Source Sans Hebrew

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Ben Nathan

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Nov 17, 2015, 8:45:50 AM11/17/15
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Hi All !

I would like to share with you my latest"Latin to Hebrew font - Source Sans Pro
It's a real challenge and i've been sketching different approaches for the past weeks.

I started with trying to create a round hebrew sans serif (the first sketch).
This version works fine with the latin but unlike the latin it lacks personality and looks too generic (a mix of the hebrew fonts Oron / Narkis Tam / ...)

My new sketch is less round, I wanted to use the straight lines as much as I can with a curve as a contract. 



Source Sans Latin + Hebrew:



 

Some text:



I got more work ahead of me:
I think some letters are not right - ק, מ, ת, פ

I'll post updates on this project and would love to hear your thoughts.

Cheers!
Ben


Ben Nathan

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Nov 25, 2015, 12:54:55 PM11/25/15
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Quick update:

Almost dont with the regular, and still working on the Bold


More updates soon! would love to hear your thoughts


Cheers,

Ben

Dave Crossland

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Nov 25, 2015, 1:06:30 PM11/25/15
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Hi Ben

I'd love to hear what Paul thinks! :)

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Meir Sadan

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Nov 25, 2015, 1:35:52 PM11/25/15
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Hey Ben,

Big improvement! I actually liked your first פ pe and ף final pe (with the round tops) better.
And I think the ג gimel still looks a bit strange in the ensemble – maybe try a different leg shape?
There's something weird in the bold ס samekh – the inner outline looks a bit boxed comparing to the outer outline which is rounder - the sample isn't too big so I can't really judge.
Also the ל lamed may need to be more similar to the ק qof, or just a little less steep leg?
It's exciting to see everything coming together :>

Paul Hunt

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Nov 25, 2015, 10:09:01 PM11/25/15
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Thanks for looping me in, David. I guess I hadn’t been getting the updates before. I think that before I can really try to evaluate the design too much, I would like to be able to do some text setting tests. As such, It would be nice for this project to be getting regular pull requests so that I can practice building the fonts and running my own tests. For example, I would like to try to ascertain as to whether the Hebrew character height is tall enough compared to the Latin. Similarly, I would like to evaluate the color by setting text blocks and comparing/contrasting with the Latin. Once I am able to do these things, I can hopefully provide more in-depth input into the design.

P

Dave Crossland

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Nov 25, 2015, 10:11:13 PM11/25/15
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Hi

Ben, are you ready to make pull requests on the source files? :) 

On 26 November 2015 at 09:56, Paul Hunt <phunt...@gmail.com> wrote:
Thanks for looping me in, David. I guess I hadn’t been getting the updates before. I think that before I can really try to evaluate the design too much, I would like to be able to do some text setting tests. As such, It would be nice for this project to be getting regular pull requests so that I can practice building the fonts and running my own tests. For example, I would like to try to ascertain as to whether the Hebrew character height is tall enough compared to the Latin. Similarly, I would like to evaluate the color by setting text blocks and comparing/contrasting with the Latin. Once I am able to do these things, I can hopefully provide more in-depth input into the design.

P



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Paul Hunt

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Nov 25, 2015, 10:20:02 PM11/25/15
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If so, I would greatly appreciate first running UFOs through the UFO normalizer tool before making commits to the project.

https://github.com/unified-font-object/ufoNormalizer

Ben Nathan

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Nov 26, 2015, 4:17:18 AM11/26/15
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Hi Paul, Dave and Meir !

Thanks for the input and i'll create the UFOs. 
I still have some more on this type family, so i'll finish this sketch (on the weekend) and upload a version you could play around with

Cheers!
Ben

Ben Nathan

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Nov 29, 2015, 5:05:19 PM11/29/15
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Quick update - made good progress over the weekend, did 2 main things:
- made my x-height taller
- made it narrower

* Paul i'll send the normalized UFO tomorrow

some pics:


On my to do list:


- Finalised the light style - some letter adjustments, proper spacing, nikud.

- Design the Bold master.


More updates soon.


Cheers!

Ben

Ben Nathan

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Nov 30, 2015, 9:18:47 AM11/30/15
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Hi Paul, attached is the normalized UFO.
Source Sans Pro-Light_normalized.ufo.zip

Dave Crossland

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Nov 30, 2015, 7:51:45 PM11/30/15
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Hi Ben

Please could you send this as a pull request via github? :)

Cheers
Dave

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Ben Nathan

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Dec 1, 2015, 1:03:17 PM12/1/15
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I think I did it (i'm new to github) :)

I would download the Glyphs file if you wish to see and test the font.

Paul Hunt

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Dec 1, 2015, 7:29:02 PM12/1/15
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I plan on showing this (the ExtraLight weight) to my colleagues tomorrow during our meeting where we look at current design work. I will post back with feedback afterwards.

P

Ben Nathan

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Dec 2, 2015, 11:12:20 AM12/2/15
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Hi Paul, thanks, waiting to hear your team's thoughts.

Today's update - 
I kept on working on the Light and started designing the Bold master, I did the interpolation to match Source Sans (6 styles overall).
Still got work on the Bold master, but I feel it's in the right direction.


I'm attaching a PDF test I did and here'e an image of the family: 


Cheers!
Ben
Hebrew4.pdf

Paul Hunt

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Dec 2, 2015, 5:34:59 PM12/2/15
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Okay, here is the consensus, please note that none of us are Hebrew typography experts per se:
The current design feels very rudimentary and in general not a great match for Source Sans (SSP). In order to get to a design that will be a good match for SSP, a considerable amount of work would need to be done, beginning with establishing a design direction that we feel will be a good match for SSP. I am not sure how invested you are in putting in the amount of work that we feel would be required to arriving at a design that we would want to put the Source name on, or if you want to just complete the design and be done with it. In the latter case, I don’t think that we would be comfortable making the design, as it currently stands, a part of the Source brand. If you are interested in making the invemstment into doing what we feel to be the right thing for the design, please let me know and we can devise some first steps to get things started in the right direction.

Best regards,

Paul Hunt

Liron Lavi Turkenich

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Dec 4, 2015, 4:42:30 AM12/4/15
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Hi Paul, 

Could you please elaborate a bit on why you (and your team) don't feel that the proposed Hebrew is a good match for SSP?  
I will share here my opinions on it: I think that those days there are many many "sans"-monolinear Hebrew typefaces that are very generic and look too similar to one another. I feel that in Ben's design he managed to incorporate some features that makes it look much more personalised than other typefaces. 
It is always a challenge to harmonise Hebrew with Latin because of the basic different letter structure, and usually what happens is that the Hebrew looks to stiff and square compared with the more flowing Latin. Here- Ben added "friendlier" and warm features such as the small curve in the Vav and Yod, the middle of the Peh and more, which make them go well together. 
I also think it is looking very well next to the Latin in terms of color (on a block of text). 

So if you could provide some more explanations on your thoughts it would be great. I think this is a valid discussion and a learning opportunity for all of us. 

Have a lovely day,
Liron

Omer Ziv

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Dec 4, 2015, 3:22:31 PM12/4/15
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Thanks Liron for your thoughtful response!
Hebrew really is very different from English - our letters are square and heavy :) It seems to me that Ben did a lot to try and match SSP's designs.

Paul, I'm sorry the process wasn't more inclusive, and would love to hear more about where you feel Ben's work strays from your original intentions.
I've seen some very interesting, constructive conversations on other threads in this group - and even if Ben's work doesn't end up published as a part of SSP (although, I really hope it will be), your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers!
Omer

Paul Hunt

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Dec 4, 2015, 3:45:31 PM12/4/15
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Of course I can share a more in-depth analysis of why I, as the designer of Source Sans, do not feel that the current design is not a good match for SSP. To start off with, the brief for SSP was to create a clear, simple sanserif typeface that would be pleasing in a user interface framework and would also work in running text on screens. To achieve these goals, I wanted to stick fairly close to traditional proportions, but with gently compressed forms. Additionally, I tried to reduce each letterform to it’s most basic structure while still keeping some details that added warmth and aid in legibility, eg the flick on the outstroke of l adds a bit of personality, but on a functional level it serves to differentiate between I (capital i) and l (lowercase L). In a way what I tried to do is to create a type that traces the bones of a traditional book face–the prototypical forms–and treats them with a touch of naïveté that lends the appropriate amount of warmth and character to the design.

In looking at the current state of Ben’s design, I do not see the same considerations influencing the design. The proportions feel like they have been made to adhere too strictly with the proportions and rhythm of the Latin, which I feel is probably a mistake to try to do so closely. The designer has tried to reduce the forms to something very simple, but I feel that he has gone too far an they no longer have much soul: the design feels very ‘ball-and-stick’ to me, a term that we use in Latin type design to refer to designs that are overly constructed, as if they they were made by piecing geometric balls and sticks together. For example, look at the Alef: it’s literally 3 straight lines arranged in together. You can say the same of many letters in the Latin: k, v, w, x, z. I could have also reduced l, t & y to straight stick forms, but I went with more writerly forms to give the design a greater sense of being informed by the human hand. I feel that Alef is in the same category as my latter examples of construction, some humanizing details can and should be kept to give life to the design so that it does not feel as sterile and rudimentary as it does now. Likewise, I feel that Yod and Vav are overly simplified and would benefit greatly from a treatment that helps these shapes to relate better to their more traditional, calligraphic forms.

Lastly, I find letterforms as designed to be a hodgepodge and not well harmonized. Perhaps the main thing that jumps out and bothers me is that the diagonals are all over the place. In particular, I am disturbed by the discrepancy between the Lamed and Qof. Lamed feels again like a stick letter, and Qof feels like it has been too rationalized away from its prototypical form in a way that is more appropriate for a display design and less so for a text design. Ideally, I would like to see diagonal forms of Tet, Lamed, Samekh, Ayn, Qof & Shin harmonized. (I was going to try to link to the Toby lettering book page for ספרדי, but the flickr link seems to be broken: https://www.flickr.com/photos/yaronimus/314322954/)  But the diagonals are only one area where I feel that harmonization is lacking, there are other details that should be handled in a more consistent way. I feel like overall effect of the deficiencies listed above is that there is not enough tension in the design to make it look interesting and give it life, as I hope that I have been able to do successfully with the Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic.

This summarizes my concerns and I do not feel that these can be overcome with a few small tweaks. The design needs to be rethought and redrawn in many places so that the spirit and use cases align much more closely to Source Sans pro instead of focusing on the wrong things that may questionably make the current design feel superficially like a match for SSP.

Dave Crossland

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Dec 4, 2015, 5:38:50 PM12/4/15
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Hi Paul!

Thanks for taking time to write up your in depth analysis :) 

I want to apologies for not keeping on top of this project, as Ben did agree at the outset to discuss the project with you, and you suggest using the Github issue tracker at https://github.com/adobe-fonts/source-hebrew-sans/issues/1 for this, but I didn't really keep track that the discussion didn't happen there and only realised that I hadn't heard from you regarding this when I looped you in via CC'ing you here. I wish I had forged a more in-depth discussion of the design direction earlier. 

I would like to suggest that to move this forwards, we three (you and Ben and I) schedule a hangout-on-air early next week to discuss the design in detail. (I'll be in India so early morning or early evening PST is best for me, and Ben is in Israel and so in-between us.)

I think there are two possible outcomes ahead: the first, and my preference, is that you and Ben work together such that you are happy with his design; I wonder that this may involve wider native-reader-type-designer review of the design to comment on how well the two scripts are working together. As you know I have a number of Israeli designers working on various projects (including Liron - thank you Liron for your email earlier in this thread :) who I hope will be happy to comment. 

The second outcome is that Ben renames his project to not use the Adobe trademark and OFL RFN name. It might be wise to do this as a next step, as a provisional 'code name' for development purposes, anyway, even if we arrive at the first outcome in the end :)  With this Plan B, it may be that Ben then starts on a new design that eventually becomes the Source Sans Hebrew. 
 
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Paul Hunt

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Dec 4, 2015, 5:47:07 PM12/4/15
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David,

I’m open to having a discussion on this next week. Robert Slimbach (designer of Myriad Hebrew and my lead designer) is wanting to have some discussion with me about design direction, but that will likely not happen until Wednesday next week, so I do not know how much I will have to say specifically regarding direction on a call earlier in the week, but can try to talk about things generally. If you think this will be helpful, let me know and I shall try to make time for this. Otherwise, I am currently in the process of relocating to Austsralia and will be taking some time off work until my work visa comes through (hopefully in early January). Depending on if we want to continue with developing a Hebrew counterpart for SSP, we may need to put that work on hold until after my visa is approved and I can get back to work.

Regards,

Paul

Meir Sadan

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Dec 8, 2015, 5:23:02 AM12/8/15
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Hi Paul, Ben and all,

I'm glad this discussion is taking place in this forum so that we can learn from this process and have some of the Hebrew designers weigh in as well, as Liron and Omer did. I see Paul's points in general about several of the design details, but I think that the base forms for the Hebrew script can't be based (at least not entirely) on a "traditional" Sepharadi script, as referenced by Paul. Hebrew typography has changed dramatically in the past ~60 years, mainly thanks to the work of pioneer type designers like Friedlaender, David and Narkiss, who looked past the "exiled" Sepharadi model of the script to more ancient forms (such as the Aleppo codex and Judean stone enscriptions) to invigorate Hebrew type and find its original elegance.
In my opinion, Ben's work is largely influenced by Narkiss and Oron's work with Hebrew type that lives in tandem with the Latin, and while there may be several details worth looking into in terms of some of the details (the top and bottom arms of the א alef, for instance), I think that in whole the script is overall in the right direction. I suggest Paul/Adobe work with Ben on refining specific details and working with the right references (Narkiss/David/Oron perhaps) to better adapt the Hebrew to the overall design direction of SSP.

Meir

Dave Crossland

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Dec 8, 2015, 5:37:27 AM12/8/15
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Hi Paul 

Sorry for my delay in responding

I'd love to chat with you and Ben before or after your chat with Robert; before might be better, as I've spoken with Ben and he would like to explain the deeper thinking behind the existing design direction (which he's validated by speaking with other type designers in Israel the last few days) and it could be cool for you to hear that and then discuss with Robert. 

I'm in India and Ben is in Israel and you are in California, so early today would be ideal - I'll be online and should have good bandwidth for a call :) 


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Adam Twardoch (List)

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Dec 8, 2015, 8:01:15 AM12/8/15
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Meir, 

I echo your points. 

Source Sans Pro is a close cousin to Morris Fuller Benton's News Gothic, especially evident when comparing to the Bitstream version: 

Source Sans has a slightly smaller x-height and somewhat more regularized strokes, but it very well retains the American neo-grotesque curve tensions. To my eye, the American neo-grotesque sits in the sweet spot between geometric and humanistic sanserifs. If you think of letterform skeletons, geometric sanserifs are drawn with the use of tools, while humanistic sanserif skeletons are "written". The American neo-grotesque is actually "hand drawn", it's the most architectural of all forms, where technology and the human hand contribute equally. 

This is what I always see in News Gothic or The Font Bureau's Benton Sans, and it's what I see in Source Sans Pro, with the addition that Source Sans goes just so slightly more towards the technical. Two things that are most recognizable about Source Sans is that the letterform elements terminate or meet at a very diagonal angle, 45 degree (ExtraLight) to 33 degree (Black), and that towards the black, the curves become rather rhomboid, pointy at the ends. 

One could say that Source Sans, as much as it can, avoids the horizontal emphasis (through the numerous diagonal connections), and avoids squareness at all cost (by making the ovals elliptic almost to the point of pointyness). 

Also, towards the black, the elements terminate a bit early, leaving wide open gaps. 

To me, these are the essential flavor elements of Source Sans. 

I do agree with Paul's view that Ben's Hebrew design is more "ball and stick". Out of all models that Meir mentioned, I would recommend looking at Ismar David's most. In fact, intuitively, I can say that there is a *lot* in David Hadash Formal which could be taken as inspiration for a Hebrew companion to Source Sans, or more broadly even, a Hebrew take on an "American neo-grotesque" style. 


Of course I don't mean the stroke modulation in David Hadash Formal, but the overall structure, and certain structural decisions. In David Hadash Formal, Ismar David had sought to "avoid the horizontal emphasis", and "avoid squareness at all cost". The underlying skeleton of David Hadash Formal has a lot of pointyness in the ovals, and a lot of diagonals. If that model were rationalized and you’d try to redraw its skeleton via an "architect’s hand", I think you could arrive at a very decent Hebrew that could work alongside Source Sans very well. 

I'm not saying that you should go the David model all the way. David Hadash Formal is a bit too angular and too fluid. And of course it would need to be "straightened" and probably made a bit more square (but not nearly as square as Ben's). There are many structural solutions in David Hadash Formal which I personally feel could be made into a good match with a neo-grotesque than in Ben's design, which is, I agree with Paul, far too simplistic (though it may work as a standalone design, but not as a Hebrew companion to Source Sans). 

But — well, I don't know nearly enough about Hebrew type design to claim any kind of real expertise. 

Many thanks,
Adam


 





On 08 Dec 2015, at 11:23, Meir Sadan <meir...@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Paul, Ben and all,

I'm glad this discussion is taking place in this forum so that we can learn from this process and have some of the Hebrew designers weigh in as well, as Liron and Omer did. I see Paul's points in general about several of the design details, but the think that the base forms for the Hebrew script can't be based (at least not entirely) on a "traditional" Sepharadi script, as referenced by Paul. Hebrew typography has changed dramatically in the past ~60 years, mainly thanks to the work of pioneer type designers like Friedlaender, David and Narkiss, who looked past the "exiled" Sepharadi model of the script to more ancient forms (such as the Aleppo codex and Judean stone enscriptions) to invigorate Hebrew type and find its original elegance.

In my opinion, Ben's work is largely influenced by Narkiss and Oron's work with Hebrew type that lives in tandem with the Latin, and while there may be several details worth looking into in terms of some of the details (the top and bottom arms of the א alef, for instance), I think that in whole the script is overall in the right direction. I suggest Paul/Adobe work with Ben on refining specific details and working with the right references (Narkiss/David/Oron perhaps) to better adapt the Hebrew to the overall design direction of SSP.

Meir


On Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 12:47:07 AM UTC+2, Paul Hunt wrote:
David,

I’m open to having a discussion on this next week. Robert Slimbach (designer of Myriad Hebrew and my lead designer) is wanting to have some discussion with me about design direction, but that will likely not happen until Wednesday next week, so I do not know how much I will have to say specifically regarding direction on a call earlier in the week, but can try to talk about things generally. If you think this will be helpful, let me know and I shall try to make time for this. Otherwise, I am currently in the process of relocating to Austsralia and will be taking some time off work until my work visa comes through (hopefully in early January). Depending on if we want to continue with developing a Hebrew counterpart for SSP, we may need to put that work on hold until after my visa is approved and I can get back to work.

Regards,

Paul

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Dave Crossland

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Dec 8, 2015, 12:41:33 PM12/8/15
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Hi

Adam, thanks again sharing your thoughts here :) 

On 8 December 2015 at 18:31, Adam Twardoch (List) <list...@twardoch.com> wrote:
In fact, intuitively, I can say that there is a *lot* in David Hadash Formal which could be taken as inspiration for a Hebrew companion to Source Sans, or more broadly even, a Hebrew take on an "American neo-grotesque" style. 

And since David Hadash has been OFL'd (and integrated with Gentium) at https://github.com/meirsadan/david-hofshi then perhaps another attempt at a Source Hebrew could do this more directly than just inspirationally. 

This kind of transformation could be an interesting pilot for Metapolator... :) 

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Paul Hunt

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Dec 8, 2015, 1:49:10 PM12/8/15
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I think that Adam nailed a lot of things that I was trying to allude to in my posts from last week. Namely that there is a lot of evidence of the human hand in SSP which I don’t see as readily in the shapes of this Hebrew design. The tricky thing on this project (as with any script matching project) is trying to match the voice and design language insofar as is appropriate. Let’s talk about this more if we can set up a time that works for the involved parties. Let me know when you think we can all have a chat.

Dave Crossland

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Dec 8, 2015, 2:33:47 PM12/8/15
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Hi

Would anytime for say 30 minutes between 9am and 11am tomorrow (wednesday 12/9) for you both? :)
 
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Paul Hunt

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Dec 8, 2015, 5:08:18 PM12/8/15
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PST?

Dave Crossland

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Dec 9, 2015, 1:22:42 AM12/9/15
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On 9 December 2015 at 03:38, Paul Hunt <ph...@adobe.com> wrote:
PST?

Yes :)

Paul Hunt

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Dec 9, 2015, 3:31:56 AM12/9/15
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OK. I shall make myself available then. 

P

Sent from my iPhone

Paul Hunt

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Dec 9, 2015, 3:32:31 AM12/9/15
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At 9:00 AM PST, that is.

P

Sent from my iPhone

Paul Hunt

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Dec 9, 2015, 11:47:04 AM12/9/15
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I’m online. I just need to know how you want to sync up.

Dave Crossland

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Dec 9, 2015, 11:54:39 AM12/9/15
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Dave Crossland

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Dec 9, 2015, 2:09:14 PM12/9/15
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Hi

We moved the call to Skype due to technical issues, and I think it went very well :) 

I noted the following action items to move the project forwards:

1. Ben to post the test char strings he'll use to sketch concepts

2. Paul and team to confirm the strings

3. Ben to sketch ideas and post PDFs here, and/or glyphs files on his repo

4. Paul will review via email on this thread

5. Once a sketch PDF is confirmed as a concrete design direction, then I'll work with Ben to get a smoother direct collaboration on font files themselves going between Ben and Paul via Github 

Cheers
Dave

Ben Nathan

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Dec 9, 2015, 2:41:05 PM12/9/15
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Thanks Dave!

We had a great talk today, here's the Hebrew test word: אוסטרליה (Australia) or/and כורדיסטן (Kurdistan)

Cheers,
Ben

Paul Hunt

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Dec 9, 2015, 6:05:32 PM12/9/15
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Thanks Ben, I just had a chance to meet with Robert Slimbach now and review the things that we talked about this morning and also have a bit of our own discussion. The key letters that we would like to see in the first phase should include אגהוספש (whatever you do beyond that is up to you, but let’s try to keep it to ~10-12 glyphs max to begin with). Robert and I looked at your ימים ולילות typeface and in a way what we almost want is a sanserif version, but following the model of Hatzvi (attached below) more closely in terms of construction of א and צ. We are looking forward to your interpretation of the guidance I gave you this morning and excited to see where this will now go. Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,

Paul
IMG_4345.JPG

Dave Crossland

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Dec 10, 2015, 2:52:15 AM12/10/15
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On 10 December 2015 at 01:11, Ben Nathan <hafo...@gmail.com> wrote:
here's the Hebrew test word: אוסטרליה (Australia) or/and כורדיסטן (Kurdistan)

On 10 December 2015 at 04:35, Paul Hunt <phunt...@gmail.com> wrote:
the first phase should include אגהוספש 

I'm curious what the reasonings are behind these strings :) 

Paul's seems to have more variety in forms which seems like an advantage to me

Meir Sadan

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Dec 10, 2015, 4:56:03 AM12/10/15
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Hey,

Re: test words: normally what we try in terms of control characters is include one letter of each "letter group", this includes -
Yod group - י, ו, ה, ח, ן, ך, ץ, ת, ף
Flat top group - ד, ז
Backstroke group - ב, כ, פ, מ, ם
Gimel Nun group - ג, נ
Diagonal group - א, צ
Round base group - ס, ש, ט
Qof Lamed group - ל, ק

Since it's almost impossible to find proper words that contain letters from each group it's usually just a random bunch or a word that contains letters from most groups.

Re: Hatzvi as a model for the Hebrew – I'm strongly against using it as a base model, as its base shapes are considered very "displayish" in Hebrew. David or Narkiss are a much better fit (and not very far from Hatzvi in any case).

Meir

Dave Crossland

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Dec 10, 2015, 5:01:44 AM12/10/15
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On 10 December 2015 at 15:26, Meir Sadan <meir...@gmail.com> wrote:
Re: Hatzvi as a model for the Hebrew – I'm strongly against using it as a base model, as its base shapes are considered very "displayish" in Hebrew. David or Narkiss are a much better fit (and not very far from Hatzvi in any case).

In our call, Paul called out the design so far as having forms that strike him as universally towards display, and I took away 3 key goals for the brief: 1. a good UI typeface for web apps, 2. a good long-form reading typeface, and 3. something warm and familiar, 'mid century modern', and not contemporary (in contrast to Ben's claim that the design so far is contemporary.) 

While Hatzvi may also be displayish, I wonder that since we worked with Monotype to release an OFL version of David Hadash, starting with Meir's David Hofshi and making a "sans" version could be good. Paul, what do you think?

Paul Hunt

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Dec 11, 2015, 5:54:48 PM12/11/15
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Dave:

Regarding your point 3) I would characterize this differently: of course we want a typeface that is contemporary and seeks to push the envelope in certain ways. But in order to harmonize with the styling of the Latin, ‘a whif’ of retro styling may be appropriate.

Meir:

Can you say what it is about the forms of Hatzvi that you find ‘displayish’? Is it the specific forms, or the styling, or something else?

Meir Sadan

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Dec 12, 2015, 6:00:01 PM12/12/15
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Hey Paul,

Hatzvi is a Hebrew display typeface. Since its release it was used mainly for advertisements and signage, and is hardly used in anything other than in retro 1950s style ads nowadays.
Context aside, Hatzvi's letteforms share several attributes with David Hebrew's, but its monolinearity, sharp angles and wide construction make it unsuitable for body text. In essence, it's considered monumental and "dramatic".
As I mentioned, David Hebrew shares Hatzvi's rationale in terms of construction, but does a better job in use range and versatility.

Meir

Dave Crossland

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Dec 13, 2015, 6:31:43 AM12/13/15
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Thanks for the clarification Paul :)

Ben, I suggest to take Meirs idea on board and see what Paul and team think of what you sketch up :)

Paul Hunt

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Dec 13, 2015, 1:52:31 PM12/13/15
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Dear Meir,

Thanks for sharing your observations. I’ve asked Ben to look at Hatzvi only in terms of letter construction and simplification and then not too, too closely. we are not trying to revive Hatzvi here, so we are just using it as a reference point, but the final design will maybe hopefully have only a bit of the spirit of Hatzvi without looking like it in terms of fine details. I feel like we have a solid design direction, let's wait and see what Ben comes up with before making any more judgements. 

Thanks,

Paul

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Ben Nathan

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Dec 14, 2015, 2:48:01 PM12/14/15
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Hi All,

Attached is a sketch in a new direction.
- wider Hebrew proportions
- rounder shapes
- added straight roofs in some places (to counter the round shapes and make the font "more Hebrew").

I also stared drawing a Hatzvi style direction, but let's see if this one is in the right direction.

Thanks!
Ben
he.pdf

Paul Hunt

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Dec 20, 2015, 9:14:45 PM12/20/15
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Dear Ben,

Sorry for the delayed response. I’ve been trying to decide what to say about this. But instead it occurs to me that I would like to see your version in the Hatzvi direction in comparison and then tell you what I like/dislike about both.

Best,

Paul

Ben Nathan

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Dec 22, 2015, 12:00:49 PM12/22/15