italic and the Swift roman.
Paul, I think you're right on the italic, it is OK to make the disconnected tail on the џ lower than the other tails. I've seen historical precedent in similar types, and it does disambiguate the characters a bit better than how I originally drew it.
However, I think I'll stick with my upright version. Mainly because HermesSoft has established the "Bulgarianized small cap" interpretation of this character in their fonts, so it's probably a good idea to not stray too far from it.
nick, you're already pushing the envelope, just push it a bit further... :P
What about the “iotified” version — that would be very cool as it looks like a stick-figure animal, but is it necessary for the pre 1945 Bulgarian texts you’re alluding to?
Not as far as I know. Though I agree it looks like an animal shape composed of matchsticks, and would be fun to design just because.
New question for Bulgarians (and other native Cyrillic users): I came across this page with PDF files of the Bible in Church Slavonic. Does the style of Cyrillic used there have specific connotations as being appropriate only for religious literature or recreations of mediaeval texts? Or does it have broader appeal?
I'm thinking of a possible parallel example in Korean typography. The older Hangul (Korean alphabet) Bibles--the ones where the text is set vertically, not horizontally as Korean is written now--were set in a typeface designed by Seo Sangryun and Baek Hongjun in the late 19th Century and first used for printing in 1882. Because of the drab uniformity of Hangul book typefaces in contemporary use, the unique type style of old Korean Bibles is all the more distinctive.
In 1998, the Sandoll foundry produced a digital revival of this typeface under the direction of Lee Kyungbae, calling it Seonggyeongche (literally, 'Bible face'). Since then, I've seen it pop up on book covers, advertisements, and signs in uses that have nothing to do with the Bible. Although it was jarring at first, I've become accustomed to the type style being used in wider applications. Although the uses I've seen were all for display purposes, I even think a cleaned-up version would be good for contemporary book typography (as the Sandoll version is deliberately rough in imitation of the antique printing press outputs).
With the type style used for Church Slavonic typography, you similarly have a slice of older typographic history preserved through the conservative medium of religious literature. Is there a similar situation in Bulgaria and elsewhere where that type style is used for display purposes outside of the church context? To what extent could the style serve as an inspiration for contemporary developments in Cyrillic typography?
In his article on civil type in Language Culture Type, From Vladamir Yefimov states that "at the end of the 17th century, poluustav was the only style of Cyrillic printing type," and that after the alphabet reform by Tsar Peter I, "the old poluustav type was preserved only for religious literature." (pp. 128-129)
I'm guessing that this means that the style you're referring to could either have church connotations or overtones of antiquity (not necessarily religious). I have several illustrated books of skazki (folktales), which use this style of lettering in illustrations, and there is definitely no religious connection there.
> Is there a similar situation in Bulgaria and elsewhere where that type style is used for display purposes outside of the church context?
Rumania — early literary history used the OCS + Cyrillic. Around 1860 the Cyrillic was replaced by Latinica in non-religious writing, and around 1890 in the Church.
> To what extent could the style serve as an inspiration for contemporary developments in Cyrillic typography?
Bulgaria: Proto-Slavonic, pre-1945, post -1945; read: Мирчев К—Историческа граматика на Българския еэик
Does Историческа граматика на българския език cover typography and lettering styles? The google hits come up mostly for grammar and philology references, as you'd expect from the title...
More linguistic stuff
OK, so what does Italic yus look like?
Brian, I've added the Yus to my never-ending font development project -- but the lower case italic versions are place-holders really, as I don't believe that the true form is so stiff, like the roman/caps. For a "scripty" typeface like the Scotch Modern, a script-concept lower case yus is called for. So I'm passing the ball to you--please post a suitable model/precedent for such a character.
Here is a comparison of the standard Cyrillic lower case characters, with the italic forms that diverge most (in this typeface) in form:
On the last weekend Todor Vardjiev was giving a very good presentation at the Typotage Leipzig about the Bulgarian Cyrilliza.
Latin vs Russian vs Bulgarian letter shapes
more photos:http://www.astype.de/misc/typotage07.htm -http://www.flickr.com/photos/ralf_herrmann/tags/typotage/
Hmm. I see that Mr Vardjiev's example shows "ze" with descender -- is this the latest Bulgarian trend? And will they not be satisfied until every lower case letter has either an ascender, descender, or both? :-)
Brian, if you're still reading this thread --any luck with the italic lower case little yus reference?
Cyrillic can definitely use many more extenders. Heck, even Latin
doesn't have enough. But of course it's possible to go too far the other way.
i wish i could see what's behind that Mac screen.
i think most of the Bulgarian preferred forms are not that radical, but i despise that 'ю' with an ascender. Perhaps I've said this before, but the "Bulgarian" forms are simply script forms adapted to type, and for the most part they are not that uniquely "Bulgarian." See Semibold Grotesk", for reference.
i've posted some photos of Cyrillic grotesks that follow this model on flickr, I'll try to upload a few more.
they are not that uniquely “Bulgarian.”
No, but that's the country that is implementing the alternative as a reform, so it's as good a name as any for the phenomenon.
Paul, use the 2nd link to Ralfs flickr account and you will see the screen from an other direction. Todor Vardjiev showed a lot of high quality type designs from his colleges and students, all in cyrilliza, latin and some times greek to. This style is not new, If I remeber it right, its teached since the late 60th at National Academy of Arts at Sofia. CYRILLIZA is not a special form of Cyrillic, as he mentioned it - its an own alphabet and now the third official alphabet of the the European union. Watch, he is wearing a blue t-shird wich yellow Cyrilliza letters. :-)
But no foundry is developing it! Only Hermes Soft, but he has no good experiences with this foundry. So most documents use Cyrillic letters, but for a Bulgarian patriot this is dishonoring.http://www.flickr.com/photos/ralf_herrmann/561269913/ -http://www.flickr.com/photos/ralf_herrmann/561272437/ -http://www.flickr.com/photos/ralf_herrmann/560849498/ -
One of his master students was Ilia Gruev. So far he have done some really good text typefaces: Graphit, Scribo and Memo. But to the western (internet) world, unkown.
He showed also typefaces from Ivan Kjossev† (Bibliophonika), Olga† and Vassil Jontschev† (Viol), Milka Peikova, Stefan Gruev† (Wawel), Vassil Stefanov and Razvigor Kolev.
BTW: Its not possible for me to add new type designers to the wiki. (Indices : Type Designers) It will no be saved. A bug or a feature?
So this is the correct name for this branch of the Cyrillic alphabet?
Will people know what I'm talking about if I refer to my fonts as "supporting the Cyrilliza alphabet" -- or would it also be good to add "(Bulgarian)"?
And should I make the Cyrilliza alternates available as a "Stylistic Set" as well as with the Bulgarian language tag?
But no foundry is developing it!
I have, and will be releasing a suite of serif (see above) and sans fonts with it this Autumn.
Nick, the brave. :-) Hm, I'm not sure if Cyrilliza should be the official English name for it. Its sounds quite nice. At this point, we need some typophile Bulgarians! This is the homepage of the National Academy of Arts: http://www.nha-bg.org. Maybe, Nick you should ask someone form the book & printed graphics department.
I would make a stylistic set and would use the local feature too.
CYRILLIZA is not a special form of Cyrillic, as he mentioned it - its an own alphabet and now the third official alphabet of the the European union.
This is very confusing. I should like to see the official EU documentation on this. cyrilliza is just a different way of transliterating кириллица (pronounced kiɾiliʦə), which in English we translate as Cyrillic.
Paul, you see the cultural source of your information? This is the one source of the "problem"? Even EU government institutions use the "common" fonts - Arial & Co. :-) So you can image how Mr. Vadjiev and his colleges feel if they see such typefaces each day. :-)
I think this can and should be best judged by Bulgarian type designers.
There, is that better?
Nick, in many Slavic languages, including Russian, Кириллица (reads ‘Kirillitsa’) stands for 'Cyrillic alphabet'. Likewise, Глаголица (‘Glagolitsa’) means 'Glagolitic', and Латиница (‘Latinitsa’) ― ‘Latin’ [alphabet, or script].
Among non-Bulgarian designers the subject of this discussion is sometimes referred to, for lack of a better term, as Болгарица (‘Bolgaritsa’). However, by no means should it be mistaken for an official definition: it's a type designers' slang. There are a few nicknames of this kind, like Armyanitsa, Gruzinitsa, Evreitsa, Arabitsa, &c.
Sure enough, this is not a branch of the Cyrillic alphabet. It is a special pattern, an inflection of the l.c. glyph construction. The alphabet, or more correctly, the script, is still the same, Cyrillic. The character set is Bulgarian, of course.