Typojanchi 2013
Seoul International Typography Biennale

August 30–October 11
10:00 am– 7:00 pm
Closed every Monday
Free admission

Culture Station Seoul 284
1 Tongil-ro, Jung-gu
Seoul 100-162, Korea
T. 82-2-3407-3500
F. 82-2-3407-3510


Hosted by
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

Organized by
Korea Craft & Design Foundation
Korean Society of Typography


Typojanchi 2013
Administration Office
Korea Craft & Design Foundation
5F, 53 Yulgok-no, Jongno-gu
Seoul 110-240, Korea
T. 82-2-398-7945
F. 82-2-398-7999
E. typojanchi@kcdf.kr

Typojanchi 2011

Balkan Sans
Digital typeface

Marija Juza
Born in 1985, Croatia


Nikola Djurek
Born in 1976, Croatia


Marija Juza is a visual communication designer working in Zagreb and co-founder of the graphic design collective Babushke. She works on various multimedia and art projects, and is a member of the professional associations UBU and Sintoment. Nikola Djurek studied at the Type and Media program of the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, and earned his Ph.D. in graphic design and type design. He teaches at the University of Split and the University of Zagreb. In 2005, he founded the type foundry and graphic design studio Typonine in Zabok, Croatia. Balkan Sans, which he designed with Marija Juza, is one of the many original type families he released through Typonine.

Balkan is a new typeface system that consists of Latin and Cyrillic scripts. It is based on the study of a phenomenon known as Balkan sprachbund, a term used to describe neighboring languages whose sound and grammatical features have merged because of their proximity. The typeface system also represents an attempt to identify the features shared by some South Slavic languages and alphabets like Bosnian, Montenegrin, Croatian and Serbian.

We focused on the dual-literacy that characterizes Slavic peoples, many of whom use and transliterate both Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. Historically, there were three scripts in this region: Cyrillic, Latin and Glagolitic. The use of Latin and Cyrillic typifies the former Yugoslavian countries, today’s Serbia, Bosnia and Hercegovina as well as Montenegro.

Historically, both scripts in this region were bearers of cultural, ethnic, religious and political identities, but their communicative and symbolic functions were often out of step just for the sake of multi-ethnicity. On the other hand, close development of languages and scripts throughout history resulted in shared properties. Today some regional languages in the Western Balkans are so similar that they can even be thought of as dialects.

The Balkan typeface system is a series of fonts that decodes Latin and Cyrillic: it demystifies, depoliticizes and reconciles them for the sake of education, tolerance and, above all, communication. Though Balkan is a “font” in the usual sense, it can also be used to translate Croatian Latin into Serbian Cyrillic and vice versa. One could therefore think of the fonts as educational software capable of reconciling discrete scripts. Like all OpenType fonts, Balkan can be expanded to include the Russian, Macedonian and Bulgarian alphabets.

Balkan Sans and Balkan Sans Stencil consist of four styles—three of them have different alignments (e.g., all uppercase characters are Latin and lowercase characters are Cyrillic) and one style consists of uppercase Cyrillic and lowercase Latin characters.

[Marija Juza and Nikola Djurek]

Balkan Sans

Courtesy: the artist

Balkan Sans

Courtesy: the artist

© Typojanchi 2013