*credit left to right: Marija Juza & Nikola Djurek, Bruno Ponceano
* click to enlarge
Balkan Sans is a font that combines the two alphabets Cyrillic and Latin. This font was born from the phenomenon of Balkan linguistic union. The latter deals with the similarities between different languages found in the Balkan Peninsula and which, by their historical cohabitation, have caused these linguistic similarities. This typeface was also designed with the objective of identifying the different letters common among certain languages spoken by Southern Slavs such as Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian.
Balkan Sans today wishes to bring together these different groups of languages and therefore of culture, in favor of tolerance, education and above all, communication. In short, the characteristics of this font are that it translates alphabetically from Latin and Cyrillic and vice versa.
Published in 2012 by typographers Nikola Djurek and Marija Juza for the Typothèque foundry, the Balkan Character Family, received the Certificate of Typography Excellence by the Type Directors Club, the Special Jury Award at the 23rd edition of the Biennale of Design, the Grand Croatian Designers Society Prize and a Grand Prize - Zgraf.
Since Cyrillic brings together dozens of languages, there is therefore no common translation into the Latin alphabet, Balkan Sans then uses two alternative OpenType styles in addition to the original one. These three versions thus allow the character family to translate Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian and 'Ukrainian in languages', of Latin origin such as French and English.
Also, while there are common letters between the Cyrillic and Latin alphabet, Juza and Djurek have chosen to represent these letters in a single glyph. Thus, a large letter means that it is common to both alphabets. A strong symbol of unification between two very different cultures but which, over time, have come to resemble each other and come together.
Foundry website: typotheque.com/balkan_sans
Font specimen: here
* Balkan Sans Specimen, Typotheque
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