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komsomol (Cyrillic)

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Carlos Fabian Camargo Guerrero's picture
Joined: 18 Dec 2002 - 9:53am
komsomol (Cyrillic)

Hi all,

Based on typecooker dot com method, I am trying to design a font the works with russian according to the following parameters:

width: normal
weight: black
construction: roman
stroke endings: sans serif
ascender: much shorter than x-height
descender: much shorter than x-height
contrast type: broad nib
contrast amount: a lot of contrast
stems: straight
intended application: multi-purpose
intended size: use very small

As I am not a user of the cyrillic alphabet, I would like if anyone who knows it could clarify 2 doubts:

A) The word "Булак" is clear?

B) For the entire font to serve its purpose correctly in Russian, do I have to design the 60 glyps that form the Basic Russian alphabet only? Are there any other glyps I will have to design?

All your news comments and corrections will be very helpful. Thanks for your help!

Carlos Fabián Camargo G.

Steve Peter's picture
Joined: 8 May 2004 - 11:00am

ascender: much shorter than x-height -> it won't ascend

• Your x-height is huge, so I wonder how you can achieve having ascenders being shorter than caps height, if that's what you really meant above.

descender: much shorter than x-height -> it had better be

contrast amount: a lot of contrast -> this sample doesn't show that at all

merkri's picture
Joined: 22 Dec 2008 - 3:56pm

For some reason the "Б" character doesn't seem right to me. I think the curvature on the cap (for lack of a better term) is throwing me off--it should be flat, or at least more flat.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am

Steve, he must mean that the ascenders from the x-line to the top are much shorter than the x-height.

- In the Б the curvature of the bowl clashes with the bottom of the stem.
- For Cyrillic especially, this seems a bit narrow to be "width: normal".
- Why have a trap in the у but not the к?
- The к is out of character. Try curving an arm and/or a leg. Especially since you're dealing with Cyrillic.
- You've nicely sketched the inside counters, but the interletter space is just as important.
- The inside of the descender of the у is malformed.
- "a lot of contrast" and "use very small" don't mix.
- What does "multi-purpose" mean?
- No spacing requirements?

BTW, in my book that TypeCooker is half-baked.


Sergio Ramírez's picture
Joined: 14 Feb 2009 - 2:59pm

Hi Carlos,

The “Б” could be understood in Russian as the “Ñ” using acute instead of tilde in Spanish, but its hook shape is still not working well. Try making the joining of the arm more angled or designing first the “Г”.

Russian alphabet has 33 letters, that’s 66 glyphs (uppercase + lowercase) if you just need to work in Russian. Here you have the Russian alphabet:

a б в г д е ё ж з и й к л м н о п р с т у ф х ц ч ш щ ъ ы ь э ю я

I also suggest using the tail of “л” in “к” letter.

BTW, for some Cyrillic inspiration visit Daily Type and browse the archive

Keep it going

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
Carlos Fabian Camargo Guerrero's picture
Joined: 18 Dec 2002 - 9:53am

Hello everyone,

Thank you for your criticism and response. Hrant I do not know whether the term "multi-purpose" is correct. But what I am trying to design is that the font: in small/big reproduction sizes (headlines, captions and shorts body text) higher performance under adverse printing conditions (fax, fotocopy, etc).

Here’s another exercise “Булак”(black, bold and regular). All your critique will be welcome.

Carlos Fabián Camargo G.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am

I'm liking the new one! The dark weight especially. The lighter weights need to get progressively narrower, and looser spaced. If you want to make all the weights uniwidth* you can, but: the lighter weights still need more interletter space; you will find that the character of the font will change due to a large divergence in apparent width (as is happening now) - typically you can only apply uniwidth between two relatively close weights without seriously affecting the character.

* Meaning that a given character has the same set width in all the weights (something I've done in Patria's two middle weights). The advantage is that the user can mix up and change his mind about the weights (let's say in which to use for emphasis) without affecting linebreaks etc.

Also, looking at the dark weight:
- I wouldn't taper the bottom of the counter of the "у".
- Since this is supposed to be usable small, the top of the к needs to be more open; you might have to make the whole thing wider.
- Also stemming from the intended small usage: the counter of the "а" should be larger; although here it looks like you have room without making the glyph wider.
- Try to standardize (maybe into two angles if not one) the shears, here at the tips of "у", "л" and "а"; I like the one in the "у".
- What bothers me most is the messy conjunction between the counters and bottoms of "Б" and "а"; what I might try to do is continue the arc from the bottom into the corner of the counter (I'm not sure that's clear).