League Gothic Cyrillic

Grzegorz Rolek's picture

Back in September I thought about learning Cyrillic and I needed a typeface to dig into. League Gothic seemed a rather straightforward to draw, so I’ve made this Cyrillic cut and left it forgotten. Now I've dusted off the work and here it is, the League Gothic Cyrillic.

I’m not a native Cyrillic reader. I’ve looked into basic calligraphy and analyzed a bunch of different typefaces, but of course that’s still just ‟a clueless tourist attempt”. If this indeed were to be merged into the project, it would really need to be decent. Make it a tough critique. Thanks a lot.

LeagueGothicCyrillicSample.png117.15 KB
LeagueGothicCyrillicChars.png115.16 KB
LeagueGothicCyrillicSampleBeEfDe.png65.92 KB
1996type's picture

I have very limited knowledge of Cyrillic. I don't even know the names of the glyphs, so take this with a huge grain of salt.

The thing that looks lik a 6, doesn't turn up clearly enough I think. It appears to be just a straight line.

The egyptian looking rectangle with a bend on the left side (got it?), appears to be going down vertically on the very top. It should, however, start at a slight angle from the top.

For more and better feedback, you might want to ask cyreal.org for consultancy.


cerulean's picture

I believe lowercase ф is usually supposed to have two distinct bowls and would be better made by simply fusing d+p or q+b. I'm not native either but I'm pretty sure of this point.

Grzegorz Rolek's picture

It was my intent to make the lowercase б turn-up subtle, but it indeed gets lost entirely, especially on screen, where it's mainly expected to be used, after all. Similarly with both Д and Л, but I can't quite imagine how this could be worked out at such compression.

Fusing two bowls for lowercase ф seemed to me like cheating at first, but now I've dug this further and it seems you're right, Kevin. Simply merging d with p still feels too barbaric to me, but it definitely has to be some form of two distinct bowls. It’s the Greek lowercase φ in which a single bowl is more adequate, I suppose.

Thanks for your feedback! There are few really useful resources to be found at Cyreal, I’ll check that later.

JanekZ's picture

Czy widziałeś ten font, prawdopodobnie oparty na rosyjskiej wersji Bloku Bertholda?

Grzegorz Rolek's picture

Nie, nie widziałem, ale od razu rzuca się w oczy dobrze nakreślona różnica między Д a Л. No, ale skoro to ParaType, to należy pewnie uznać, że to w ogóle jest dobry wzorzec na Cyrylicę nie tylko per se, ale i kontra pismo łacińskie.

1996type's picture

Cyreal offers free workshops on Cyrillic. That would mean you have to organize some people and a room, and than they give the workshop (3 days). I believe they also offer Cyrillic concultancy for typedesigners, but you'd have to contact them about it in any case.


hrant's picture

Do the workshops have to be in a certain place?
What if it's during a conference that the guys
are already going to? And who are the guys?


1996type's picture

I'm not cyreal. I just happen to know them. As far as I know they have traveled to different countries in the past as well. Just have a look at their website and send them an email...

hrant's picture



Grzegorz Rolek's picture

So I’ve made those corrections and some other minor optical adjustments to few letters. Here’s how it looks now.

igarbev's picture

Great work Grzegorz, League Gothic is one of my favourite fonts and I'm really happy to see that someone made the effort to cyrillise it!

I just want to add some details about cyrillic characters as a native speaker. Hope that can be of any help to you and everyone else who is interested. Unfortunately most of the cyrillic examples which can be found in OSs and even Pro fonts are not very good.

Some of the main problems usually are with the letters Д, Л, Ф. Д and Л should actually be based on a triangle, more like the letter A. The rectangular shape is also considered correct but in many cases it's not very legible due to the big resemblance to П.

Your first version of the Ф was actually more accurate in my opinion. It should be like an O cut in two halves and the stem added between them.

The greatest problem though is with lowercase forms. As in latin there are actually different forms derived from handwriting. In most typefaces lowercase is just made to resemble the uppercase, and the result is something like small caps.

Here are a few examples of very beautiful cyrillic fonts with proper lowercase so you can see what I mean.

You can also look at this site http://www.hermessoft.com/ for other examples. There are very comprehensive specimens of different typefaces.

Grzegorz Rolek's picture

Ivan, those are really interesting thoughts. I once came across a remake of the Myriad Pro’s Cyrillic from a Bulgarian designer Vassil Kateliev and it answers the concerns of the letters Д and Л you’ve just raised. Now I see you have Bulgarian background too; are you sure those issues are not related to this so-called Bulgarian cut alone? I’ve seen cases of both cursive and italic styles of Russian Cyrillic that indeed had those letters based on a triangle, but still can’t quite recall any upright ones.

In regard to the form of a lowercase ф, I’m curious if it has something to do with a particular style of a typeface. I mean, is it possible that condensed grotesques like ParaType’s Hermes mentioned above deliberately have the letter ф with two distinct bowls as opposed to single one in a humanist face like Myriad, for example?

kateliev's picture

@Rolek, Congratulations on your attempt , it seems pretty well done!

About your concerns of the shape of some letters:
- about -Л- and -Д- and triangular shapes or not - long story short - both are correct, but the so called "rectangular" shapes are preferred in Russia, and "triangular" are preferred in Bulgaria and Ukraine (as far as I know). The difference has historical roots, and has a stylistic aspect also... but nowadays I consider it more a personal preference and commercial targeting - it is often wise to make the "classic Russian" type your "main Cyrillic" and if it suits the typeface, to put "triangular" as alternates.

- ascenders in some of lowercase glyphs (if you are looking for reference in my "bulgarian cut" of Myriad Pro), meaning that -к-, -ж-, -ю- have ascenders - is typical Bulgarian - it also has historical and stylistic roots - so it's wise (commercially) to implement these only as alternates :)

- same goes to a strange lovercase -в- and -б- , triangular lovercase -л- and -м-, -п- looking like based on latin -n- and -и-,-й-,-ш-,-щ- based on latin -u-...

Do not misunderstand me... I consider both ways of implementing Cyrillic as correct, just have a personal preference to Bulgarian Cyrillic, because I find that it is more "in tone" with it's Latin counterpart, thus keeping the overall style of the typeface - on the other hand "Russian style Cyrillic" has far bigger market and many defenders - so it's better to keep making Cyrillic that way....

kateliev's picture

PS: If you have more questions concerning Cyrillic, I have set up a large online community on Facebook, called Cyrillic Typography >> https://www.facebook.com/cyrillictype << . There you will find help, advise and some specimens as reference.

hrant's picture

it is more "in tone" with it's Latin counterpart

That's a good thing? Peter the Great did enough damage!


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