August 1, 2007 The rouble sign will appear in all Art. Lebedev Studio fonts

The whole rouble

The Federal Statute on the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, which came into effect July 1, calls for introduction of a graphic symbol for indicating rouble amounts. However, the sign has not yet been chosen.

We suggest that we should not wait for policymakers to decide on the sign ignoring, as usual, professional opinion on the matter. We say, lets adopt a symbol on our own and start using it. Whether the sign will be accepted widely depends much on our diligence.

In 1999 Commersant newspaper in cooperation with Portfelio club held a contest “The Rouble Sign”, original idea belonging to Petr Bankov. We used its results as a basis for our work. After that, many other contests were held but the symbols presented looked rather similar.

Working on the rouble sign we were governed by the following principles that would ensure its effective use:

  1. Simple graphics;

  2. Distinguishing form in Roman and Cyrillic typesetting;

  3. Apparentness of meaning to Russian population. As the sign is to be used mainly inside the country, it is more important to make it understandable for Russians than for foreigners;

  4. Easiness of writing by hand (besides other aspects, motor memory is the most effective);

  5. Single symbol. One-grapheme sign is, as a rule, easily read and occupies little space. Single non-ligature character suits better for tabular composition which is extremely important in this case;

  6. Font independency. It is not an element of a certain font that is introduced, but an independent symbol, a grapheme. This character thus should be liable to different typefaces for the rouble sign to correspond to any font;

  7. Even weight. It should not be overloaded with strokes or have any minor unnecessary lines. This is crucial with small type sizes. The symbol must be intelligible in four-point text type;

  8. Width not exceeding that of zero (the broadest number). It is of significance that different currency signs as a part of typeface should conform to numbers to facilitate typesetting;

  9. Comprehensibility for foreigners who use Roman typesets;

  10. Original form to make the symbol distinct and recognizable.

We undertake to promote the rouble sign in general and throughout the professional community in particular. We bring the symbol into use for all communications August 1, 2007. Font distributors Letterhead and Paratype shall include this symbol in their upcoming typefaces and release a set of the rouble signs for the fonts produced previously. We have already applied to Unicode and ISO for international level registration of the rouble symbol.

We believe that the companies on the list of initiators are influential enough to shape the opinion of the design community, members of which will team up with us using the rouble sign before it is officially approved.

Design-Depot (Moscow)
Designet (Moscow)
Direct Design (Moscow)
Imadesign (Moscow)
Letterhead (Moscow)
Paratype (Moscow)
Art. Lebedev Studio (Moscow)
Companies wishing to join the agreement are welcome to e-mail us to

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