When was helvetica Cyrillic launched?

elzosmid's picture

I know that 1957 is usually used as the date when Helvetica saw the light. But I assume the cyrillic was designed later, when the font was concidered succesfull. Does anyone know when the cyrillic was developed and/or launched?
Or maybe a date for the introduction of any modern sans serif into cyrillic.
Thanks in advance!

omega's picture

About Helvetica Cyrillic somewhere in the following link you will probably find the answer:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helvetica

"...The Cyrillic version was designed in-house in the 1970s at D. Stempel AG, then critiqued and redesigned in 1992 under the advice of Jovica Veljovic..."

There is also these Typophile threads:

http://typophile.com/node/464

http://typophile.com/node/13514

Or better ask Dan Reynolds as he will know the facts more thoroughly.

John Hudson's picture

There have been three official Helvetica Cyrillic designs (and numerous illegitimate versions produced in Russia, I believe). There's the original 1970s Stempel photo type version, the PS digital version from 1992 that Jovica Veljovic advised on (if I recall correctly, this follows the style of the 1970s version), and the new version that I designed for the Helvetica World family in 2001 (advised by Maxim Zhukov). The latter follows the conventions of Russian grotesks, so stylistically is a better fit with Helvetica than the earlier versions, which were generic sans serif letters without idiomatic reference to the particular style of Helvetica.

I don't have the 1970/1992 version for comparison, but here is a sample of the Helvetica World Cyrillic:

This received a type design award in Russia in 2005.

Maxim Zhukov's picture

Regarding those ‘numerous illegitimate versions produced in Russia’ John is referring to. The very first attempt at designing a Cyrillic version of Helvetica goes back to 1963. And yes, it was totally illegitimate. My friend Yuri Kurbatov and I had no idea of the rights of intellectual property in type design. At the time we were both students at the Moscow Printing Institute, two years away from graduation.


The typeface was known to us as Neue Haas-Grotesk halbfett. That was the name it was shown under in Lettera 2 (pp. 54–55). The halbfett (‘medium’) came out first, in 1957, and the mager (‘semilight’) weight was issued by Haas one year later. We only did the halbfett, and it became a great hit with our classmates. I wrote about that project in Type, the journal of ATypI (Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 1997, pp. 23–45).

cerulean's picture

Compare with this dog's breakfast from VGC (1988):

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