Cyrillization2015 year

Ilya Ruderman: For me, Adidas is first of all associated with the designer Jeremy Miquel who invented and continues to invent many different typefaces for this company. In this particular project, it was about creating Cyrillic for a geometric sans that Adidas uses not for its external communication, ads or packaging, but for various supporting purposes — designing office spaces, corporate navigation, etc.

In other words, I simply needed to create a Cyrillic set, relevant, similar to the original Latin typeface. The original was very beautiful in terms of ligatures, somehow reminiscent of the works of Herb Lubalin, the famous American typographer of the late 1970s and the 1980s, art director of the Avant Garde magazine and author of the Avant Garde Gothic that is well known to all of us. The style of Lubalin was once very popular in the USSR, which is why I, on the one hand, was trying not to bring into the typeface this imaginary Soviet-ness, while at the same time that helped me:  we all are familiar with these avant-garde-gothic formssince our childhood, we’ve seen it all, — it’s just that in this case the letters were redrawn, reconceived, with slightly different, more contemporary little details. 

The only difficulty was linked to the fact that Jeremy, author of the typeface, has a very precise, eagle’s eye. He acutely felt each shortcoming, because this perfectness of outlines is highly significant in such geometric typefaces. Whereas Cyrillic has its own issues, because many of our letterforms are hard to geometrise. 

For example, if you form the geometrically ideal letter З out of circles, this З would be too narrow. Whereas the logic of typeface assumes that it has to correspond to the proportions of all the other alphabet signs — that is, on the one hand, you have to design a rather wide З, managing to preserve this circular feeling, but still make it wider than just two circles put on each other. That was what the issues were about: as it turns out, this kind of geometricity is rather difficult to apply to Cyrillic.

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