Cyrillic & Constructivist Face "Untitled"

Joe Pemberton's picture

Before I knew "constructivism" existed I was studying Russian in high school... Later, when I began studying design I fell in love with Rodchenko.

So, here it is--some traditional Cyrillic to start--in regular and bold. Followed by some more constructivist inspired stuff in heavier weights and sizes.


Your honest feedback is appreciated.


flingford's picture

And a sample of the "text" weight...



hrant's picture

Non-Latin bitmaps - YAY!

In the case of Cyrillic (with its cap-like
forms squeezed into the x-height) bitmaps
are extra tricky. Brave man, our Joe!
And I think your outline font rules.


flingford's picture

Thanks for the encouragement.

Can I point your attention to the "construct 11 pt" versus the "construct 12 pt." Notice the UC B and E,
how the 11 pt has one pixel cross bars and the 12 pt has two pixel cross bars...

I like the one pixel version because it is reminiscent of extra black wood type and seems
somehow appropriate and forgivable given the scale. However, is this awkward or somehow
historically inaccurate? What do you think?

I'm hoping to get this thing ready before bukva:raz. I think I better finesse my Russian
for the proofs though. Lorem ipsum doesn't quite work in Russian.


hrant's picture

BTW, may I suggest a name for your untitled font?
Since bitmaps are honest, maybe "Pravda".

And good luck at Bukva.
You're gonna need it... heh heh heh. ;-)


flingford's picture

Yes, I'll welcome any luck I can get. For me it
will be a personal victory to complete
a face and actually submit it.


disodium's picture

Looking at this typeface, I believe cyrillic letters were designed for bitmap fonts. Very well done.
I don

flingford's picture

Hmm. Inline anyone?


It's reassuring to hear positive things from
Russian speaking people about this face.

PS -- Vlad, thanks for the translation. I confess
that when I wrote it I had no idea that Russian
speaking people would find this board.
(I think I've proved that the Latin, "dummy text"
"Lorem ipsum" doesn't cross cultural boundaries.)


Pixelkind's picture

Hallo Joe,

buy the way, you write in russian...which town is better? Kirgistan or Sankt Petersburg?
Kirgistan is a sovjet republik in asia, not a town. :o) I come frome Kirgistan, from Bishkek. And my friend from Sankt Petersburg.
But, don`t matter. :o)))

What can I say about your cirilic font? Extremely nice, nice, nice. Does you have realised your fonts for free or for sell? If you want to speak on russian with me...please!


hrant's picture

Wow, is this thing international or what?! :-)


hrant's picture

Me, I'm [mostly] a functionalist, so I like the Regular.


miles_from_russ's picture

nice font !
but there are some mistakes :)
if you want i can write you :)

tsprowl's picture

Inline is v.v. constructivist. Its excatly what I picture when I think of Rodchenko, Lissitzky ect.

put it in the set. ya ya do it. in fact replace the whole outline for inline. outline dosen't do much for the origins of inspiration. eh?

Joe Pemberton's picture


I'm well aware of the mistakes in the text (my
apologies to Russian's everywhere for butchering
your language), but if you're referring to mistakes
in the characters themselves, please just tell
me in these forums. I can take it. =)

Tanya, I have to agree. Looking at this again after
several months, the inline is much truer to the
constructivist inspiration than the outline.

By the way, while we're talking about Cryrillic
alphabets, check out House Industry's latest
Cyrillic addition to their Chalet Comprimé family.
Well done. In my opinion, the alternates (see
the Kiev 80 and St. Petersburg 80 weights) are
truer to Cryillic heritage with the flared K, etc.

But do yourself a favor and request the new
catalogue, their site doesn't show the versatility
of this family very well (i.e. inline!)

miles_from_russ's picture

in cyrillic regular and cyrillic bold wrong symbol "È" and "É". it like "N" but flip horizontal.

anyway, your work is excellent.
construct fonts are really good. i very like it.

p.s. my apologies for my English. :)

p.p.s. there are some troubles this code page :( but i think you would understand about what symbol i wrote.

p.p.p.s. do you have another font works?

andrij's picture

nice font! please finish this work.
and you need to add ukrainian + byelorussian + serbian + makedonian letters :)

can i help you? :)

hatz's picture

your construct outline rocks...
please, please, please develop also a greek version -but no pumpkins or dolmades stuff :)...

Miss Tiffany's picture


I'm late in replying and really only have an opinion from a letter lover POV -- ergo, I do not speak a lick of russian. Let alone write it. But I have always loved the shapes of the letters and appreciated them from my *latin* chair. I do have a couple of comments, but don't know the appropriate names for the characters. Is there somewhere a person like myself could find this?

> because it is reminiscent of extra black wood type

I think this should become a design to itself. That would be a very interesting take, that is aside from what you have here already.

randle's picture

Hi Joe.
Awesome work! Congratulations!
I live in St.Petesrburg, and it is the best place on world 8))

Excuse me, could you share it?

John Hudson's picture

Tiffany, here are the common names for the letters of the modern Russian alphabet. Generally, these indicate the sound represented by the letter. There is also a traditional set of mnemonic letter names, derived from Old Church Slavonic names, but these have not been in everyday use since about 1900. The chart and notes on this page are helpful. Note that transliterations of the names in Latin letters may vary.

А а a
Б б be
В в ve
Г г ghe
Д д de
Е е ie
Ё ё io
Ж ж zhe
З з ze
И и i
Й й short i
К к ka
Л л el
М м em
Н н en
О о o
П п pe
Р р er
С с es
Т т te
У у u
Ф ф ef
Х х ha
Ц ц tse
Ч ч che
Ш ш sha
Щ щ shcha
Ъ ъ hard sign
Ы ы yeru
Ь ь soft sign
Э э e
Ю ю yu
Я я ya

Miss Tiffany's picture

Thanks, John. Helpful as always.

Jordan Harper's picture


Love the letters, I too know bugger all about cyrillics but they look very cool, and very constructivist.

One technical question: how the hell do you post images inline...



Indian's picture

Tiffany, John, a little addition: 'yeru' for Ы is obsolete, from Church Slavonic. Now we call it just 'y'. It's a variation for 'и' ('i') in fact. And when 'и' comes after soft consonants, 'ы' is after hard ones.

To understand the difference you can substitute it with Ъ and Ь — hard and soft signs:
    'рыба' — ryba [rъiba] (hard r),
    'риск' — risk [rьisk] (soft r).

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