Cyrillic workshop. Ilya Ruderman. Split. March 2016
Part 1. Intro
A few weeks ago I received an invitation from Nikola Djurek to introduce a Cyrillic workshop at DVK (Department of Visual Communications Design at Art Academy in Split). That was the moment, when I realised that over the almost 10 years of teaching Type&Typography in Moscow I never had an audience unfamiliar with the Cyrillic script at all. This became a very interesting goal. So, let’s have a look what the group of 15 students can archive during 4 days.
Part 2. Day 1
First. As always with any audience we’ve planned an introduction lecture. 
In one hour I’ve managed to briefly explain my personal type design experience, just couple slides per project…
Nikola Dzurek on the left, students, empty audience before the lecture on the right
Intro lecture.
Originally I'm a graphic designer, who worked almost 20 years in the field of editorial and brand design. But after graduation from Type&Media course at Royal Academy of Art (the Hague) I've spent more than 10 years producing the Cyrillic typefaces and that's what I'm doing more and more.
I always starting such lectures with saying few words about the people I personally feel thankful: Alexander Tarbeev, Erik van Blokland and Just van Rossum, my former classmates from Type&Media 2004-05, which officially will be remembered as a 'Golden Year' and Andy Clymer personally.
Few close ups to the slides: 37-39 Cyrillic for Neutraface typefamily (House Ind); 40-41 Cyrillic for Stag Family (Commercial Type); 42-43 upcoming Cyrillic for Guardian typefamily (Commercial  Type); 45 Cyrillic for Graphik (Commercial  Type)
And few more: 49-51 Cyrillic for Parmigiano type system (; 52-53 Cyrillic for Lava (; 54-55 Cyrillic for Marlene (; 56-57 Cyrillic for Typonine Sans (
And few recent project from Custom Fonts Foundry, which we founded two years ago together with Yury Ostromentsky: 82-84 Pilar typeface; 85-90 Custom identity and way-finding typeface for Moscow City
After the lecture and small break we moved to the class. And I’ve decided that it will be very useful for the group of participants to repeat the process of growing, learning the script and writing exercises like we did in our childhood. We’ve started with ABC and went through the kindergarten up to the level of calligraphy and professional tools.
Hrvoje Zivcic on the left and Marko Hrastovec on the right
Part 3. Day 2
Another way to explain the logic of the script is of course the history background. As you may know, it is a bit tricky with Cyrillic because of several quite dramatic reforms, but the history is always relevant. Some of those forms are still remembered by the readers and might be associated with the particular style and time period. So, we’ve started the Day 2 with the Brief History Overview (from IX till XIX century). It was mostly a slideshow, with some comments and explanations. But I believe this is still quite important for understanding — to see how the script changed over the years.
[note] I'll leave few following slides without any captions, because it is so much to say, so it's needed the different presentation
Part 4. Day 2
And then the Practical part began. We’ve started to produce the Cyrillic glyph by glyph all together. From the simplest characters (some of them are the basic components identical to the Latin) to the most complicated ones. And after several hours by the end of the day all 15 participants happily finished their first Cyrillic uppercase set.
Quite important slide showing the difference between the Standard Cyrillic codepage and the Extended one
Part 5. Day 3
The day has started with the overviewing and personal talks. I’ve went through the projects and commented every one of them. Talking to each of the students even for 10 minutes took me awhile, but it was very important to do, because the graphical problems could appear differently in every stylistic and those variations are highlighting the process of getting know the script.
Meanwhile the groups were busy with repeating the designs of Uppercases to the lowercases. You can noticed how many identical forms are there.
work room
Part 6. Day 3
Finishing the Lowercases. Later that day we went through the rest of the basic Cyrillic lowercases, discussing not only the Russian traditions, but also Bulgarian and Serbian alternatives.
By the end of the day most of the students had the full codepages.
Part 7. Day 4
We’ve started the day with polishing our results, discussing the details and cohesiveness between Uppercases and Lowercases, making the drafts looks as final as possible. Also we briefly looked at the Italics and what are the difficulties could be found in them. By the 3 p.m everyone had to finish their font production and had to start working on the presentations. At 5 p.m. the group had the final presentation for the teachers and other guests. 
Here you can see some results. But before you will go any further, I would like to say few words about all this experience in general. In the beginning I was quite sceptical about such a short workshop and the potential success of it, but having such an extraordionary group of students made me believe that even over the short time period with a good materials everything is possible. I was very pleased to see how fast such knowledges could be shared.
All students did the equally structured small presentations consists of: name, ABC, humergerfonts/киберносуфа and two slides with the typography tests 
Huge thanks to everyone on this photo:
On this photo (from left to right):  Nikola Krizanac, Filip Lattin, Igor Caljkusic, Zdravka Damjanović, Hrvoje Zivcic, Nikola Mikulić, Anja Jovanovic, Marko Borota, Irena Muhar, Ilya Ruderman, Nino Bodač, Marko Hrastovec, Nikola Djurek, Marin Šantić, Gašper Uršič, Nikša Vukša and Ivica Mitrovic Jr. in Split, Croatia.
Several useful links:
DVK: Department of Visual Communications Design at Art Academy in Split
Nikola Djurek and
Peter Bilak and
Christian Schwartz and Commercial Type
Ilya Ruderman & Yury Ostromentsky: and Custom Fonts (CSTM Fonts)
Type&Media at Royal Academy of Art Graduation projects from 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 
More about Cyrillic:
Modern Cyrillic Caligraphy
Marina Marjina
Alexey Chekal and Panic Design
Oleg Macujev

© I've used three typefaces in my presentations: Graphik by Christian Schwartz, Lava by Peter Bilak and Newton by Vladimir Yefimov