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Favorit Cyrillic & Greek

In 2015, triggered by Indrek Sirkel, Jan Tomson, Sven Raju and Ranno Ait’s trilingual design work (Estonian, Russian & English) for the Tallinn Kunstihoone, we internally drafted a first regular style of Favorit Cyrillic, despite any personal knowledge on the subject matter.

Extending Favorit Cyrillic to Bold in 2016 and wrestling with the architecture of seemingly familiar (like Я) or especially dense characters (like Ж), we started doubting our essentially Latin-centred judgment. This led us to consult Maria Doreuli and Liza Rasskazova, of the Moscow based Contrast Foundry. In late 2017, after several review rounds and procrastination on revisions, we we able to convince Maria and Liza to design the whole Favorit Cyrillic family – which after substantial rework was completed in 2018.

Building on this experience, in 2018 we were able to commission Panagiotis Haratzopoulos to create a Greek version of all Favorit styles. Further language support is in preparation and additional suggestions or recommendations always appreciated.

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Cyrillic design by Maria Doreuli and Liza Rasskazova
Greek design by Panagiotis Haratzopoulos
Hangul design by Yoon Min Goo
Design direction by Dinamo & Daniel Chessari
Mastering by Chi-Long Trieu

 

Maria Doreuli and Liza Rasskazova about the design decisions on Favorit Cyrillic

The description on the website says: ‘Favorit is a straightforward low-contrast grotesque that combines a rigid drawing with subtle oddities and a humorous touch’. Favorit balances between being an experimental and traditional typeface. This encouraged us to draw Cyrillic avoiding the conventional solutions.

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There are not that many Cyrillic letters that allow experiments in grotesques. Not many characters where the original design features of the Latin can be represented. This often results in very neutrally traditional Cyrillic extensions. Or either in Cyrillic containing a super crazy letter that stands out too much because it is not followed by anything else. -д- -л- -б- -к- ж- -я- are the primary characters for a sans serif where you can do something different. Our goal was to keep the same level of playfulness in the Cyrillic as there is in the Latin. Therefore, each of these letters required a special approach, experimentation and a little humor.

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The -R- with a vertical leg led to a similar design of the Cyrillic -Я-. Yet that was not enough. -R- is just one of the shapes that proves that Favorit is far from being humanistic. All the elements in the Latin that will commonly be smoother are straight and brutal in Favorit. We followed the same approach in the constructions of the Cyrillic -Л- and -Д-. It would not be fair to go the classical way and make the left vertical -Л- smoothly diagonal as in humanist designs, when even the leg -R- is strictly vertical. This resulted in an almost vertical left part and a small radius of the rounding in -Л- and -Д-. They fits well not only with the leg -R- -Я- but with the details of the -Q- and -J- in uppercase and -j- -t- and -f- in the lowercase.

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Starting to work on a Cyrillic extension we first of all have a close look at the entire type family, the system behind it. What range of weights does it have? How bold is the Bold? How do the italics look like and how slanted they are? This helps us to get an understanding of which solutions will work best in each particular case. With Favorit we realized that we have a bit more room for experimentation due to the fact that the weights do not go too extreme. We have been thinking about the construction of the letter -Ж- for a long time. Whether it is worth simplifying the -Ж- as a common way to solve all the problems with counter shapes and intersections or keeping the design of the Latin K. It was the small difference between the weight of the Light and the Bold masters that allowed us to use the Latin-based design. The intersection in the -Ж- in Favorit does not get spotty and its counter shapes do not become too busy. So why simplifying the construction of the -Ж- in such a grotesque typeface when you can keep a distinctive construction?

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At last, we could not leave the “б” behind. “б” is more than any other letters within the Cyrillic alphabet has room for experimentation. The “б” in Favorit echoes the “y”, but at the same time has a more traditional alternative design.

— Maria Doreuli and Liza Rasskazova, December 2018

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Panagiotis Haratzopoulos about Favorit Greek

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Greek Favorit respects the neutral style of its latin counterpart with the small oddities that characterize it. To achieve this style, it draws inspiration from greek Grotesks of the 60s and 70s and not later examples (especially those after 2000’s) that are more subjective and rather busy. The special touches that we see in the Latin Favorit are also present in Greek to some extent, at the terminals of lambda, tau or chi (λ, τ, χ).

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At the same time, it was sought after a balance in the use of spurs and terminals so as to keep the tight character of the typeface, but also to preserve the typical curvy style of the Greek letters.

– Panagiotis Haratzopoulos, January 2019

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