Latinized Greek

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  • These are others hebrew latinzed fonts.
    I don't like these either.
    I have never saw anyone using them.
  • … either Hebrew or Cherokee.
    *Herokee*.
    Won’t be useful for anything but looks damn nice.
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 549
    edited November 2019
    These are others hebrew latinzed fonts.
    I don't like these either.
    I have never saw anyone using them.
    Atzor is clearly an imitation of Stop, and some of the others have names showing what typeface they're imitating. But despite the attempt to let Hebrew-language speakers join in the fun of using some popular Latin-script typefaces, most of these I wouldn't even call Latinized; some are somewhat so because they've added serifs.
    Ah; the culprit is Michael Zerbib; these typefaces are on one of those cheap CDs that offer a lot of fonts, something called TES Font Studio. Just as Latin script users, for a while, could select from a number of inexpensive CDs containing a large selection of fonts which imitated popular typefaces.
  • To get back to Greek: a friend pointed me to vintage Greek music videos recently. There are a few available at YT. As it happens, they contain some rare views on old-day music-sheet title graphics featuring some very nice (and interesting) lettering examples of those days. I enjoy them very much (as I enjoy the music itself, naturally :).
    I find them rather adorable, regarding both the musical and the graphical aspect. It is not the 1st time that I set my eyes on Greek custom lettering with particular interest, since it reveals many precious insights about that script’s hidden soul, nature, dreams, tortures, escapades, … you name it.



    just examples:





  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 969
    edited November 2019
    @Andreas Stötzner
    Great idea. Here are a few more examples of Greek sheet music covers.
  • My own acquaintance with Greek music is limited - I did find the haunting melodies of Manos Hadjidakis irresistible, when I heard them in the early work of Nana Mouskouri. One of my favorites, though, although she performed it in her television show, she did not seem to have recorded it: Mes Tin Varka (or Mes S'afti Tin Varka). This had been previously performed by Aliki Vougiouklaki in a movie.
  • @Ray Larabie
    fantastic findings!!
  • edited January 7
    IMHO for display everything is allowed. Look at modern signs in the streets of Asian countries, or Hebrew abstracted.

    Text in a book is a different thing. There is some typographic culture in European printing allowing the readers to recognize the different scripts and read them fluently.

    For me in the context digitising old books via OCR, there is not much variation in the design of classic Greek, classic Latin, Hebrew, and Syriac.

    Yesterday I studied the books of Bellinus, 1642 (first German Orthography), and 6 books by Gessner, printed 1740-1743, about printing art, type making, writing systems of the world etc. They all include type specimen.

    In (German) books before 1900 you can find Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Assyrian and others as well. 

    For German books Fraktur was used very long (~1940), with Schwabacher for "bold" (~1830). For French or English quotes a serifed antiqua (like Caslon). Not much variation in antiqua for books up to 1960.

    For classic Greek they used the script like style. Not much variation over centuries. It's all in the line with Aldus, Garamond etc.

    Latin either serifed antiqua in capitals, or cursive in the text. There is still a tradition to use cursive for scientific names in biodiversity. Cursives can vary. There are some scientific books written completely in Latin with very scripty cursives, e. g. Scopoly ~1760, hard to distinguish a series of mnui like in communitatis and a very tall longs with overlapping ascender and descender. Hard to OCR. See https://github.com/wollmers/ocr-lat-bio-testfiles/blob/master/Scopoli_1763_vindobona/ioannisantoniisc03scop_08.png

    For Hebrew they had 5-6 different styles depending on purpose (religious, profan) and language (Hebrew, Yiddish dialects).

    Assyrian two shapes at this time: a "broken" one with sharp edges, and a round one. The broken one got out of use in the following centuries.

    It always was readability of text versus "eye catching".

    A probe out of Bellinus, 1642:

     
  • Adam TwardochAdam Twardoch Posts: 449
    edited January 9
    As far as my knowledge of math usage of Greek goes, Greek math symbols are the opposite of being latinized, because their purpose is to be obviously distinct from the Latin math symbols. There are some conventions regarding the design of Greek math symbols, but from what I’ve seen, the “reverse contrast” treatment and a subtle calligraphic treatment actually _helps_ math usage, not hinders it. 

    When used in continuous text, a reader can identify the script from context, tell Greek from Latin, that is — even if the Greek is latinized. But in math usage, letters appear in isolation and originate from mixed scripts, so the goal is to have them clearly distinct. 
  • Also, when it comes to “voice” in “what’s right” in type design, the “moral right” with regard to who can shape the typographic appearance of a script, I think a fair balance is achieve if we weigh the historical contributions and the context. 

    A lot of world scripts had been shaped or “reformed” on their way towards the modern typographic form by way of the Western colonialism and the equally Western technological advancement of printing equipment.

    The form of some scripts had been directly invented by Westerners (e.g. Christian missionaries), sometimes directly in a printable form. Some other cultures had extensive written culture, and also local printing culture, but mass printing had been created by Western companies that manufactured equipment, and produced “simplified” forms for those scripts.

    There are some who abhor the “simplified Arabic” because it was created as a side-effect of technological primitivism. But those primitive printing technologies also brought advancement — mass publication became possible. By itself, this is no different to the history of the Latin script. Typesetting, and then automated typesetting, simplified the Latin script, got rid of connections, many ligatures and various scribal practices. It reduced the number of forms, and as such also made the writing system more accessible to readers. 

    Greek is a special case in this whole evolution. The European Rennaissance brought an increased interest in the West towards classical Greek texts, and the bulk of Greek-script typefaces had not been created for native readers of the Greek language but for those who studied classical Greek in the West. 

    Generations of scholars in Europe, the Americas and elsewhere have made genuine contributions to the culture of the Greek script, by creating texts in the classical language, publishing them, editing, revising, printing. Mathematicians and scientists who have adopted Greek symbols also have contributed significantly. If one were to make an ethical or moral judgment of those contributions, I think they can be viewed as overwhelmingly positive. 

    So in my personal view, today, the Greek script is as much a “world script” as the Latin script is. Many cultures, many communities are stakeholders. The native speakers of the Greek language are an important stakeholder group, but scientific and scholarly communities worldwide are stakeholders just as much. 

    One thing I’ve noticed while in Greece is that street signage, restaurants, shops — they almost exclusively use the Greek capitals. There is comparatively little Greek lowercase on display, much less than you’d see in Latin-script signage.

    My intuition tells me that this is because the “semi-cursive” lowercase (the non-latinized one) carries a strong bookish flavor. It’s almost as if it’s unsuitable for expressive commercial use. But you do get to see “latinized” lowercase used as well. Some attempts are rather abhorrent, because they’re poorly executed.

    And of course signage in Greek is something that you’d only see in Greek-speaking countries or regions. Mathematicians and linguists don’t do big bold signs in Greek.  

    But overall, I’m not sure if anyone, ethically, owns a monopoly of being able to say whether “latinized” or “semi-cursive” Greek lowercase is “right”. (Keep in mind that serifs on Greek capitals are very okay for everyone — I think the debate is only about lowercase, which I think is a bit odd, actually, and I think it's not properly stressed that it is a lc-only debate). 
  • If I were to be devil’s advocate, I’d say that saying “only the Greeks have a proper say about the Greek script” is a bit like saying “only the English have a proper say about the English language“ — whilst forgetting that, e.g. Indian English is a proper English variant on its own, not some “weird variation”. 

    If you want to draw latinized Greek, I don’t think you need “permission” from anyone to do it. Just like if you want to draw a reverse-contrast Latin with serifs present in some places but absent in others.

    Some people drew Latin letters without serifs 150 years ago and were touted “grotesque” (insert a Jean François-style exclamation and “pfft” here for greater dramatic effect). Today, we have Roboto and San Francisco, there you go. 

    I’m not saying you should be only drawing “latinized Greek” either. Since Greek is a world script, just draw it as good as you can — and have fun doing it! 
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 549
    There is nothing wrong with people outside Greece designing a Greek typeface for the purpose of setting mathematical equations.
    If there were a group of people outside Greece who used Greek as a language of communication, then of course they could design Greek typefaces for setting text to suit their own tastes.
    If this were about using coercion to ensure all Greek typefaces conformed to someone's ideal of Greek national aesthetics, I would be on the side of freedom, not the side of coercion. But that isn't why latinized Greek is looked upon askance.
    Most latinized Greek typefaces are drawn by Greeks themselves.
    Partly, this is because of the strong influence of Western culture. In addition, though, Greece's own tragic history plays a part: for many years, Greece was under foreign occupation, and printing in the Greek language was banned.
    So there is a vacuum that Western models can easily fill.
    That is a situation that it is reasonable to deplore: Greece should have the chance to find its own typographic voice, connected to its own cultural roots. Of course, other questions are raised - even if it is agreed that this would be an admirable goal, is it really a process that can be encouraged, accelerated, or forced - if the available authentically Greek models are in ancient manuscripts, remote from the actual reading experience of today's Greeks, aren't attempts to introduce more cultural authenticity into Greek typefaces doomed to be hopelessly artificial?
    To me, that is the reason that I'm not sure joining a bandwagon against latinized Greek is helpful.
    New Hellenic and similar sans-serif typefaces already do reflect, at least it seems to me, an authentic Greek sensibility; the area where there is an issue is instead in serif typefaces, which can either be Latinized or which can follow the Porson model, where an upper-case based on Roman capitals clashes with a cursive and Greek lower-case. Harmonizing the lower-case with the capitals leads to Latinization; harmonizing the capitals with the lower-case does not seem to have even been tried.
  • “… street signage, restaurants, shops — they almost exclusively use the Greek capitals.”…
    “… harmonizing the capitals with the lower-case does not seem to have even been tried.”

    ?





  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 518
    edited January 9
    Andreas Stötzner  Like your good findings about music videos, I just came by a rather charming Cyrillic in the same style in the archives of our national library. I would like to post it here so I don't open a new topic:
    Indian pirates, from the 30-40s


    The adventures of the countess (Oh my! :D)
    Is the picture of the life of a young, beautiful and mysterious countess that can charm al men with a single stare. A life full of love, adventures and darings.


  • Omg, Andreas, is that L shape a cap sigma?  :o That’s awesome!
  • yes, the two companies read as  Σιδερῆς  Στεφανίδης

    interesting, the resemblance of the scripty latin L is merely coincidental.
  • I find also this, well, unicase minuscule with uncial sigma, working quite well:
    αθλαντης

  • And Greek Fraktur is always, of course, a delight for the silent connoisseur, especially when it gets blended with Italica. The extra points go to the one who delivers the correct Latin transcript version of this:

  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,518
    edited January 9
    αθλαντης
    Don't you mean αθλητης? That is, «athlete».
    As for the most recent one... Μπιτζανης (Mpitzanis ~ Bidzanis)?
  • Adam TwardochAdam Twardoch Posts: 449
    edited January 9
    > Greece should have the chance to find its own typographic voice, connected to its own cultural roots. 

    Except, of course, if some of them are fed up with their own cultural roots and are looking for an injection of fresh from the outside. Or are perhaps tired to be “Orient” all the time, and would like to drink whisky, wear suits and be a bit more Occident. 

    I come from a country (Poland) that has been on the border between the Western “Roman” and the Eastern “Roman” influence for all its existence.

    Around the year 1000, the rulers of the now-Polish lands chose an association with the German-“Roman” empire, adopted Western christianity and the Latin script. The switch to the Eastern-Orthodox faith and Cyrillic occurred just across the border. At the end of the 18th century, the country got fully partitioned between Prussia, Russia and Austro-Hungary, and ceased to exist as an independent political body.

    In 1918 Poland gained independence, and the first thing the people did was to get rid of the Cyrillic script, and to replace the Tsarist legislation with a mix of Prussian and Austrian law and administrative practices. 

    And hey, Kamal Atatürk dumped the Arabic script that the predecessor rulers, the Ottomans, actually perfected like nowhere in the Arab lands. 

    Typography is an expression of deeper cultural processes. I can approximate the Greek dilemmas via the above imperfect analogies, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the mechanisms were similar. I mean, there is a reason why this latinization happens. 
  • E67E
    Don't you mean αθλητης?
    yes, of course, Sorry.
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,214
    edited January 9
    There is no reason to limit new designs of Greek type to only historic accepted forms.  We don't do that with Latin, why impose stricter rules on Greek? Native speakers, who understand the visualization of what "Greek" looks like should be free to push the boundaries in some new way.  This does not mean Latinization is the only course of experimentation. If a designer wants to push the boundaries of the form, so be it.  Some people are more interested in affixing labels than they are in looking at form. ελευθερία
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,214
    some lettering I had done several years ago

  • Is that what Gandalf says to the gates of Moria in the Greek edition?
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,214
    :-)
  • AzizMostafaAzizMostafa Posts: 68
    edited January 10

    And hey, Kamal Atatürk dumped the Arabic script that the predecessor rulers, the Ottomans, actually perfected like nowhere in the Arab lands.
    Absolutely true!
    https://typedrawers.com/discussion/834/turkish-cannot-go-back-to-arabic-script

    And who did the same across South East Asia and why?!
    https://typedrawers.com/discussion/3247/typedesign-and-indonesia

    Hope Turkey and South East Asia will go back to the Quranic/Arabic Script

  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 549
    edited January 10
    There is no reason to limit new designs of Greek type to only historic accepted forms.  We don't do that with Latin, why impose stricter rules on Greek? Native speakers, who understand the visualization of what "Greek" looks like should be free to push the boundaries in some new way.
    I completely agree. I only have a problem with what appears to be the lack of an authentically Greek alternative in some areas of typography, not with there being a wide variety of choices.
    Basically, my ideal is that there would be a healthy and robust ecosystem of typefaces either based on historic Greek models, or, better, organically rooted in a living Greek typographical tradition, so that forms devised for the Latin alphabet would not dominate as the result of having a vacuum to fill - that is the tragedy to which I object. (Thus, I think Hrant has a very valid point in these matters, but my position is also different from his.)
    In 1918 Poland gained independence, and the first thing the people did was to get rid of the Cyrillic script, and to replace the Tsarist legislation with a mix of Prussian and Austrian law and administrative practices.
    Czechoslovakia split up into the Protestant Czech Republic and Catholic Slovakia, illustrating how important religion is to national identity. (For that matter, there's Protestant Germany and Catholic Austria.)
    Poland, as you noted, adopted Western Christianity. All over Eastern Europe, the rule is simple: Roman Catholic (or Protestant), Latin alphabet; Orthodox, Cyrillic alphabet.
    The script following the religion works elsewhere; thus, scripts related to Devanagari are found in Tibet and Burma, despite their languages being closely related to Chinese, because they are predominantly Buddhist nations.
    Greece is still predominantly Orthodox, so I doubt there is any reason to expect that the people of Greece will feel any need to switch to the Latin script. However, I was taking Google Street View down the streets of Athens to see if I could find the wedding dress store pictured earlier in this thread... and I found that, presumably for the convenience of tourists, there was an awful lot of Latin-alphabet, and even English-language, signage on retail businesses. (In other related searching, I found that Moissanis is a real surname, whereas other possibilities for decoding the script brought up no matches.)
    On the other hand, there is a rejection to... classicization of the Greek language, apparently, because the unlamented Generals' regime tried to do that, and so one doesn't normally find polytonic keyboards in Greece much. Or maybe it's just Microsoft's fault, not being Greek I wouldn't really know. But whatever the cause, this seems to indicate there's some script change going on in Greece.
    Is that what Gandalf says to the gates of Moria in the Greek edition?

    I did a Google. Turns out "Kalimera Mellon" means "Good Morning Future" in Greek, there was a poster contest. So it's but a coincidence that the word for "friend", "mellon", that opened the gates of Moria appears there.
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,214
    "Kalimera Mellon" means "Good Morning Future" in Greek, there was a poster contest.
    Indeed, that poster contest is what prompted me to do that lettering. My entry used it.


  • Hey, @antonis, thanks for the article!
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