I designed these figures for a Hebrew typeface I'm working on.
They're supposed to look classic and neutral.
As Hebrew letters are more square-shaped than Latin ones, the figures are a tiny bit more square-shaped than, say, Helvetica or Univers.
Comments would be really appreciated!
Bottom third of 5 looks a bit like it's been shifted leftward too much.
You might try having the corners in the middle of 8 not come quite so far in--that looks a bit "pinchy" to me.
@Chris Lozos, actually it turns out they don't suit--the figures are still too round--but I have an idea for another typeface, a variation on the original one, where they could fit in, I think.
@Craig Eliason, thanks for your comments. I'll try your suggestions tomorrow.
oribendor is my real name. Well, almost. It's Ori Ben-Dor. Is it the custom here to use real names? I'll see if I can change it.
Making a Hebrew font where these numerals feel right will probably lead to an unduly Latinized design. To me these numerals are too Latin to feel right in an authentic Hebrew font; I would encourage you to freely adapt the structures to the writing system at hand.
Thanks for your comment, but I don't see why such numerals couldn't work in certain Hebrew display/sans serif types (without compromising the Hebrew letters, that is). Are you familiar with Narkis Block, Narkis Tam or Oron, for example? These are some of the very finest and most successful modern Hebrew typefaces, and you can't tell that their numerals don't belong to a Latin type.
By the way, your comment makes me wonder about the differences between Hebrew typography inside and outside of Israel. It would be untypical for someone from Israel to share your concern, I think. (I don't say it as a criticism, it's just a neutral observation. The Jewish world outside of Israel and the Hebrew speaking population in Israel have different needs, obviously.)
The difference between display and text type in terms of cultural migration is interesting. My own theory is that such novelties start in display, then can trickle down to text; in the former they're of course more consciously appreciated hence emulated, but that doesn't make them less powerful in text, because that's where they start becoming normal.
Your point concerning native versus diasporan cultures is extremely relevant. The priorities of each group are naturally different... but we have to think about each other, and remember that a font can end up being used by anybody, anywhere; diasporans are typically constantly fighting assimilation into a dominant culture, and fonts matter. BTW Armenians are in the same boat; I've written an article about this you might appreciate.
"...but they also represent a lost opportunity to make the numerals more Hebrew; not in-your-face, but subtly."
I wonder what such numerals could possibly look like. That's an interesting idea. I'll think about it.