Cyrillic: Ђ, Ћ, ђ, ћ look like latin "h" instead of Cyrillic Т

Bug #784585 reported by Данило Шеган on 2011-05-18
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ubuntu Font Family
Shiraaz Gabru

Bug Description

Serbian Cyrillic letters Ђ and Ћ, and especially lowercase variants ђ and ћ, seem to be based on Latin lowercase h, which is wrong.

ћ in particular represents a soft Cyrillic t (т), and thus the horizontal crossbar should be roughly at the x-height. ђ is a harder version of that (it's a soft version of д, which is the non-sounding pair of т; however, the glyph itself was always derived from ћ). For the uppercase versions, it'd probably be nicer if the bowl was a bit wider (even at the expense of left-side top cross-bar), but that might just be my personal preference.

Possible solution in
Proposed solution:
  1. Take the plain Cyrillic Т and work from that
  2. Ђ: Add a hook descending below the baseline
  3. Ћ: Cut the hook at the baseline
  4. Take the plain Cyrillic т and work from that
  5. ђ: Add a hook descending below the baseline, and an upwards extension like Latin 't'
  6. ћ: Cut the hook at the baseline
  7. Sanity check past Danilo (and PNG in comment #5 if confused)
  8. Post to Canonical Design blog

Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

Confirming this too after wandering around Belgrade today. The local derived examples don't the bowl well below the x-height, and either the bar of the tee level with the x-height or fractionally above (presumably for balance).

My understanding (although the character/ligature has evolved) is that it's still a "hooked"/"bowled" tee, rather than (anything at all) to do with a Latin 'h' root.

Changed in ubuntu-font-family:
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: New → Triaged
Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

FWIW, the same holds for the Ubuntu regular fonts.

Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

Данило: would you be able to draw (eg. in Inkscape) a better form for how the various Тs should/could look in a more localised style (still fitting in with the Ubuntu design).

It doesn't have to be perfect, but should hopefully help with knowing how it might be best to adjust these glyphs. (Unfortunately, not everyone is based in Serbia and used to seeing these forms everyday which is where your help would be valuable!)

To illustrate, here's a quickly hacked version of the lowercase DJE (ђ) based on the one in Ubuntu Mono R21, side-by-side with the existing version. It's was hacked together in FontForge, but is by no means to be considered anything but a demonstration.

Paul Sladen (sladen) on 2011-06-03
tags: added: uff-cyrillic uff-serbian
Mladen Mijatov (meaneye-rcf) wrote :

I just grabbed few books to see how this letter actually looks like in there. Top edge of horizontal line in "ђ" character is the same as height of "x" character. Same goes for lower case "ћ".

Mladen Mijatov (meaneye-rcf) wrote :

For comparison I've included 2 photographs of different fonts and letters in question:

As you can see characters vary a lot from font to font. As long as character doesn't stand out it's just fine by me.

Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

Direct attachment, minus the adverts: showing sans-serif "а Пекарић-Нађ Дејан" with crossbars level with x-height and bowl well below.

Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

Direct attachment, minus the adverts: "х времена, људи су са дивљењем посматр / бало је да прође, међутим, више од вадесе / снови те појаве исто оно што даје моћ ћи" with the top of the bowl level with the x-height for 'ћ'/'ђ'.

MeanEYE: are these definitely Serbian texts? The Be ('б') appears to be the Russian form, not the Serbian form?

Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

I wonder if "what works" is as simple as the difference between serif, and sans-serif.

Paul, these are definitely Serbian texts. However, it's not uncommon for Serbian books to be typeset in an entirely wrong style, mostly due to ignorance and "anybody" doing it (and of course, wide availability of Western-designed fonts for Cyrillic). FWIW, I just recently hit a few PDFs published by the government using completely uncomprehensible "Russian" cursives. That doesn't make it an officially supported form, it just means that someone was lazy or ignorant when they produced it.

As for sans vs. serif, I'd say the higher crossbar can definitely "work" more easily in serif fonts.

Paul Sladen (sladen) on 2011-11-24
Changed in ubuntu-font-family:
milestone: none → 0.82
Paul Sladen (sladen) on 2011-11-24
summary: - Mono: Style: Cyrillic: Ђ, Ћ, ђ, ћ look like latin "h" instead of
- Cyrillic Т
+ Cyrillic: Ђ, Ћ, ђ, ћ look like latin "h" instead of Cyrillic Т
description: updated
Paul Sladen (sladen) on 2011-11-24
description: updated
Changed in ubuntu-font-family:
milestone: 0.82 → 0.9x-design
description: updated
Changed in ubuntu-font-family:
assignee: nobody → Shiraaz Gabru (shiraaz)
tags: added: needs-blog proposed-solution
Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

Just had an email from Shiraaz Gabru at Dalton Maag with:

"comment on the final report 'Cyrillic: Ђ, Ћ, ђ, ћ' below and PDF attached.

  Cyrillic: Ђ, Ћ, ђ, ћ look like latin "h" instead of Cyrillic Т
  Comparing the Ubuntu font with commonly used ones, such as
  Cambria, Georgia, Foco or Verdana, one can note that the lower cases
  Cyrillic ђ and ћ are based on a regular x-height, like the Latin h or n."

Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

PDF from Amélie Bonet at Dalton Maag with two possible design solutions (page 1, upper half):

  Ubuntu 1 (current sub-optimal representation in v0.80)
  Ubuntu 2 (lowercase cross-bar at x-height, bowl very below)
  Ubuntu 3 (lowercase cross-bar slightly above x-height, bowl still below)

Could the previous comments please review these: Are they going in the right direction? Which is more suitable/acceptable? Is the descending hook in "Ubuntu 3" acceptable?

I (unsurprisingly) prefer option 2 very much. Ubuntu 3 is also nice, and definitely in the right direction. Descending hook in it is definitely acceptable. Both options work, imho.

upromis (promisman) wrote :

Personaly, I like Ubuntu 3 more than Ubuntu 2. Because I find curve ending on ђ more pretty.

maletaski (maletaski-gmail) wrote :

I prefer Ubuntu 3 because the dash to the letter of the higher seems so much nicer.

Atlantic777 (nikola.hardi) wrote :

One more vote for Ubuntu 3. It's somehow more natural to me.

+1 for Maletaski's comment, the dash should be higher, and curve is somehow nicer in Ubuntu 3 example, it's rounder.

Slobodan Terzić (githzerai) wrote :

Another +1 for ubuntu3 version. Higher dash would work much better in case of smaller font sizes.

Ladislav Urošević (urosldp) wrote :

Yaes right direction, either Ubuntu 2 and Ubuntu 3 is fine, maybe Ubuntu 3 by photo-finish

Mladen Mijatov (meaneye-rcf) wrote :

Ubuntu3 looks better to me.

Adnan Hodzic (fooctrl) wrote :

Like Ubuntu3 better, and personally find it easier to read and better looking at different sizes.

Shiraaz Gabru (shiraaz) on 2011-12-08
Changed in ubuntu-font-family:
status: Triaged → In Progress
Shiraaz Gabru (shiraaz) wrote :

Thanks all who commented, looks like option 3 is the clear winner.

Shiraaz Gabru
Dalton Maag

Changed in ubuntu-font-family:
status: In Progress → Fix Committed
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