Giorgio Sans

Cyrillization2016 year

Ilya Ruderman: Giorgio Sans is a project by Commercial Type studio designed by Vincent Chan in collaboration with Christian Schwartz. Its story actually started not at all with Sans, but with an unconventional, extremely narrow serif typeface Giorgio, created by Schwartz for T Magazine, The New York Times’ Sunday supplement. This serif was marked by small ascending/descending elements and big x-height. It went through changes several times: the typeface existed in its first iteration for one season, and then the team decided to complement it with geometric round glyphs: for example, O, which at first was a certain extended pancake, evolved into a circle. 

And then the magazine felt the need to highlight, in one way or another, their men’s style section. And so, specifically for this men’s stuff, they thought: why not turn this refined contrast serif into a sans serif? And they came up with Giorgio Sans which perhaps became even more popular than the initial serif. It refers to both Art Deco and French street typography of the 1930s as well as American street signage of the first half of the 20th century.

I designed Cyrillic for Girgio Sans in 2015. That was a nice stylistic assignment for a designer. I remember that, for example, there are three different letters Я, as well as this game of roundness, which is why all the circular Cyrillic letters  — О, Э, Ю, С — are equipped with a very round uppercase version. 

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