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You are here: Home / Conferences / Antwerp 2018 / Programme

A sheqel for your thoughts

Ismar David’s Hebrew currency signs
When Thu 13 Sep 1140
Where Arenberg Theater
What
Who Shani Avni
After becoming a state in​ ​1948, Israel suffered from economic instability. Currency values and names rapidly changed in response to inflation, hindering the development of a currency sign. This volatile economic reality led to the convention of representing Israel’s currency by its full name or acronym rather than by a symbol. During this period, Ismar David was hard at work designing the David Hebrew typeface family – the first of its kind in scope and innovation. Findings from his archive reveal that he not only excelled at devising a groundbreaking approach to the design of Hebrew type, but went one step further and expanded the character set. The lack of an official Hebrew currency sign did not stop him from exercising his vision. Drawing from the richness of the Latin alphabet and type tradition, David created several original signs that did not emerge organically from the Hebrew script. He crafted these solutions from scratch in the belief that Hebrew readers would benefit from their existence. My talk will unveil David’s unpublished proposals. The story behind their creation and disappearance, as well as their visual analysis, provides an object lesson in how to fill a typographic void with an informed, experimental design process.

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