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    Book of Letters From Аа to Яя by Yuri Gordon

    Chapter “About the Letter Аа ” (pages 83–97, PDF, 870 KB)

    Task: to publish a deskbook on Cyrillic alphabet anatomy for designers, art directors, artists, advertisers etc.

    It took only three years for Yuri Gordon, Russian designer, illustrator, type developer and engraver, to write, and the studio to compose, design, and publish the book about each and every letter of the Russian alphabet. It deals mostly with Cyrillic characters, but uses Latin letter examples as well.

    Yuri Gordon graduated from the Art & Technology of Print Materials Design Faculty of Moscow Polypraphic Institute (now called Moscow State University of Printing Arts). He has worked as a type designer since 1976. Yuri developed his first complete digital typeface called FaRer in 1996. He is one of the founders of the Letterhead studio specializing on original Cyrillic typefaces.

    Book in dust jacket


    There are plenty of things we don’t know about our letters. That’s why my book is not about type, although type is mentioned here, too. This book is about each of the 33 letters of our imperfect alphabet as an individual personality. This is not a scholarly treatise but rather a record of my personal experience as a type designer, designer, and a draftsman. It doesn’t claim to be objective or exhaustive but rather tends to be biased as an intimate perception of things.

    There’s another distinction: the book was meant for type designers and designers who, like me, are much into logo development. In a logo, an individual character is by far more conspicuous than in a text; so the niceties of the letterforms which would be rejected in a type as way too deliberate, gain importance here. »

    From preface by the author


    I. History

    From a Drawing to a Letter

    Linearity of Writing. The Direction of Reading

    Tools and Methods of Writing

    II. Techniques

    Construction of Letters. Grapheme

    Capital and Lower Case


    Optical Illusions

    Text Dynamics

    Visual Rhyme

    Rhyme in Logos

    Type Classification

    III. Production

    Type or Logo. Differences in Approaches

    How to Start Making a Type

    IV. 33+33+33

    (A separate account of every lower case and capital Cyrillic character: history, construction, variants of construction, classic specimens, constructive relations with other letters, a letter in life, visual rhymes)


    Supplementary Indexes



    List of Types by Producer

    List of Types in Alphabetic Order

    Pages 36–37: Type Terminology According to V. Krichevsky and V. Yefimov

    Pages 40–41: Text Dynamics and Visual Rhyme

    Pages 180–181: History and Construction of the Letter й

    Pages 276–277: Letter у in Life and its Visual Rhymes

    Release date: February 24 2006


    art director
    Artemy Lebedev
    chief typesetter
    Sergey Fedorov
    Anna Ponomareva
    Oksana Klimenko
    Katerina Andreeva
    Aleksandr Romanovsky
    Artem Gorbunov
    production managers
    Lev Mikhalevsky
    Tina Mitusova
    Yury Gordon


    Over 4000 illustrations

    384 pages

    Format: 220×290 mm

    Number of copies: 5000

    © 1995–2020 Art. Lebedev Studio

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