Drawing Cyrillic т, ш, and ц With Thick Horizontal Strokes

I’m trying to design a non-latinised Cyrillic typeface with lowercase letters based on cursive/skoropis letterforms, but I don’t know how to draw т (like a three-legged π), ш and ц. Like π, their horizontal strokes should extend past the vertical strokes, and ideally, I want them to have a thick horizontal stroke, because I think it makes them more legible/recognisable, and they would be consistent with 2, 5, and 7. How could I draw these letters like this? Is it even possible to draw them like that in a consistent and aesthetically-pleasing way?

I’ve tried drawing them with rounded strokes that taper towards the horizontal stroke, which looks decent but looks slightly out of place with other glyphs. In my opinion, some glyphs such as г, п (π), and т look better with a thick horizontal stroke, and do look like that in some historical sources, but ш and ц look worse with one and don’t look like that in any of those sources.


  • can you show us some model(s) for the kind of type you have in mind?
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,483
    In Cyrillic ductus, these letters normally have a thin horizontal. Corresponding shapes in Greek minuscule traditionally have thicker horizontals, but that typical pen angle is much steeper in writing Greek.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,925
    There must be some leeway.
    In Latin script, for instance, Goudy Old Style’s “T” crossbar is the outlier— much thicker than that of H.
    Surely some Cyrillic-first type designer has established a respectable precedent along similar lines? 
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,483
    There’s leeway, of course, and for optical balance the longer horizontals benefit from a little extra weight, but Matthew is talking about making these strokes consistent with the horizontals of 2, 5, and 7, which are all the product of a rotated ductus and, critically, join to thinned stroke. So, yes, Goudy made the crossbar of his T heavier than other horizontals, but not as heavy as the horizontals in those numerals:

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