Interview with
Alexandra Korolkova

Since 1982, the As­so­ci­ation Ty­po­graph­ique In­ter­na­tionale (ATypI) has awar­ded the Prix Charles Peignot, named after the or­gan­isa­tion’s first pres­id­ent, to a de­sign­er un­der the age of 35 “for an out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to type design”. Among the win­ners of the Prix Charles Peignot are Petr van Blok­land (1988), Robert Slimbach (1991), Jean François Porchez (1998), Jonath­an Hoe­fler (2002), Chris­ti­an Schwarz (2007). In 2013, Al­ex­an­dra Korolkova won the pres­ti­gi­ous award.

2 November 2015


Rustam Gabbasov


Jon Raily,
Misha Beletsky


Ksenia Plotnikova,
Alexandra Korolkova

l­ex­an­dra speaks im­pa­tiently, like someone tak­ing a mo­ment out of her busy sched­ule to rep­rim­and a neg­li­gent stu­dent. She talks about her typefaces and her plans for the near fu­ture with a sense of hu­mour. The scope of her act­iv­it­ies begs a com­par­is­on to a one-wo­man band. A graph­ic and type de­sign­er with a num­ber of ori­gin­al type fam­il­ies to her name, in­clud­ing Leksa, Leksa Sans, Circe, PT Serif и PT Sans (the lat­ter two de­signed with Olga Umpel­eva un­der the dir­ec­tion of Vladi­mir Efimov); a gradu­ate of the Mo­scow State Uni­versity of Print­ing (2006), a mem­ber of the school’s Type Work­shop led by Al­ex­an­der Tar­beev; a re­search­er, con­sult­ant and pro­fess­or (al­though she had to let go of most of her teach­ing com­mit­ments after the birth of her daugh­ter); a win­ner of in­ter­na­tion­al type design com­pet­i­tions (in­clud­ing TypeArt, Mod­ern Cyril­lic, Gran­shan and the ED Awards); Korolkova pub­lished a book in­tro­du­cing Rus­si­an read­ers to the ba­sics of ty­po­graphy, Живая типографика (Liv­ing Ty­po­graphy) in 2007; she has led the design de­part­ment of  Para­type, Rus­sia’s largest and best-re­puted font foundry, since 2009; she is fre­quently in­vited to speak at ma­jor in­ter­na­tion­al con­fer­en­ces on type and ty­po­graphy (ATypI, TYPO Ber­lin, TypeCon etc). 


Al­ex­an­dra Korolkova at the Brit­ish School of Design. Mo­scow, 2013. Photo by Ksenia Plot­nikova.

The Prix Charles Peignot was awar­ded to a de­sign­er from Rus­sia for the first time in its his­tory. What does that mean to you?

It’s a silly old dream of mine that un­ex­pec­tedly came true. I knew about the Peignot Prize: I was at the ATypI con­fer­en­ce in Brighton in 2007 when it was giv­en to Schwartz (Chris­ti­an Schwartz, Amer­ic­an de­sign­er and co-founder of the Com­mer­cial­type stu­dio, re­ceived the prize in 2007—Ed.) and was greatly im­pressed by both the prize it­self and the spe­ci­men book­let with the win­ner’s typefaces. I de­cided I wanted to be­come one of these people. From time to time, I would ev­al­u­ate over­all res­ults of my work: “Is there a chance?” Each time, of course, I con­cluded I had no chance. I de­signed too few typefaces, my Lat­in faces had not won any in­ter­na­tion­al com­pet­i­tions and be­sides, there were people much cool­er out there. Later I got busier and vari­ous life’s chal­lenges dis­trac­ted me from these idle dreams. Sud­denly–bang!–I got a mes­sage from Max­im Zhukov con­grat­u­lat­ing me. For the first five minutes I thought it was a prank, be­cause the of­fi­cial mes­sage ended up in the folder set aside for my ATypI cor­res­pond­en­ce, which I rarely check.

What does re­ceiv­ing the Prize mean to me? I still think that based on the usu­al cri­ter­ia for the qual­ity and quant­ity of typeface out­put, as well as their im­pact on glob­al ty­po­graphy, I fall far short of the level of the last three win­ners. But the jury was pretty clear about the fact their de­cision was primar­ily based on re­cog­ni­tion of my ef­forts to pro­mote change and im­prove the ty­po­graph­ic en­vir­on­ment around me in every pos­sible way, and to a less­er de­gree on the mer­its of spe­cif­ic designs. Be­sides, one of the ob­vi­ous  trends in type design glob­ally right now is in fa­vour of mul­ti­lin­gual fam­il­ies and the non-Lat­ins, and I just hap­pen to fit in­to that nicely. To me this Prix Charles Peignot is a sign that the in­ter­na­tion­al type com­mu­nity is in­ter­es­ted in non-Lat­in type de­sign­ers, that they’ve star­ted to take the Cyril­lic al­pha­bet and the people who spe­cial­ize in it ser­i­ously, that we have come of age and they are will­ing to listen to us.

I feel a re­spons­ib­il­ity to pro­duce both new typefaces (now be­ing even more de­mand­ing to the res­ults) and the­ory. I will have to do a lot of writ­ing, per­haps primar­ily in Eng­lish.

Al­ex­an­dra KorolkovaJosé Scagli­oneAdam Twar­doch and one-half of Chris­ti­an Schwartz on the stage of Grand Hotel Krasna­pol­sky in Am­s­ter­dam where the 57th an­nu­al con­fer­en­ce ATypI took place in 2013. Al­ex­an­dra Korolkova gave a talk which was in­ten­ded to raise the aware­ness of the lack of au­thor­it­at­ive sources on Cyril­lic type design and to ar­gue for the need of tak­ing the fine dif­fer­en­ces in con­struc­tion of some char­ac­ters in the Lat­in and Cyril­lic scripts ser­i­ously. Al­though the tone of the present­a­tion may have been taken by some present as con­des­cend­ing, it was not meant to as­sert su­peri­or­ity of Rus­si­an de­sign­ers over oth­ers, but simply to ad­voc­ate for con­sult­ing with the ex­perts who spe­cial­ise in this script, wherever they may be found.

What is the pro­cess of design­ing the Cyril­lic char­ac­ter set for mul­ti­lin­gual type fam­il­ies like today for the de­sign­ers less ex­per­i­en­ced with this script? Do they have a good grasp of its his­tory and how many liber­ties do they take in in­ter­pret­ing its forms? What sources are they in­formed by?

Our West­ern col­leagues have a hard time find­ing sources on design of the Cyril­lic. Ul­ti­mately, they can only read a re­l­at­ively small num­ber of art­icles on the sub­ject by Max­im Zhukov—and that’s ex­cel­lent that these art­icles ex­ist, but that’s still not enough. I would say far from it! To hell with it, I’m go­ing in­to brand­ing! They can browse il­lus­tra­tions in Rus­si­an-lan­guage books (mainly So­viet, which are few and far between, or Yuri Gor­don’s Книга про буквы (Book of Let­ters) and scour the in­ter­net in search of dis­par­ate sources, re­ly­ing on auto­mat­ic trans­lat­ors, but there’s still no single au­thor­it­at­ive re­source on the sub­ject. His­tor­ic­al ex­amples are easi­er to come by, but the situ­ation with up-to-date sources is poor. It is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult for a per­son who doesn’t read Rus­si­an to study Cyril­lic type design in­de­pend­ently. Most re­sort to ana­lys­ing ex­ist­ing Cyril­lic typefaces, of­ten un­able to judge their qual­ity. I even heard the opin­ion voiced that “these Rus­si­ans hide everything from us on pur­pose.”

So if a West­ern de­sign­er takes a re­spons­ible at­ti­tude to the Cyril­lic al­pha­bet, then, as a rule, they feel pretty in­sec­ure and ask someone else how they can do a bet­ter job. Al­though, un­for­tu­nately, it of­ten hap­pens that the de­sign­er has enough con­fid­en­ce and few doubts, but in­suf­fi­cient know­ledge in the field of Cyril­lic. We can all see the res­ult of this.

As a res­ult of this short­age of in­form­a­tion, the most re­spons­ible of the for­eign type de­sign­ers who need to tackle Cyril­lics will con­sult an ex­pert. Un­jus­ti­fied self-con­fid­en­ce gets the bet­ter of many oth­ers. Un­for­tu­nate con­se­quences of this brag­gado­cio are in plain sight.

Do you have a meth­od­o­logy for con­sult­ing for­eign font de­sign­ers? What do you stress? Which of the liv­ing de­sign­ers dis­play the best mas­tery of the Cyril­lics?

I don’t do enough con­sult­ing to talk about a spe­cif­ic meth­od­o­logy. My ul­ti­mate ob­ject­ive is to end up with a us­able Cyril­lic that re­tains the spir­it of the ori­gin­al Lat­in reas­on­ably well, while my ba­sic goal is not to end up with a mon­ster. I first look at the Lat­in set to un­der­stand what sort of ef­fect the de­sign­er was after, wheth­er there are any dom­in­ant emo­tion­al and styl­ist­ic cues, or if the typeface is neut­ral in char­ac­ter. I then think about how to con­vey a sim­il­ar feel­ing in Cyril­lic. I share links to sim­il­ar typefaces or spe­ci­mens of let­ter­ing with the de­sign­er for ref­er­en­ce and, nat­ur­ally, make com­ments on the design of spe­cif­ic char­ac­ters. I note the de­sign­er’s re­ac­tion: how ready are they to make changes, how sens­it­ive are they to the dif­fer­en­ce between forms. At this point it be­comes clear wheth­er I should go all the way or settle for tech­nic­al com­ments: “nar­row­er here, wider here, shift this ele­ment to the left” for each char­ac­ter, and the like. The more sens­it­ive the de­sign­er is to the ty­po­graph­ic sub­tleties, the more in­formed are their design choices, and the less minute guid­ance of this sort they need. For ex­ample, I took a long time de­lib­er­at­ing which shape of K and Ж to re­com­mend to Ver­onika Buri­an for Ad­elle (us­ing the Lat­in form of the K in this case was not an op­tion), but as I was think­ing, she came up with a good solu­tion and the prob­lem re­solved it­self. I ima­gine, in a short while Ver­on­ica will do just fine on her own, as she’s keenly in­ter­es­ted in Cyril­lics and is look­ing to gain a deep­er un­der­stand­ing of the dif­fer­ent scripts she works with. A de­sign­er who is ser­i­ously fo­cused on mul­ti­lin­gual ty­po­graphy is in a whole dif­fer­ent league for me, com­pared to someone who designs the the non-Lat­in char­ac­ters just to com­plete the set.

As for the type design heavy­weights, Mat­thew Carter designs the best Cyril­lics hands down, al­though he ac­know­ledges that he con­stantly con­sults Max­im Zhukov. Carter Cyril­lics are un­equi­voc­ally good. Geor­gia, to take one ex­ample, could serve as a mod­el for any Rus­si­an-speak­ing type de­sign­er. I don’t know how im­port­ant mul­ti­lin­gual type design is for Carter, per­haps the qual­ity of his non-Lat­in char­ac­ters is just a sign of his su­per­lat­ive pro­fes­sion­al­ism. In any case, he is a kind of per­son you look up to and is im­pos­sible not to ad­mire.

You’ve taught at vari­ous schools, in­clud­ing the Mo­scow State Uni­versity of Print­ing Arts and the Brit­ish School of Design.What are some com­mon mis­takes of type design stu­dents?

Every type design stu­dent has made at least one big mis­take: they de­cided to go in­to type design, in full know­ledge of the fact that out of a class of ten or fif­teen people in Mo­scow each year who choose this con­cen­tra­tion, about half a per­son will end up do­ing it for a liv­ing. Jokes aside, the de­cision is not ex­actly a mis­take, but the situ­ation is un­for­tu­nate. Let’s say, someone makes their first typeface for a class pro­ject, de­pend­ing on where they stud­ied, they may even com­plete the design and re­lease it, or may not. If they went to the Brit­ish School, most likely it even­tu­ally re­leased. If they went to the Uni­versity of Print­ing, they prob­ably would keep it to them­selves. They did it, more or less got it in­to shape and now have one proud sol­it­ary typeface. At this point they real­ise, “To hell with it, I’m go­ing in­to brand­ing!” The ba­sic course starts off with pen let­ter­ing­What’s the point of put­ting all this time and ef­fort in­to type design? I can’t blame them, but it seems to me it would be wiser to con­cen­trate in something only once you’re sure that it is what you want to do and plan to con­tin­ue do­ing in the fu­ture. I don’t know if the gen­er­al ex­pos­ure to the sub­ject is worth the in­vest­ment of years of pro­fes­sion­al train­ing.

How did you get in­to type design?

At my first type class, right at the be­gin­ning of my second year, the av­er­age age of the group was eight­een. We were all so “green”, had had been out of high school for only a year and barely began to real­ise that we wer­en’t on track to to be­come fine artists, but something else. Enter the cha­ris­mat­ic Al­ex­an­der Tar­beev (type de­sign­er, teach­er, founder of the Type Work­shop at the Mo­scow State Uni­versity of Print­ing, au­thor of many ori­gin­al typefaces and Cyril­lic ver­sions of Lat­in typefaces that have been awar­ded with Rus­si­an and in­ter­na­tion­al prizes. —Ed.). And right off the bat: “Who knows what boustrophedon is?” Ivan Vas­in who has three gen­er­a­tions of de­sign­ers in his fam­ily knew the an­swer right away, and I was sit­ting there with my “straight-A stu­dent” su­peri­or­ity com­plex, in­tim­id­ated, “Hmm, this pro­fess­or is def­in­itely not go­ing to pay any at­ten­tion to me…”

After the first year of the found­a­tion course (in the second year at the Uni­versity of Print­ing Arts, four hours a week, with pro­fess­or di­vid­ing his at­ten­tion among thirty stu­dents), I de­cided to design my own typeface. Of course, I had to choose the most dif­fi­cult thing out there to cov­er as much ground as pos­sible in one shot, a Vene­tian old­style. This pro­ject evolved in­to Leksa.

There was a two-year ba­sic course at the uni­versity, then who­ever wanted went on to the Type Work­shop. The ba­sic course starts off with his­tor­ic­al cal­li­graphy for the first six months, mainly with a broad nib. As far as I know, poin­ted pen cal­li­graphy has also been in­tro­duced re­cently, but the bulk of the pro­gram is still mostly his­tor­ic­al scripts from Ro­man square cap­it­als and Rus­tica to hu­man­ist minus­cule and it­al­ic done with a broad-nib pen. The second semester was ded­ic­ated to the his­tory of ty­po­graphy, in­clud­ing type-based let­ter­ing. Dia­grams were drawn by hand on a sheet of A3 pa­per com­par­ing shapes of each char­ac­ter from vari­ous his­tor­ic­al peri­ods with dis­tin­guish­ing fea­tures of each style ex­plained in the cap­tions. The third was

What was your de­gree pro­ject?

It con­sis­ted of two parts: design­ing a typeface and writ­ing the Liv­ing Ty­po­graphy book. It may sound like a bit much for a school pro­ject, but this was not en­tirely my fault. The fac­ulty used our class as guinea pigs and in­tro­duced this so-called “spe­cial­isa­tion” for the first time right when I was there. About a year and a half be­fore the gradu­ation we were told, “Sit down and come up with a de­gree pro­ject”. I thought about what I could do for a year and a half without re­gret­ting it later and chose a book.

Do you ever re­vise typefaces that have already been re­leased, such as Leksa?

I do, but only if someone finds a mis­take and alerts me of it. Oth­er­wise, tinker­ing with re­leased fonts is a can of worms: one thing leads to an­oth­er and there is no end in sight… Re­cently someone wrote to me about a prob­lem with the colon in one of my fonts. It wasn’t ex­actly wrong, but I’d made the left side bear­ing slightly wider hav­ing text set­ting in mind and not con­sid­er­ing prop­erly how it would ap­pear else­where. This per­son poin­ted out the way “18:00” looked in this font and I real­ized I botched up.

How do you be­gin the pro­cess of design­ing a typeface?

This may be un­usu­al, but I hardly pre­pare any sketches. At most, I do a very rough draw­ing. After four years of sketch­ing Leksa I dis­covered  the more care­fully I tried to draw, the worse the res­ult. Here is my work­flow now: I come up with the concept for a typeface, de­cide on its char­ac­ter, then I start com­ing up with shapes dir­ec­tly in Font­lab. Once the ba­sic set of char­ac­ters is drawn, I make the first prin­tout, look for mis­takes, cor­rect them, print again, and so on.


The first test proof of a typeface with the de­sign­er’s notes.

Have you con­sidered go­ing to school abroad?

I got in­to Read­ing (pres­ti­gi­ous uni­versity in Eng­land, the Uni­versity of Read­ing, MA Typeface Design pro­gramme chaired by Gerry Le­oni­das. – Ed.), but I could not find enough money to pay for the course (laughs).

By the way, in our in­ter­view with Gerry Le­oni­das, we asked why they did not have any stu­dents from Rus­sia, aside from Sophia Safaeva (Read­ing,2007). He thought the un­fair sys­tem that did not al­low for for­eign stu­dent schol­ar­ships for was to blame.

At the time, around the end of 2008, I could not af­ford to pay the tu­ition my­self: high­er edu­ca­tion in the UK is very ex­pens­ive for non-res­id­ents. I tried to get a grant from the Brit­ish Coun­cil. I filed out all of the pa­per­work and took the en­trance ex­ams. I passed and got some let­ters from Read­ing, but was not giv­en the grant.

Why were you in­ter­es­ted in the Uni­versity of Read­ing pro­gramme and not the pop­u­lar Type & Me­dia course at the Roy­al Academy of Art in The Hag­ue?

I wanted to go to Read­ing from the get-go. It was only later that I found out that you had to spend the second half of the year writ­ing writ­ing a dis­ser­ta­tion. It seemed to me that KABK had a more en­ter­tain­ing course. But for me edu­ca­tion was not so much about fun; I didn’t need to go any­where to have fun. Per­son­ally, I think it’s more im­port­ant for a type de­sign­er to be able to pro­duce a good text typeface than to be able to carve let­ters in stone or to write code. Per­haps I’m old-fash­ioned.

Vladi­mir Krichevsky al­ways says there is over abund­ance of typefaces and a lack of qual­ity ty­po­graphy in our world today. What are your thoughts on this? Is it type de­sign­er’s busi­ness to try to also be a ty­po­graph­er and set the bar of us­ing type prop­erly in the graph­ic design in­dustry?

I think it de­pends on the po­s­i­tion of the de­sign­er. There is plenty of his­tor­ic­al pre­ced­ents of people that de­signed the type, the book, and the rest of it single-handedly.

The golden age?

De­pends on how you look at it. I wouldn’t want to be in Bodoni’s shoes and work only on type design in the same style my en­tire life. Even as times changed, in the pan­to­graph era, people could design their types quietly without wor­ry­ing about the world bey­ond their room. Vladi­mir Efimov, to take an­oth­er ex­ample, was per­fectly con­tent be­ing just a type de­sign­er and did not feel an urge to set any sort of a bar for graph­ic de­sign­ers. Would it be a good idea to get in­volved in ty­po­graphy and lay­out as well? I can’t an­swer this ques­tion ob­ject­ively. Per­son­ally, I do. One simple reas­on is that I was trained to do it, and it would be strange to ig­nore these skills and for­get all about my five years at the Uni­versity of Print­ing Arts and about the es­teemed Al­ex­an­der Konoplev who taught me book design.

Would you agree with a state­ment that an un­jus­ti­fi­ably high num­ber of typefaces is pro­duced today? Many de­sign­ers just nev­er seem to stop.

Only a frac­tion of these de­sign­ers (half, at most) re­lease everything they design. Oth­ers keep most of their work to them­selves. Many of those that con­stantly re­lease fonts, un­for­tu­nately, have no mar­ket to speak of. This hap­pens all the time. A per­son designs a typeface just be­cause they feel like it; they sell a couple of li­censes, give it away to friends, and that’s about it. At the same token, truly es­sen­tial re­leases are few and far between.

Could you define es­sen­tial?

Per­haps it’s an over­state­ment; what I mean is types that can be used ef­fect­ively to solve a real-life prob­lem. This would be a well-made typeface with dis­tinct­ive fea­tures that make it the right one to spe­ci­fy in the right place. Oc­ca­sion­ally, a design prob­lem comes up which has no suit­able ty­po­graph­ic solu­tion at hand. At times, there’s only one ap­pro­pri­ate Cyril­lic face in ex­ist­en­ce which has been around for years and over­used. What is the great ma­jor­ity of Rus­si­an books set in? I can only name a hand­ful of types: Charter, Swift, Times, Peters­burg. It’s not be­cause we have a lot of good text typefaces but ty­po­graph­ers re­fuse to use them. It’s be­cause there is a scarcity of well-made text faces. They are simply not there, and neither is qual­ity ty­po­graphy. Ty­po­graphy does ex­ist, of course, but it has to op­er­ate with a very lim­ited vocab­u­lary. Two things are needed to have truly rich ty­po­graphy: tal­en­ted and well-trained ty­po­graph­ers, as well as a full styl­ist­ic range of qual­ity text types. I don’t mean to im­ply that every font on the mar­ket is bad, but the ma­jor­ity is. Any­one can eas­ily down­load thou­sands of bad pir­ated fonts from the web. The quick­er this ty­po­graph­ic noise dis­ap­pears, the soon­er the qual­ity of our ty­po­graphy at large will im­prove.

Will it go away on its own?

It’s gradu­ally giv­ing way – I’m look­ing out­side (our in­ter­view with Al­ex­an­dra took place in the centre of Mo­scow, at a cafe on Bolshaya Dmitro­vka Street—Ed.) and I see de­cent sig­nage. It’s clear that the situ­ation will not im­prove by it­self, but the num­ber of people who are com­ing in­to the pro­fes­sion with at least some train­ing is gradu­ally in­creas­ing, while the num­ber of people who just happened to be at the com­puter be­cause someone asked them to “put to­geth­er” some busi­ness cards or a sign is get­ting smal­ler. Now that that they are avail­able, the Lebedev guidelines (in the sum­mer of 2013, the Art. Lebedev Stu­dio presen­ted its design code for the city of Mo­scow, de­signed to reg­u­late the place­ment of out­door signs in the city and im­prove the ap­pear­ance of its his­tor­ic centre—Ed.) should make a dif­fer­en­ce. If they are ad­op­ted, our ty­po­graph­ic en­vir­on­ment will get at least a little bit bet­ter.

Many of your text faces can be used a wide range of pro­jects thanks to their ex­ten­ded char­ac­ter sets: old style fig­ures, small caps, op­tic­al sizes and oth­er ty­po­graph­ic en­hance­ments. Do you have a sense of how of­ten the users take ad­vant­age of them?

Ac­tu­ally, I don’t sup­ply all of these niceties in every case. I base the scope of each pro­ject on what I would find use­ful if I was the user. A while back (in an on­line dis­cus­sion on ru-ty­po­­journ­ for­um), there was a de­bate on use­ful­ness  of small caps and old style fig­ures in it­al­ics. I could an­swer this ques­tion from my own ex­per­i­en­ce: the foot­notes in a book I de­signed were set in it­al­ics, while old style fig­ures were used in the main text. As far as I know, these fig­ures were ad­ded to the it­al­ic font later, but there wer­en’t any at that time. So I had to re­place all num­bers   in the it­al­ic foot­notes with up­right old style fig­ures, be­cause I didn’t want to use lin­ing fig­ures. It some­times simply gets an­noy­ing: small caps would fit the pro­ject, but they are not avail­able. Mean­while, it’s not that hard tech­nic­ally for the type de­sign­er to add them: with the help of mac­ros and ac­tions a min­im­um of hand work is needed.

Which de­sign­ers in­spire you?

My first love in type design was Wil­li­am Mor­ris. Not so much even his type design, as his ap­proach. Nev­er mind Golden Type! I love his ap­proach. He de­signed types, prin­ted his own books with them, cre­ated wall­pa­pers and tex­tiles, de­signed fur­niture, built a house… He’s done it all. Now that’s a de­sign­er! Then there are the de­sign­ers that you fol­low and envy.  Jean François Porchez, Jes­sica His­che, Max­imili­ano Sproviero, their sense of ty­po­graph­ic form is in­cred­ibly well-de­ve­loped.

Your book Liv­ing Ty­po­graphy was ad­dressed to young de­sign­ers and stu­dents. Have you con­sidered writ­ing a book for fel­low pro­fes­sion­als?

I’ve been think­ing about writ­ing a second book for a while, and ac­tu­ally wrote a chapter and a half about two or three years ago. It now seems that it will con­sist of two volumes: the first volume about type would be ad­dressed to the Rus­si­an de­sign­ers. It would cov­er the bases: the his­tory of cal­li­graphy, his­tor­ic­al over­view of type design, design the­ory: the pen, neg­at­ive shapes and so on. The second volume would be about the par­tic­u­lars of design­ing the Cyril­lic al­pha­bet; this would be ad­dressed not only to the Rus­si­an speak­ers, but also to oth­ers. I would talk about what kind of a beast it is, how its char­ac­ters are con­struc­ted, how to feel about vari­ous ar­che­types in Cyril­lic type design… Now, all I need to do is to sit down and to write it.