Kapel – New font!

It’s been a while, again… an even longer while than last time! ! I didn’t mean to go so long between font releases, but I ended up being unexpectedly busy these past few months focusing on illustration. I’m still working on fonts, and currently have about four in various states of progress, so with any luck there won’t be as long a gap in between this and the next one.

This time around, the font is inspired by Russian constructivist design. Just by looking at the letters you should probably see a stereotypical “Russian” graphic influence. Aside from the squat, blocky overall design, the basic latin character set includes a few letters that have been altered to mimic those found in Cyrillic alphabets. Specifically: the upper and lowercase Y are designed to resemble Ч, the uppercase Q has a centered tail to somewhat reference Ф and Џ, etc.

Could I have gone further? Yeah, sure. I could have substituted И for N, Я for R, Д for D, Б for B, З or Э for E, Ж for X, Ц for U, and Ш for W. I could have also modeled the lowercase letters after each of those letters’ lowercase counterparts.

So, should I have farther? No, I don’t really think so. One thing that often drives me crazy when it comes to language copycat fonts is when they go too far. Basing a font after a style is one thing, basing it off of a different alphabet/writing system is different. It’s all too easy to go overboard and replace every single character with a copycat letter in the target language, but that also means it’s all too easy to end up with a font that almost impossible to read in either language, because of the mixing of letters. An earlier version of this font included even just the И/N and Я/R switches and even that was a bit too much.

Of course, since I actually included all of those letters in a Cyrillic character set, if you so choose, you can substitute in any of those characters when using this font! There’s a lot of flexibility added by including all those extra characters.

Interestingly enough, I actually started and completed most work on this font several months ago; back in November 2018. Why, then, has it taken so long to come out? Well, I decided for the first time to add an additional character set to this font! So this font features the full Cyrillic character set as per the Unicode spec.

Technically that didn’t actually take too much longer to add, what did take a very long time was finding someone who could read Russian to tell me if the characters were balanced/legible! So thank you very much to MGE for taking a look before release and giving feedback on some of the harder-to-differentiate characters.

Final note: I have set up a Ko-fi page, for anyone interested in donating towards the creation of more CC-licensed pixel fonts. I have several more fonts in various stages of progress and am aiming to not have quite as long a gap between now and the next release.

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