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New typeface: Windward

This is the first typeface of the graphic designer Denis Bashev. It was supposed to be used for a documentary about the standup comedian. But the most important thing is, it is a brisk backslanted script — and such typefaces are badly needed in Cyrillic.

August 13, 2020


I should probably warn you up front that I’m not a type designer. I do logos and signs; the specific nature of my job is about seeking relevant solutions to the specific tasks set by a customer.

I am not an artist — who chooses a sensitive social topic and makes an acute statement, translating his own experiences, anguish and emotional distress into it. In my case, I am visited by a very specific individual with a very specific request, — all this completed with an element of chance and a human factor (multiplied by two).

And that’s exactly how it happened this time: Alexander Nezlobin came to me and asked to develop a logo and titles for his documentary, Sasha from Russia. This is a movie about an established Russian standup comedian trying to win over America. So, I suggested we take Comic Sans and mix it with the feeling of street art tags: it makes you smile and also looks like a comic book about rising from humble beginnings and making a statement at the same time. Nezlobin didn’t settle for this idea. As a result, the movie uses handwritten letters.

WW_pre_02-1 In the process of design I take advice from those whom I trust. Among those people was Ilya Ruderman — he was the one who suggested to finish this rejected typeface and release it. Why waste this slashing stuff? There are few backslanted fonts in the Cyrillic world — let it live. We were joined by Misha Strukov (graduate from Ilya Ruderman’s course at BHSD and Frank Blokland’s class at Plantin Institute of Typography, he writes reviews of Cyrillic fonts from Google Fonts for our Journal — editor’s note), who livened up my vector, and Yury Ostromentsky (the project was mastered by Ro Hernández — editor’s note). It took us a little more than a year to finish all the work. Naming was accidental — in relation to the Russian expression ‘to piss against the wind’.

This is my first grownup typeface.

Feeling excited.

Check out Windward here

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Check out Windward here

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