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You are here: Home / Conferences / Montréal 2017 / Programme

Innovation meets tradition

The first Hebrew type family by Ismar David
When Wed 13 Sep 1520
Where UQAM, Cœur des sciences
What
Who Shani Avni

In 1932, Ismar David emigrated to Palestine from Germany. With his knowledge of, and familiarity with, the richness of Latin type, he conceived the first Hebrew typeface family. The design process spread over two decades, during which David researched the origin of the Hebrew script and writing traditions, and experimented in search of innovative letterforms.

In 1954, David completed his typeface family. However, it was not fully published until 2012. Parts of it were never produced, others were rejected by the locals, leaving Hebrew typesetters short.

This talk is based on research for my MA dissertation at the University of Reading. I will present David’s design process and ground-breaking results and will share the story of this lost design, offering reasons for its disappearance.

Today, type designers are challenged with creating larger type systems of manifold scripts. The making of this typeface family is therefore presented as a case study. It is particularly relevant to those who engage in enriching type systems outside the Latin realm, as it illustrates how to draw from the prosperity of the Latin, without forcing it on a different script.

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