Musing about a Russian Vyaz font

oprion's picture

I was toying around with an idea of a new Vyaz' font for a while now, but the sheer mind-boggling amount of ligatures and heavy scripting required to accommodate a proper and versatile face seemed unmanageable. Thus, I finally decided that a simple vector file would be a better alternative, with a basic modular design, a handful of letter alternatives, ligatures and decorative elements, providing the user with the freedom to construct their own combinations. here are the first sketches of this Idea:

Church Slavonic:

Longer passage without archaic letters:

Different ligature options:

This is what I am trying to base it on:

typerror's picture

To me that is beautiful : )

Texture, mystery, authority!

Michael

oprion's picture

Now, truth be told, this style of writing is nearly undecipherable to most people, so practicality and applicability of this is rather limited to religious and historical contexts. But I just fell in love with the forms, and can't stop playing.
_____________________________________________
Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov
www.ivangdesign.com

Si_Daniels's picture

Reminds me of the old joke, “in Soviet Russia, can of soup bar code’s you.”

gillo's picture

Kind of like these, except, harder to read. Pretty anyway!

Nick Shinn's picture

Why not adapt the idea to the Latin Script?

oprion's picture

Nick: This is something I am still trying to decide, would a Latin version be of use to anyone, or just help propagate corny Russian-esque kitch.
_____________________________________________
Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov
www.ivangdesign.com

bemerx25's picture

Probably both. But if nothing else it's making me think. And I believe making people think is a good thing.

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

very lovely!

Nick Shinn's picture

would a Latin version be of use to anyone, or just help propagate corny Russian-esque kitch.

Why not "try it and see". Anyone can have a clever idea (or kill it at the concept stage), but until you actually try and work out an idea you never know how it will turn out in reality, or what paths it will lead down. It's also my experience, having created a few oddball faces, that there's always someone somewhere who will find a use for whatever you throw down (and it will most likely be something you never anticipated); fonts are the perfect "Long Tail" product.

Rob O. Font's picture

No, I can't, but it seems it should keep the snow from drifting onto the roads.

Cheers!

Quincunx's picture

> Why not adapt the idea to the Latin Script?

It reminds me of a set of books René Knip designed for the BNO in 2002/2001.

kentlew's picture

That Vyaz style is absolutely mesmerizing!

The Barcode idea has been done before with the Latin script. But that's no reason something more decorative along the Vyaz lines couldn't also be worked out.

David -- You'd have to set it far enough back from the road to allow for the long tail, depending upon how strong the average winds are.

-- K.

Quincunx's picture

Oh and I forgot to say, that stuff is completely awesome. :)

oprion's picture

Thanks for the kind words everyone!

Some additional ornaments:

BTW, let me know if any typophile wants to have their name set in this way (Cyrillified for now)
_____________________________________________
Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov
www.ivangdesign.com

typerror's picture

Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Michael

oprion's picture

Michael:


_____________________________________________
Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov
www.ivangdesign.com

typerror's picture

Oh... so awesome. Would it be o.k. to do a screen capture and then use it as tiling for my desktop. That o.k. with you Ivan? Or I will pay you for a tif.

If you do make a font I will buy it just to play around with it. Very cool !!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you so much.

Michael

oprion's picture

How about an EPS?
Geve me your email, and I'll send it along :)
_____________________________________________
Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov
www.ivangdesign.com

nina's picture

I've been looking around all day for a picture of the steel gate this reminds me of, but haven't found one yet. Tall iron bars and when you look very closely, they're actually letters.

I'm loving the look of this. Like Michael, I'd love to play around with it!
If you're worried about kitch: how about conceiving of a sort of mini-family that employs this same principle throughout, but whose stylistic language would range from these "traditional" shapes to a more modern aesthetic? I could see the same, exciting principle applied to non-traditional shapes.

BTW, if you don't mind, I would *love* to see my name like this!
I even have a Russian one, and a short one to boot. :-)

—Nina

oprion's picture

Nina: I'll experiment with Latin letterforms, and see if something can be done.


_____________________________________________
Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov
www.ivangdesign.com

nina's picture

Wow. This is awesome. Thank you so much, Ivan! :-)
I think this will be my new i-telephone wallpaper.

Jongseong's picture

If you have time, I'd like to see how Чонсонъ (Jongseong in Russian) comes out in Vyaz' lettering. Maybe I can set your name in hangul lettering in return, though it will be difficult to approach the awesomeness of Vyaz'.

oprion's picture

Jongseong: I'de love to see myself in hangul!


_____________________________________________
Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov
www.ivangdesign.com

Miss Tiffany's picture

This is absolutely stunning. The texture. You get lost in it trying to decipher it.

Handpicked!

Miss Tiffany's picture

And I'd love to see Typegirl set in Vyaz. If you could. Please?

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

Definitely TDC material here!

oprion's picture

Tiffany: I'll be happy to set one up, but it'll have to wait until tomorrow :)
_____________________________________________
Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov
www.ivangdesign.com

Jongseong's picture

Thanks Ivan, that is magnificent! I like that it has a certain bit of symmetry. I'm out all day today, but I hope to have something designed by tomorrow with your name set in hangul.

oprion's picture

Typegirl


_____________________________________________
Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov
www.ivangdesign.com

Jongseong's picture

Hi Ivan, I've put together the closest thing I could think of to Vyaz' in hangul: the stylized space-filling forms used for seals. The design below reads 이반 굴코프, or Ivan Gulkov. It's really inadequate, and as something thrown together quickly on a grid it's embarrassing to post next to your intricate designs (and now of course is when I get the idea that I should have done this on FontStruct). But hopefully you get a sense of what is possible in different writing systems.

oprion's picture

Brian: This is really pretty, reminds me of square kufi style of Arabic calligraphy, but with a nice techno-asian spin.
_____________________________________________
Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov
www.ivangdesign.com

Quincunx's picture

Those name examples look fantastic. I absolutely positively can't read it, but it looks awesome. :)

typerror's picture

Thank you

very much. Send your snail mail to my addie that you have and I will send you the original with both names.

Feeble in comparison : )

Michael

Paul Cutler's picture

It's exhilarating Ivan. Beautiful.

pbc

Miss Tiffany's picture

Thanks again, Ivan. :^)

scottsullivan's picture

wow SO pretty, I'd really like to see a latin version, I'd definitely buy it.

- Scott

Florinf's picture

Great typeface. Great job Oprion (Ivan)!
I like them very much and I must confess that I have an interst for the Old Slavonic letters.
I'm involved in a personal project of recovering these kind of letter shapes and trying to bring them in present day typography.

I have 2 posts here on Typophile presented for critique.
If you would like to comment and help I would be delighted.
Arhaic Cali http://typophile.com/node/56778
Arhaic Geo http://typophile.com/node/56779

Thank you.

Chiba Chiba's picture

Hey Ivan, I'd love to have Chiba Chiba set in that way! :)

To me it resembles this brasilian style of straight tag Nick Sherman mentioned at the MyFonts blog a while ago:

http://blog.myfonts.com/872

aszszelp's picture

Very nice!, though it will can serve as decoration only (verrrrry hard to decipher), it's a mesmerising decoration option.

Szabolcs

oprion's picture

@Frederico


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Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov
www.ivangdesign.com

victor ivanov's picture

though difficult to read, this is absolutely stunning!
i think if you have the time and the will you can push it further by putting it to use.
i believe this along with other design collateral will really suit a traditional russian cuisine restaurant.

great work!

also, are you getting the references from the web, or somewhere else? I'd love to find a good online portal with lots of traditional russian vjaz, gzhel and hohloma.

Chiba Chiba's picture

Thank you very much Ivan! I luv it! :)

Maxim Zhukov's picture

Victor, vyaz’ (вязь) is an ancient Cyrillic calligraphy style. There was an earlier discussion of vyaz’ on typophile.com, in view of the advanced typographic features of the OpenType technology (contextual glyph substitution on the fly).

As to Gzhel’ and Khokhlomà, those are traditional folk techniques of pottery-making and decorating, and painting wooden tableware, named after the villages they originated in.

Misha Beletsky's picture

Great work! I would like to encourage you to make it a OT font, as opposed to vector art. The technology is out there. Perhaps you can sell the design to a type foundry that would take care of the technical part?

chibimpsc's picture

This is such a beautiful typeface.

Would it be possible for you set 'Amanda Lynn' or just 'Amanda' in this type? I am thinking it might make a nice tattoo!

natalie_F's picture

that is so seriously off the hizzle it's ridiculous. Has to be one of the most beautiful typefaces ever.

oprion's picture

@Amanda

There we go!
_____________________________________________
Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov
www.ivangdesign.com

nina's picture

FWIW, I got the opportunity today to take a couple of (bad) pictures of the gate that I said this reminds me of:

[Larger, on Flickr]
 
That said, Ivan, I think yours are not only more beautiful, but also more legible!

jolo09's picture

can you do my hangul name into Vyaz??
i would like to have a tattoo of it...

존 루이

oprion's picture

@jolo09

Sorry, this only works in Cyrillic :)
_____________________________________________
Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov
www.ivangdesign.com

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