Romanian Orthodox

altmannhaus's picture

I've been wanting to tackle a variation of Romanian Orthodox for years, but on my last trip to Romania, I visited a cathedral in Galati that had a very unique style. I don't know much about the origin of the style, but would like to. The samples below are my initial attempt at digitizing the script, with a few variations from the original (attached)

Though the market may be narrow for this style, I have noticed similar styles in Bulgarian Orthodox, which opens up the possibility of a Cyrillic variant.

galatiorthodox.png693.06 KB
Bogdan Oancea's picture

Great find! Depending on whether you want to keep the letters totally identical or improve stuff here and there (and if some more diacritic nitpicking is allowed), I'd say that…

• Uc |J| could extend a bit below the baseline, (isn't this a decorative font after all?);
• Uc |Q| doesn't look like Q to me;
• Uc and lc |R| looks more like a lc |h| with a swash (maybe go back to |B| as a starting point instead?);
• I suppose the diacritic mark of the third letter is intended to be a circumflex, but it looks like an inverted breve. The circumflex has to be a bit "pointy" at the top, not round;
• The breve, inverted breve and circumflex should 99% of the time be narrower than the upper part of lc |a|, but in this case, for stylistic reasons, it can be the same width – but not wider like they are now;
• The ampersand based on "și" would look much better/rounder/fuller as uc |Ș| and as basis for lc |ș|.

And… are you gonna let this be a monoline font? Some contrast would make it look much better/solid IMO. :)

(Similarities with the inscriptions in Bulgarian Orthodox churches? Of course – the territory north of Danube was under the Bulgarian Orthodox "Empire" for a long time, complete with Cyrillic, not Latin letters and inscriptions. The Latin alphabet was adopted gradually after the 1848 revolution, and I suppose the church in Galați was built after that, but the Cyrillic (or Byzantine?) style influenced the Latin letters.)

altmannhaus's picture

Bogdan, thanks for the tips again. A few of the letters are original to the face, as they weren't represented in the tablet at the church (Q, W, Y), so I'm open to reworking them to fit better historically/stylisticly as well as some of the others for the sake of the style.

As for the weight/contrast, I'm considering this to be more of a wireframe for a finished face, but it's not like there are any other traditional orthodox monoweights around.

Thanks for the history. I assumed that there was a close connection between Romania and cyrillic, but wasn't sure when it was.

Andreas Stötzner's picture

VERY interesting!
The inscription seem to be from the 1950ies or 60ies. Great melange of Latin script with Cyrillic lineament structure …
Let us know what became of it?

adrian hopper's picture

Hi! Can anyone recommend a letter don't where the capital 'E' is the shape of the 'C'?
Many thanks!

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