1 2 3 4 Previous Next 128 Replies Latest reply: Jul 10, 2013 12:27 PM by Dov Isaacs Go to original post RSS
      • 50. Re: Hebrew fonts?
        I would say that probably Vilna is the most popular.

        I have a future at go.hebrew at gmail dot com

        :)
        • 51. Re: Hebrew fonts?
          raphaelfreeman
          I dont think that there is any doubt that Henri Friedlander was one of the greatest type designers of our time. I typeset the new Singers Siddur (the Siddur of the UK) in a version of Hadasa (Fontbits) and the fact that Artscroll popularised it with their verison of Hadasa (Masterfont) shows what an amazing typeface it is and only points to the genius of Friedlander.

          However, our discussion was about the "correct" positioning of trop. Whether you agree that trop is secondary to nikud (according to the opinion of Koren and Narkiss) or whether you see that nikud and trop to be a unit which can be moved (according to the non-Jewish printers), is a matter of opinion. And of course there are other clever solutions like Harbs. Personally I have always like Korens which I guess is why I accepted a position here recently, but whatever system you follow, we all accept (I hope) that the shva should sit under the foot of the resh and dalet (and not in the middle) and that the trop should not overlap the nikud. This is a programming challenge and this can either be solved by moving the diacritics, either manually or by a script (my system) or by programming the font (ultimately the best, but most expensive way).
          • 52. Re: Hebrew fonts?
            raphaelfreeman Community Member
            >I would say that probably Vilna is the most popular.

            Yes in the States. However, in Israel, Koren is by far the most popular typeface based on the number of illegal renditions of it :-)

            Seriously Koren is regarding in Israel as being the most accurate and the most beautiful Bible. Academics dont like certain things in it (they prefer Breuer), but the religious establishment loves it which is why in Bnei Brak they will only buy our Tanakh but wont touch our treif siddur (it has the prayer for the state of Israel in it)
            • 53. Re: Hebrew fonts?
              Community Member
              I hardly think Bomberg did Daf Yom.

              He likely could read Hebrew in the Bible, but he knew the real money is in the Shas, as our sages promise that riches are linked to the Talmud.

              To be an excellant typesetter, you do not need to "do" the subject matter you're typesetting.

              In fact, the earliest editions of Chumash and Rashi containing dumb mistakes of so called "learned" typesetter who corrected Rashi.
              • 54. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                raphaelfreeman Community Member
                >To be an excellant typesetter, you do not need to "do" the subject matter you're typesetting.

                I agree, however in the case of Hebrew fonts look at Microsoft. They have a version of Vilna with trop but you cant have trop after a chaf sofi with a kamatz. They built opentype tables which were just wrong because they dont understand how a Bible is typeset (never mind ktiv and kri).

                I typeset stuff in Arabic which I dont understand, however, I think I would do a better job if I did since I would then know certain rules like you cant have "and" at the end of a line (or is it at the beginning, I forget), but since I dont recognise the word for "and" in Arabic, I ignore it. I think you will do a better job if you understand better what you do. Perhaps not the end of the world when typesetting instructions for some product in Arabic, but for some products, I think it is important.
                • 55. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                  Community Member
                  Artscroll popularised [Friedlander's Hadasa] with their version of Hadasa (Masterfont)

                  I don't believe you just said that. I thought ArtScroll it from Guttman; it was orignally on a mini-computer, which I didn't think Tzvika knew to support.

                  You won't like what I say now. If Masterfont created their version of Hadasa by desecrating the Sabbath, its a mitzvah to burn the results, and to rather use something that did not have Sabbath desecration. That's the halacha.

                  I could just see it now. A wild bunch of Satmar come from Williamsburg and ArtScroll to the ground. Goodbye, ArtScroll.
                  • 56. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                    Community Member
                    However, our discussion was about the "correct" positioning of trop. Whether you agree that trop is secondary to nikud (according to the opinion of Koren and Narkiss) or whether you see that nikud and trop to be a unit which can be moved (according to the non-Jewish printers), is a matter of opinion. And of course there are other clever solutions like Harbs.

                    This is super fascinating.

                    It cause me to totally rethink everything. I looked at it before not from that view, but rather from the point of view of design. Now, I have to look at the whole subject this way of subdiving the issues into two approaches, with a third possibility which I assume contains the first two.
                    • 57. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                      raphaelfreeman Community Member
                      You are right. I dont like what you have just said. Who said that Zvika worked on Shabbat? A little bit of motzi shem ra there?

                      Again, lets try a bit of respect here. Lets assume that he didnt work on Shabbat which is of course against halakha and in this country also against the law.
                      • 58. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                        Community Member
                        the shva should sit under the foot of the resh and dalet (and not in the middle)

                        Tzvika told me in 1987 or 88 that the shvah or hirik should NOT sit under the bottom tip, so as not to visually confuse the viewer that the letter in question, the reish or dalet, is actually a little, as if no kid ever learned alef bais. And he's making the Koren font.
                        • 59. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                          Community Member
                          the trop should not overlap the nikud

                          In good design, no graphic element should overlap another element. Except when its intentional, like very tight kerning to create a certain graphic effect.
                          • 60. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                            raphaelfreeman Community Member
                            >It cause me to totally rethink everything. I looked at it before not from that view, but rather from the point of view of design. Now, I have to look at the whole subject this way of subdiving the issues into two approaches, with a third possibility which I assume contains the first two.

                            Ill let Harbs divulge his system to the world if he so likes. In terms of the Koren system, it assumes that the consonents are primary, the nikud, secondary and the trop, tertiary.

                            The way that it works is as follows:
                            1. The nikud is first correctly positioned under the letter.
                            2. The trop is then correctly positioned with respect to the nikud.

                            Now, when I say "correctly" that is where the design aspect comes in. For example, how do you position a mercha under the foot of the resh when there is no nikud? And what about the tvir. However, Ill leave that for you to think about.

                            Then we have to deal with collisions. The Koren system goes as follows:
                            1. can we nudge the nikud by a small amount to solve the problem. If we can, then great and that is what is done.
                            2. can we nudge the nikud on the letter and then the nikud on the following letter by a small amount to solve the problem?
                            3. if we cant do 1. and 2. (ie it would have to be a large amount), then we dont move the nikud at all and we move the trop.
                            4. sometimes we have to do 1., 2. and 3.

                            Lot of work, but the results are fantastic.
                            • 61. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                              Community Member
                              This is a programming challenge and this can either be solved by moving the diacritics, either manually or by a script (my system) or by programming the font (ultimately the best, but most expensive way).

                              I chose the latter most because my desire is that these fonts should be used to recreate the classic library, preferably in the Romm Vilna design, as in my view there is nothing superior.
                              • 62. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                raphaelfreeman Community Member
                                >the shva should sit under the foot of the resh and dalet (and not in the middle)
                                >Tzvika told me in 1987 or 88 that the shvah or hirik should NOT sit under the bottom tip, so as not to visually confuse the viewer that the letter in question, the reish or dalet, is actually a little, as if no kid ever learned alef bais. And he's making the Koren font.

                                If Zvika told you that then hes wrong wrong wrong.

                                Zvika drew the Koren font based on the original drawings that we have in the office. He did it according to my and Esther Beers specifications.

                                He did not, and I have already mentioned this in this thread, program the font. Nor did he decide the correct positioning. This was decided by myself and Esther (well technically it was all decided by Esther since she taught me the system).

                                Masterfont also has the exclusive licence to sell the Koren font, but again he isnt programming it. Arieh is.
                                • 63. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                  Community Member
                                  based on the number of illegal renditions of it :-)

                                  I should make an authorized "legal" lsham shamayim without hilul shabbat, make it shareware, and post it on the Internet, with taamim as Romm Vilna used it. :)
                                  • 64. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                    raphaelfreeman Community Member
                                    >I chose the latter most because my desire is that these fonts should be used to recreate the classic library, preferably in the Romm Vilna design, as in my view there is nothing superior.

                                    Well so did I for Koren. But many people out there dont have a big budget so they choose the script method which gives the same result but of course means that the positioning is coded into the InDesign file rather than into the font.
                                    • 65. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                      Community Member
                                      they prefer Breuer

                                      What's that? Like Rabbi Breur of Washington Hts, NY?
                                      • 66. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                        raphaelfreeman Community Member
                                        >I should make an authorized "legal" lsham shamayim without hilul shabbat, make it shareware, and post it on the Internet, with taamim as Romm Vilna used it.

                                        And well sue the pants off you if you do! LOL
                                        • 67. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                          Community Member
                                          in Bnei Brak they will only buy our Tanakh but wont touch our treif siddur (it has the prayer for the state of Israel in it)

                                          Raphael, you're bigger than this.

                                          To mention the state of Israel in a prayer is not treif. On the contrary, every Jew must pray for well-being of the country in which they live.

                                          only Niturei Karta would say it treif, and they' wrong. Most religious Jews love the state of Israel dearly, wherever they may be found in the world.

                                          Everybody knows that!

                                          You are sounding anti-religious with such a remark. First, you don't bite the hand that feeds you. And by speaking positively instead, hilunim think about what you say, and become positive too.
                                          • 68. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                            raphaelfreeman Community Member
                                            >What's that? Like Rabbi Breur of Washington Hts, NY?

                                            HaRav Breuer z"l (check wikipedia for a full article and picture), is widely regarded as the world expert on Tanakh. He was not a fan of Koren to put it mildly.

                                            The Bible editions of Mossad HaRav Kook and Chorev are based on his teaching. There is also a very interesting red Bible which is also based on Breuer but thats a whole other story....

                                            Anyway, although Breuer is accepted by acedemia and the Gush, it hasnt gained full acceptance like Koren did, which is why Koren is bought by everyone from the secular, to the national religous to the charedim.

                                            However, Breuer must not be ignored and our in-house Rav was a student of Breuer.
                                            • 69. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                              raphaelfreeman Community Member
                                              >only Niturei Karta would say it treif, and they' wrong. Most religious Jews love the state of Israel dearly, wherever they may be found in the world.

                                              Aha, so you would buy a siddur that tells you to say Hallel on Yom Haatzmaut? And that the State of Israel is reshit zmichat geulatenu?
                                              • 70. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                Community Member
                                                I agree, however in the case of Hebrew fonts look at Microsoft. They have a version of Vilna with trop but you cant have trop after a chaf sofi with a kamatz. They built opentype tables which were just wrong because they dont understand how a Bible is typeset (never mind ktiv and kri).

                                                I placed nikkud above the baseline, and always placed the taamin below the baseline in chof-sofi and dagesh chof sofi, even though I could not find a precedent. John Hudson then questioned my action by pointing out tthgat there was no tradition to support this decision.

                                                Koren didn't do this, and inconsistantly places the nikkud sometimes abover the baseline, and sometime below the baseline without any rule or logic. My positioning had rhyme and reason. Perhaps I was arrogant in my making a decision, or perhaps G-d agrees with me, and Koren made a blunder.
                                                • 71. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                  Community Member
                                                  (never mind ktiv and kri)

                                                  I never thought of it. I could build it into the font. Plus John has every appearance of anything in a database. So thefont can automatical switch appearance based upon the context or necessity. Do you understand?
                                                  • 72. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                    Community Member
                                                    I typeset stuff in Arabic which I dont understand, however, I think I would do a better job if I did since I would then know certain rules like you cant have "and" at the end of a line (or is it at the beginning, I forget), but since I dont recognise the word for "and" in Arabic, I ignore it. I think you will do a better job if you understand better what you do. Perhaps not the end of the world when typesetting instructions for some product in Arabic, but for some products, I think it is important.

                                                    I agree with you. Sometimes, you're right. :) But I'd take the job anyway, like you did. When I visited Adobe in Palo Alto (remember when, John W.?), I was told by an Adobe manager: "When you have a deadline, you just sh...t the stuff out." :)
                                                    • 73. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                      raphaelfreeman Community Member
                                                      >Koren didn't do this, and inconsistantly places the nikkud sometimes abover the baseline,

                                                      What? no he doesnt. The nikud is always in the same place below the baseline. He also puts the kamatz and shva on the chaf sofi under the baseline although modern printing always put it higher, but this was done on purpose by him because he believed that this was correct (personally I disagree, but hes dead so I cant argue with him).
                                                      • 74. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                        raphaelfreeman Community Member
                                                        > never thought of it. I could build it into the font. Plus John has every appearance of anything in a database. So thefont can automatical switch appearance based upon the context or necessity. Do you understand?

                                                        yes
                                                        • 75. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                          Community Member
                                                          Who said that Zvika worked on Shabbat?

                                                          In every Adobe PostScript font, there is a record of the creation date, day and hour, and also the same for its last modification.

                                                          Most of his stuff were created and modified on Shabbat. Check for yourself. Its there; can't hide the evidence later.

                                                          Now, to publish non-sacred materials, like a newspaper, who cares?

                                                          But holy seforim, only the Mizrachi would matir it, because of hesaron kees.
                                                          • 76. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                            Community Member
                                                            Who said that Zvika worked on Shabbat?

                                                            What do you mean? Why can't an Israeli business do font work at home on Shabbat. And then, on Yom Reeshon, take the font to the business.
                                                            • 77. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                              Community Member
                                                              The way that it works is as follows:
                                                              1. The nikud is first correctly positioned under the letter.
                                                              2. The trop is then correctly positioned with respect to the nikud.

                                                              I generally do that, but if things are tight, like under a yuhd vov etc. then I rather arrange things to fit without overlap.

                                                              John is working on a way to automatically rearrange nikkud taam and/or meteg in the font.

                                                              I think with his database, this can be done automatically whenever a user type a word from Tanach.

                                                              In fact, I believe eventually if I had Rabbi Farkash of Yerushalayim in a database, the font would automatically switch shva nas to shva plus the appropriate symbol above, and kometz to komatz gadol etc. and thereby encourage children to learn these important grammatical rules.
                                                              • 78. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                                Community Member
                                                                how do you position a mercha under the foot of the resh when there is no nikud?

                                                                Exactly? Under the bottom tip. Where else?
                                                                • 79. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                                  raphaelfreeman Community Member
                                                                  Look I dont know what Zvika did in the past nor do I know if his computers date was correct when he created fonts in the past. I only know what he has done for me and I know that he didnt work on Shabbat in the creation of the Koren font. I have follow the principle of assuming that if he did any averos in the past, he has done tshuva now. I think Artscroll must obviously follow the same principle.

                                                                  Im not sure Im quite so holy as you. I have a problem in shul when davening and following the leyning because of course its all in the Koren font (our shul only allows Koren Chumashim and siddurim) and of course Im there going, oy, the mercha should have been put lower (yes, Im serious).

                                                                  I know that Mr Koren was famous for his Thursday evening tactic. In Israel Friday isnt a workday and we work Sunday instead. At the end of the day on Thursday, he would collect all the work from every employee and take it home, only to return it on Sunday morning, lest anybody should accidentally come to work on Shabbat and work on the Koren Tanakh. I wonder that happened when they printed Bibles in the past. Probably not.

                                                                  Anyway, Koren is a shomer shabbat religious company, so dont worry, you dont need to burn our siddurim and chumashim (unless you dont like the mizrachi component).
                                                                  • 80. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                                    raphaelfreeman Community Member
                                                                    >What do you mean? Why can't an Israeli business do font work at home on Shabbat. And then, on Yom Reeshon, take the font to the business.

                                                                    Why do you assume somebody will mechalel shabbos. Thats not very generous of you.
                                                                    • 81. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                                      Community Member
                                                                      Then we have to deal with collisions. The Koren system goes as follows:
                                                                      1. can we nudge the nikud by a small amount to solve the problem. If we can, then great and that is what is done.
                                                                      2. can we nudge the nikud on the letter and then the nikud on the following letter by a small amount to solve the problem?

                                                                      I try to do this, too. It makes good sense.
                                                                      • 82. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                                        Community Member
                                                                        3. if we cant do 1. and 2. (ie it would have to be a large amount), then we dont move the nikud at all and we move the trop.

                                                                        I disagree from a design standpoint, and it teaches the reader an incorrect message, overemphasizing the trop.

                                                                        The trop stands now, for no good reason.

                                                                        I think I don't understand you, because the above should be obvious.

                                                                        Either I misunderstand, or Koren made repeated blunders.
                                                                        • 83. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                                          raphaelfreeman Community Member
                                                                          >John is working on a way to automatically rearrange nikkud taam and/or meteg in the font.

                                                                          when you say automatically, what do you mean? Do you mean that the font can examine to see the shape of the nikud and team and then adjust accordingly, or do you have to tell it all the combinations?

                                                                          >In fact, I believe eventually if I had Rabbi Farkash of Yerushalayim in a database, the font would automatically switch shva nas to shva plus the appropriate symbol above, and kometz to komatz gadol etc. and thereby encourage children to learn these important grammatical rules.

                                                                          Well thats a little more complicated because there are many different opinions. For example, using Israeli pronunciation, do you say tzahorayim (according to Sefardi masora) or tzohorayim (according to ashkenazi masora) again when I say ashkenazi masora, that means Shabbat and Chochma, but it means that the first kamatz becomes a kamatz katan.

                                                                          Also, within tefilla, different parts of tefilla follow different rules, some parts follow the grammatical rules of the tanakh, some follow that of the rishonim and some follow that of modern hebrew. We have a team of rabbinical grammarians doing this for the new Koren Siddur for the USA, where the siddur has kamatz katan, shva na and metegs throughout the siddur.
                                                                          • 84. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                                            raphaelfreeman Community Member
                                                                            >3. if we cant do 1. and 2. (ie it would have to be a large amount), then we dont move the nikud at all and we move the trop.
                                                                            >I disagree from a design standpoint, and it teaches the reader an incorrect message, overemphasizing the trop.
                                                                            >The trop stands now, for no good reason.
                                                                            >I think I don't understand you, because the above should be obvious.
                                                                            >Either I misunderstand, or Koren made repeated blunders.

                                                                            Firstly, lets always assume a misunderstanding rather than putting down others.

                                                                            My point is that its okay to move the trop downwards. If you are going to move the trop down, then put the nikud back in the correct position if possible. If not, then move the trop down and move the nikud. However, I never move the nikud by much and certainly dont want a nikud in the middle of the resh instead of the foot. Remember that by design, the trop is thinner than the nikud (and the nikud thinner than the letters) therefore it will never stand out.
                                                                            • 85. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                                              Community Member
                                                                              Zvika drew the Koren font based on the original drawings that we have in the office.

                                                                              It might be good then.

                                                                              However, Tzvika drew very poorly before. Look at his David Aleph, in either regular or bold. A ridiculous fat right upper side. Unless he intentionally defigured the aleph so as avoid paying Itamar David, who could have sued the hell out him and destroyed Masterfont. Or he was sloppy.

                                                                              I would scan his Koren and match it letter by letter to the original drawing to confirm there are no discrepencies.
                                                                              • 86. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                                                Community Member
                                                                                He did not, and I have already mentioned this in this thread, program the font.

                                                                                That might be the heter, even if there was Shabbat desecration. Its a stretch though, because the ikar is the design.
                                                                                • 87. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                                                  Community Member
                                                                                  Masterfont also has the exclusive licence to sell the Koren font, but again he isnt programming it. Arieh is.

                                                                                  I assume Arieh is Shomer Shabbat.
                                                                                  • 88. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                                                    raphaelfreeman Community Member
                                                                                    > However, Tzvika drew very poorly before. Look at his David Aleph, in either regular or bold

                                                                                    I cant comment on the font David. I didnt commission him to redraw David. His drawing of Koren is absolutely superb and we are thrilled and trust me, we are a very hard client to please.

                                                                                    >That might be the heter, even if there was Shabbat desecration. Its a stretch though, because the ikar is the design.

                                                                                    Im not sure why we are having a halakhic debate on the Adobe forum. Can we please desist this line of conversation. Its unproductive. I also dont want to discuss Zvikas, Ariehs, Mr Korens, mine or your religious observance. It has no place here.
                                                                                    • 89. Re: Hebrew fonts?
                                                                                      Neil_Keller Community Member
                                                                                      Gentlemen:
                                                                                      >It has no place here.

                                                                                      I agree. As the header says, this is the "Typography" Forum, and it should remain focused on typographic issues. Religious, political and social issues have other, more appropriate venues.

                                                                                      Thanks!

                                                                                      Neil