Figtree - Cyrillic contributions

Hi everyone,

I've contributed some Cyrillic characters to the open source font, Figtree: - screenshots are available there to view. 

As I'm not a native Cyrillic writer, I would appreciate any feedback that anyone can provide from an expert in the field!

Thanks in advance.


  • Michael RafailykMichael Rafailyk Posts: 129
    edited October 2022
    Hi, I'm not an expert but a native speaker.
    The lowercase letter ф (efcyr) usually have an ascender and descender. On the sample you provide this letter looks more like Small Caps Ф.
  • + ф
    baseline Дд
  • Pretty good, congrats!

    Agree with Michael and Viktor (I guess Victor referred to the fact that the horizontal bar of Д д should go from the baseline upwards, not downwards, seen in black more obviously).

    Looking at the thin version, my personal preference would be a bit more pronounced descending parts for Д Ц Щ ц щ (seems like д has it properly sized in the vertical sense; maybe even д can go more downward if there is a space in the descender zone). And seems that descending parts of Д have a nice horizontal shift from the character body before going downwards, while Ц Щ ц щ and probably д need more horizontal move there. The Black version has a different relation of these parts, in general on all these letters in black I would go deeper and maybe a bit more aside before going down. 

    The bottoms of these similar descending parts on different letters should be horizontally aligned (if they are part of the same font weight. Different weights might have different alignment I guess)

    Maybe the left upper shoulder of the б (lowercase Б) is unusual (too high/tense), but on the other side, I like it because it differs it more from figure 6.

    I prefer the curvy arm of Ч ч to go deeper than seen in the light version. It looks good in black.
  • Thanks for the fantastic feedback everyone. I will definitely work on these points & report back.

    This guide was also shared with me, for anyone who wants to train their eye a bit more:
  • DrawcardDrawcard Posts: 51
    edited October 2022
    How are these looking now?

    In particular have I got the ascender & descender length correct on ф ? Or should I exaggerate the length a little more?

    I think the bold б still needs a bit of work, but it's tricky since there isn't a heap of space to work with in the cap height zone...
  • Also some currency symbols (hryvnia, ruble)

  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,880
    edited October 2022
    The /ef-cy/'s body should be as tall as /o/, and its descender at deep as /p/. I'm not sure whether there's some leeway in making the ascender shorter than /d/ since ascenders are so rare in Cyrillic, but it's a good starting point.
    Your /che-cy/ looks lopsided; move the nadir of the curve to the left (as you would for /u/).
    I believe the flag of /be-cy/ would look better if it were strictly rising rather than rising-falling-rising (or at most the middle should look horizontal). Given the geometric nature of the typeface, I suspect making the flag a single straight line, rising slightly to the right, would look best (i.e., lose the wiggle).
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,880
    edited October 2022
    Here's my Ysabeau for comparison (after extensive reviews with Alexei Vanyashin):

    Apparently it's preferable for /che-cy/ to have a rather horizontal joint rather than an /u/-like bowl.

  • DrawcardDrawcard Posts: 51
    edited October 2022
    Thanks Christian, very helpful. Also I like the way you have diagonal endcaps on the /ф/ stems - even though it might be a stylistic choice, that's a nice way of adding distinction in my mind.
  • If you look at the your last screenshot, there are problems with -ф-, -б-, -ч-, a very short indentation at the tail in light -Ц- and -Щ-. In bold: tail in -Д-, -Ц- and -Щ- must be the same length, -д- and -Д- have problem with left part construction (better - equal to light). For both weights - -б-flame must be shorter.
    Plz, see this thread -
    And, plz, show your font after changes :-)

  • Thanks @Olexa Volochay, I've made some corrections. 

  • Д/Л and д/л are related letters. The left side should be similar. Now you have it vertical in Лл and almost from the very top it bends into Дд. For correct comments, please show the Latin part. Now -з-, -ф- are very narrow. In ЦцЩщ (light) you did not move the tail to the right.
  • DrawcardDrawcard Posts: 51
    edited October 2022
    Olexa, thanks for the clarification and for the extra feedback.

    Д/Л and д/л are related letters. The left side should be similar.

    That's a really good insight, I wasn't aware of that relationship. I will adjust things further there.

    I see what you mean in the /ЦцЩщ/ characters too. I'll also give some more width to /з/, /ф/.

    The latin font can be viewed / downloaded here:

  • DrawcardDrawcard Posts: 51
    edited October 2022
    Hi @Olexa Volochay, I have made some revisions and would appreciate any further input you have on these. The /з/ and /ф/ have been widened, tails fixed on /ЦцЩщ/ and /ДдЛл/ are more related. 

    Also do you think /в/ should be widened more?

  • Bold Д, Ч, ч – ok, but in a ч, you can make the horizontal line thinner. Make the construction of the light Чч look like a bold. Both small д and light Д – very shifted to the right, reduce the left side. Bold ф should be wider. Work like this. Take the phrase in Latin letters, and insert Cyrillic letters in arbitrary places. They should not beat out in their width and weight from Latin letters - they should be harmoniously combined.
    Just open Montserrat or PT Sans, learn the principles of constructing problematic glyphs.

  • I can recommend you the youtube channel of Aleksandra Korolkova from Paratype. She shared videos on how to properly design some basic letters.
  • I show you examples of how to design Cyrillic letters in some of my fonts. By the way, I downloaded your fonts on github and there the lower case "o" looked much bolder than the other letters. In addition, the lower and upper signs of other Latin letters were not in the center of the letters. I hope I gave you useful information.

  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,832
    I think you went the wrong way in coordinating the Д and Л shapes. The earlier Д was better, and the new form is much too square: this is something one seldom sees in historical Cyrillic type and lettering (the original form of these letters was triangular, and it remains more typical for them to be narrower towards the top).
Sign In or Register to comment.