11 January 2012

Double delight

I've just been looking with unrestrained admiration through the work of musician David Adams (which I only discovered today), on YouTube and elsewhere, orbiting back to his own company website Bozarts.

Prominent at Bozarts is coverage of his new play, Dmitri and Uncle Joe, which...explores an imagined meeting in 1950 between the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and the great Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich – both unexpectedly stranded and forced to share a bedroom together in a snow-bound dacha.

Over the years, JSB's Ray Girvan and I have several times discussed in passing the use of "faux Cyrillic" text, where Cyrillic characters are substituted (as a typographic design device) for Latin ones* with which they share a visual resemblance. Ray recently noted a current example in the posters for The Darkest Hour (Chris Gorak, 2011; released as Phantom in Russia) and, a few months back, a more subtle example on a bar. The promotional material for Dmitri and Uncle Joe offers me the chance to post (on the left, here) two faux Cyrillic examples in reply.

*I feel a slight feeling of irritation whenever this device is used ... thoroughly unreasonable irritation, I hasten add: the problem is entirely mine, not the designer's. Having a slight, but only slight, familiarity with Cyrillic I find myself trying to read the substituted characters, falling over them, and feeling foolish...

1 comment:

Ray Girvan said...

I feel a slight feeling of irritation

Me too in this case, but only because it has become a cliché. Apart from that, I find the practice artistically ingenious. Geek of All Trades has an ongoing thread - Geek of Type and Lettering - featuring other examples: English styled as Arabic, Naskh-style Urdu, Tamil and Devanagari; along with examples from other language pairs, such as Tibtan-styled Chinese and Arabic-styled Devanagari.