Rosetta

1 variable font (Weight, Element Shape, and Element Grid axes)
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                                                                                            About Handjet

                                                                                            In autumn 2018, I was lucky to teach type design to the talented graphic design students at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Brno. Their first exercise was to build a simple element-based font tailored to work well with handjet printers. Most of them had their first font with basic English and Czech alphabets done by the end of the day!

                                                                                            The handjet’s 32-pixel vertical matrix defined the constraints. The only contour to draw was the shape of the element; the rest was “only” a matter of placing the elements on the grid to form letters. When I realized the task could be taken even further, I set out to design my own font. Not leaving the house that weekend I ended up with a pan-European Latin. A couple of days later I had Greek and Cyrillic too. And once I started interpolating the element shapes, it got out of control completely.

                                                                                            Currently, the Handjet system contains 23 elemental shapes. Smooth transitions between them create various effects: a triangle appears out of thin air and expands into a square, the square rotates to create a lozenge, a circle smoothly turns into an oval, a clover becomes a rotating star or a heart, etc. The size of elements can be changed, producing different weights, and clusters of 2x2 smaller elements can replace the primary, single element. All work within a single variable font, allowing users to produce their custom variations and animations easily.

                                                                                            In 2019, Google sponsored the extension and open-sourcing of Handjet. All variations and element shapes have been thoroughly revisited and extended. With consultants Borna Izadpanah, Khajag Apelian, and Meir Sadan, I have also added support for Arabic, Armenian, and Hebrew, respectively. Selected symbols representing wildlife and domestic animals were added, as were seasonal symbols and patterns.

                                                                                            — David Březina, September 2020

                                                                                            P.S. If you want to do this exercise with your students, have a look at this Glyphs tutorial.

                                                                                            P.P.S. To be perfectly clear, I went way overboard of what Handjets’ grids permits. Hence, only some of the fonts are actually good-looking when used with the printers.

                                                                                            Get Handjet

                                                                                            Standard licence: Trial licence: Need more?
                                                                                            • desktop: 5 users
                                                                                            • web: up to 500K pageviews/monthly
                                                                                            • OTF, TTF, and WOFF2 formats
                                                                                            See the licence text for details
                                                                                            • desktop: 1 user
                                                                                            • only for evaluation and testing
                                                                                            • OTF with some characters removed
                                                                                            See the licence text for details
                                                                                            • more desktop/web users
                                                                                            • app/game embedding
                                                                                            • broadcasting licencing
                                                                                            • OEM licencing
                                                                                            Buy Fonts Single font: 5 € Get Free Trial Fonts Contact the HQ
                                                                                            Standard licence:
                                                                                            • desktop: 5 users
                                                                                            • web: up to 500K pageviews/monthly
                                                                                            • OTF, TTF, and WOFF2 formats
                                                                                            See the licence text for details Buy Fonts Single font: 5 €
                                                                                            Trial licence:
                                                                                            • desktop: 1 user
                                                                                            • only for evaluation and testing
                                                                                            • OTF with some characters removed
                                                                                            See the licence text for details Get Free Trial Fonts

                                                                                            Glyph table

                                                                                            OpenType features

                                                                                            Supported scripts and languages

                                                                                            Arabic

                                                                                            32 languages
                                                                                            • Aimaq
                                                                                            • Algerian Arabic
                                                                                            • Baharna Arabic
                                                                                            • Chadian Arabic
                                                                                            • Dari
                                                                                            • Dehwari
                                                                                            • Dogri (individual language)
                                                                                            • Eastern Egyptian Bedawi Arabic
                                                                                            • Egyptian Arabic
                                                                                            • Gulf Arabic
                                                                                            • Hadrami Arabic
                                                                                            • Hazaragi
                                                                                            • Hijazi Arabic
                                                                                            • Iranian Persian
                                                                                            • Iraqi Arabic
                                                                                            • Libyan Arabic
                                                                                            • Moroccan Arabic
                                                                                            • Najdi Arabic
                                                                                            • North Levantine Arabic
                                                                                            • North Mesopotamian Arabic
                                                                                            • Omani Arabic
                                                                                            • Qashqa'i
                                                                                            • Saidi Arabic
                                                                                            • Sanaani Arabic
                                                                                            • South Levantine Arabic
                                                                                            • Standard Arabic
                                                                                            • Sudanese Arabic
                                                                                            • Sudanese Creole Arabic
                                                                                            • Talysh
                                                                                            • Ta’izzi-Adeni Arabic
                                                                                            • Tunisian Arabic
                                                                                            • Urdu

                                                                                            Armenian

                                                                                            2 languages
                                                                                            • Eastern Armenian
                                                                                            • Western Armenian

                                                                                            Cyrillic

                                                                                            72 languages
                                                                                            • Abaza
                                                                                            • Adyghe
                                                                                            • Aghul
                                                                                            • Andi
                                                                                            • Archi
                                                                                            • Avaric
                                                                                            • Bashkir
                                                                                            • Belarusian
                                                                                            • Bezhta
                                                                                            • Budukh
                                                                                            • Bulgarian
                                                                                            • Central Siberian Yupik
                                                                                            • Chamalal
                                                                                            • Chechen
                                                                                            • Chinese Buriat
                                                                                            • Chuvash
                                                                                            • Crimean Tatar
                                                                                            • Dargwa
                                                                                            • Dido
                                                                                            • Dungan
                                                                                            • Eastern Mari
                                                                                            • Erzya
                                                                                            • Halh Mongolian
                                                                                            • Ingush
                                                                                            • Judeo-Tat
                                                                                            • Kabardian
                                                                                            • Kalmyk
                                                                                            • Karachay-Balkar
                                                                                            • Karaim
                                                                                            • Karata
                                                                                            • Kazakh
                                                                                            • Khakas
                                                                                            • Khinalugh
                                                                                            • Kirghiz
                                                                                            • Komi-Permyak
                                                                                            • Komi-Zyrian
                                                                                            • Krymchak
                                                                                            • Kumyk
                                                                                            • Lak
                                                                                            • Lezghian
                                                                                            • Macedonian
                                                                                            • Moksha
                                                                                            • Mongolian Buriat
                                                                                            • Montenegrin
                                                                                            • Muslim Tat
                                                                                            • Nogai
                                                                                            • North Azerbaijani
                                                                                            • Northern Altai
                                                                                            • Northern Kurdish
                                                                                            • Northern Yukaghir
                                                                                            • Ossetian
                                                                                            • Russian
                                                                                            • Russian Buriat
                                                                                            • Rusyn
                                                                                            • Rutul
                                                                                            • Serbian
                                                                                            • Shor
                                                                                            • Shughni
                                                                                            • Southern Altai
                                                                                            • Southern Yukaghir
                                                                                            • Tabassaran
                                                                                            • Tajik
                                                                                            • Tatar
                                                                                            • Tsakhur
                                                                                            • Tuvinian
                                                                                            • Udi
                                                                                            • Udmurt
                                                                                            • Ukrainian
                                                                                            • Urum
                                                                                            • Western Mari
                                                                                            • Yagnobi
                                                                                            • Yakut

                                                                                            Greek

                                                                                            1 language
                                                                                            • Modern Greek

                                                                                            Hebrew

                                                                                            5 languages
                                                                                            • Bukharic
                                                                                            • Eastern Yiddish
                                                                                            • Hebrew
                                                                                            • Judeo-Persian
                                                                                            • Western Yiddish

                                                                                            Latin

                                                                                            324 languages
                                                                                            • Acheron
                                                                                            • Achinese
                                                                                            • Achuar-Shiwiar
                                                                                            • Afar
                                                                                            • Afrikaans
                                                                                            • Aguaruna
                                                                                            • Amahuaca
                                                                                            • Amarakaeri
                                                                                            • Amis
                                                                                            • Andaandi, Dongolawi
                                                                                            • Anuta
                                                                                            • Ao Naga
                                                                                            • Apinayé
                                                                                            • Aragonese
                                                                                            • Arbëreshë Albanian
                                                                                            • Arvanitika Albanian
                                                                                            • Asháninka
                                                                                            • Ashéninka Perené
                                                                                            • Asu (Tanzania)
                                                                                            • Atayal
                                                                                            • Balinese
                                                                                            • Bari
                                                                                            • Basque
                                                                                            • Batak Dairi
                                                                                            • Batak Karo
                                                                                            • Batak Mandailing
                                                                                            • Batak Simalungun
                                                                                            • Batak Toba
                                                                                            • Bemba (Zambia)
                                                                                            • Bena (Tanzania)
                                                                                            • Bikol
                                                                                            • Bini
                                                                                            • Bislama
                                                                                            • Borana-Arsi-Guji Oromo
                                                                                            • Bosnian
                                                                                            • Breton
                                                                                            • Buginese
                                                                                            • Candoshi-Shapra
                                                                                            • Caquinte
                                                                                            • Caribbean Hindustani
                                                                                            • Cashibo-Cacataibo
                                                                                            • Cashinahua
                                                                                            • Catalan
                                                                                            • Cebuano
                                                                                            • Central Aymara
                                                                                            • Central Kurdish
                                                                                            • Central Nahuatl
                                                                                            • Chachi
                                                                                            • Chamorro
                                                                                            • Chavacano
                                                                                            • Chiga
                                                                                            • Chiltepec Chinantec
                                                                                            • Chokwe
                                                                                            • Chuukese
                                                                                            • Cimbrian
                                                                                            • Cofán
                                                                                            • Congo Swahili
                                                                                            • Cook Islands Māori
                                                                                            • Cornish
                                                                                            • Corsican
                                                                                            • Creek
                                                                                            • Crimean Tatar
                                                                                            • Croatian
                                                                                            • Czech
                                                                                            • Danish
                                                                                            • Dehu
                                                                                            • Dimli
                                                                                            • Dutch
                                                                                            • Eastern Abnaki
                                                                                            • Eastern Arrernte
                                                                                            • Eastern Oromo
                                                                                            • Embu
                                                                                            • English
                                                                                            • Ese Ejja
                                                                                            • Faroese
                                                                                            • Fijian
                                                                                            • Filipino
                                                                                            • Finnish
                                                                                            • French
                                                                                            • Friulian
                                                                                            • Gagauz
                                                                                            • Galician
                                                                                            • Ganda
                                                                                            • Garifuna
                                                                                            • Ga’anda
                                                                                            • German
                                                                                            • Gheg Albanian
                                                                                            • Gilbertese
                                                                                            • Gooniyandi
                                                                                            • Guadeloupean Creole French
                                                                                            • Gusii
                                                                                            • Gwichʼin
                                                                                            • Haitian
                                                                                            • Hani
                                                                                            • Hawaiian
                                                                                            • Hiligaynon
                                                                                            • Ho-Chunk
                                                                                            • Hopi
                                                                                            • Huastec
                                                                                            • Hungarian
                                                                                            • Icelandic
                                                                                            • Iloko
                                                                                            • Inari Sami
                                                                                            • Indonesian
                                                                                            • Irish
                                                                                            • Istro Romanian
                                                                                            • Italian
                                                                                            • Ixcatlán Mazatec
                                                                                            • Jamaican Creole English
                                                                                            • Japanese
                                                                                            • Javanese
                                                                                            • Jola-Fonyi
                                                                                            • K'iche'
                                                                                            • Kabuverdianu
                                                                                            • Kaingang
                                                                                            • Kala Lagaw Ya
                                                                                            • Kalaallisut
                                                                                            • Kalenjin
                                                                                            • Kamba (Kenya)
                                                                                            • Kaonde
                                                                                            • Kaqchikel
                                                                                            • Karelian
                                                                                            • Kashubian
                                                                                            • Kekchí
                                                                                            • Kenzi, Mattokki
                                                                                            • Khasi
                                                                                            • Kikuyu
                                                                                            • Kimbundu
                                                                                            • Kinyarwanda
                                                                                            • Kirmanjki
                                                                                            • Kituba (DRC)
                                                                                            • Kongo
                                                                                            • Konzo
                                                                                            • Kuanyama
                                                                                            • Kven Finnish
                                                                                            • Kölsch
                                                                                            • Ladin
                                                                                            • Ladino
                                                                                            • Latgalian
                                                                                            • Latin
                                                                                            • Ligurian
                                                                                            • Lithuanian
                                                                                            • Lombard
                                                                                            • Low German
                                                                                            • Lower Sorbian
                                                                                            • Lozi
                                                                                            • Luba-Lulua
                                                                                            • Lule Sami
                                                                                            • Luo (Kenya and Tanzania)
                                                                                            • Luxembourgish
                                                                                            • Macedo-Romanian
                                                                                            • Makhuwa
                                                                                            • Makhuwa-Meetto
                                                                                            • Makonde
                                                                                            • Makwe
                                                                                            • Malagasy
                                                                                            • Malaysian
                                                                                            • Maltese
                                                                                            • Manx
                                                                                            • Maore Comorian
                                                                                            • Maori
                                                                                            • Mapudungun
                                                                                            • Marshallese
                                                                                            • Matsés
                                                                                            • Mauritian Creole
                                                                                            • Meriam Mir
                                                                                            • Meru
                                                                                            • Mezquital Otomi
                                                                                            • Minangkabau
                                                                                            • Mirandese
                                                                                            • Mohawk
                                                                                            • Montagnais
                                                                                            • Montenegrin
                                                                                            • Munsee
                                                                                            • Murrinh-Patha
                                                                                            • Muslim Tat
                                                                                            • Mwani
                                                                                            • Mískito
                                                                                            • Naga Pidgin
                                                                                            • Navajo
                                                                                            • Ndonga
                                                                                            • Neapolitan
                                                                                            • Ngazidja Comorian
                                                                                            • Niuean
                                                                                            • Nobiin
                                                                                            • Nomatsiguenga
                                                                                            • North Azerbaijani
                                                                                            • North Ndebele
                                                                                            • Northern Kurdish
                                                                                            • Northern Qiandong Miao
                                                                                            • Northern Sami
                                                                                            • Northern Uzbek
                                                                                            • Norwegian
                                                                                            • Nyanja
                                                                                            • Nyankole
                                                                                            • Occitan
                                                                                            • Ojitlán Chinantec
                                                                                            • Orma
                                                                                            • Oroqen
                                                                                            • Otuho
                                                                                            • Palauan
                                                                                            • Paluan
                                                                                            • Pampanga
                                                                                            • Papantla Totonac
                                                                                            • Papiamento
                                                                                            • Paraguayan Guaraní
                                                                                            • Pedi
                                                                                            • Picard
                                                                                            • Pichis Ashéninka
                                                                                            • Piemontese
                                                                                            • Pijin
                                                                                            • Pintupi-Luritja
                                                                                            • Pipil
                                                                                            • Pite Sami
                                                                                            • Pohnpeian
                                                                                            • Polish
                                                                                            • Portuguese
                                                                                            • Potawatomi
                                                                                            • Purepecha
                                                                                            • Páez
                                                                                            • Quechua
                                                                                            • Romanian
                                                                                            • Romansh
                                                                                            • Rotokas
                                                                                            • Rundi
                                                                                            • Rwa
                                                                                            • Samburu
                                                                                            • Samoan
                                                                                            • Sango
                                                                                            • Sangu (Tanzania)
                                                                                            • Saramaccan
                                                                                            • Sardinian
                                                                                            • Scottish Gaelic
                                                                                            • Secoya
                                                                                            • Sena
                                                                                            • Serbian
                                                                                            • Seri
                                                                                            • Seselwa Creole French
                                                                                            • Shambala
                                                                                            • Shawnee
                                                                                            • Shipibo-Conibo
                                                                                            • Shona
                                                                                            • Shuar
                                                                                            • Sicilian
                                                                                            • Silesian
                                                                                            • Slovak
                                                                                            • Slovenian
                                                                                            • Soga
                                                                                            • Somali
                                                                                            • Soninke
                                                                                            • South Azerbaijani
                                                                                            • South Ndebele
                                                                                            • Southern Aymara
                                                                                            • Southern Qiandong Miao
                                                                                            • Southern Sami
                                                                                            • Southern Sotho
                                                                                            • Spanish
                                                                                            • Sranan Tongo
                                                                                            • Standard Estonian
                                                                                            • Standard Latvian
                                                                                            • Standard Malay
                                                                                            • Sundanese
                                                                                            • Swahili
                                                                                            • Swati
                                                                                            • Swedish
                                                                                            • Swiss German
                                                                                            • Tagalog
                                                                                            • Tahitian
                                                                                            • Taita
                                                                                            • Talysh
                                                                                            • Tedim Chin
                                                                                            • Teso
                                                                                            • Tetum
                                                                                            • Tetun Dili
                                                                                            • Tiv
                                                                                            • Toba
                                                                                            • Tok Pisin
                                                                                            • Tokelau
                                                                                            • Tonga (Tonga Islands)
                                                                                            • Tonga (Zambia)
                                                                                            • Tosk Albanian
                                                                                            • Totontepec Mixe
                                                                                            • Tsakhur
                                                                                            • Tsonga
                                                                                            • Tswana
                                                                                            • Tumbuka
                                                                                            • Turkish
                                                                                            • Turkmen
                                                                                            • Tzeltal
                                                                                            • Tzotzil
                                                                                            • Uab Meto
                                                                                            • Umbundu
                                                                                            • Ume Sami
                                                                                            • Upper Guinea Crioulo
                                                                                            • Upper Sorbian
                                                                                            • Venetian
                                                                                            • Veps
                                                                                            • Vietnamese
                                                                                            • Võro
                                                                                            • Walloon
                                                                                            • Walser
                                                                                            • Wangaaybuwan-Ngiyambaa
                                                                                            • Waorani
                                                                                            • Waray (Philippines)
                                                                                            • Warlpiri
                                                                                            • Wayuu
                                                                                            • Welsh
                                                                                            • West Central Oromo
                                                                                            • Western Abnaki
                                                                                            • Western Frisian
                                                                                            • Wik-Mungkan
                                                                                            • Wiradjuri
                                                                                            • Wolof
                                                                                            • Xavánte
                                                                                            • Xhosa
                                                                                            • Yanesha'
                                                                                            • Yao
                                                                                            • Yapese
                                                                                            • Yindjibarndi
                                                                                            • Yucateco
                                                                                            • Zapotec
                                                                                            • Zulu
                                                                                            • Zuni
                                                                                            • Záparo

                                                                                            Credits

                                                                                            Leads

                                                                                            David Březina Design
                                                                                            David Březina is the managing director at Rosetta. While you may know him as the designer of the award-winning type family Skolar, he has also worked on custom typefaces for Adobe, Linotype (Monotype), Microsoft, Google, and others. So far, he has designed typefaces for Cyrillic, Greek, Gujarati, Devanagari, and various extensions of Latin. David holds a Master’s degree in computer science from Masaryk University in Brno (Czechia) and an MA in Typeface Design and PhD from the University of Reading (UK). His cross-disciplinary PhD thesis studied visual similarity and coherence of characters in typefaces for continuous reading in Latin, Cyrillic, and Devanagari scripts. He has also been actively involved in writing, presenting, and conducting workshops on type and typography around the world.

                                                                                            Assistance

                                                                                            Maria Doreuli Cyrillic consultancy Irene Vlachou Greek consultancy Khajag Apelian Armenian consultancy Borna Izadpanah Arabic consultancy Meir Sadan Hebrew consultancy Johannes Neumeier Font engineering