With the addition of new foundry partner CSTM Fonts, Type Network expands its collection to increase coverage of eastern Europe and north and central Asia. Although numerous type families at Type Network include the Cyrillic alphabet, CSTM Fonts is the first Russian foundry to join us. All of their typefaces support not only the extended Latin character set, but also, of course, Cyrillic—the official writing system for the national languages of over a quarter of a billion people.
Ilya Ruderman and Yury Ostromentsky founded CSTM Fonts in 2014. Their typefaces have won an impressive combined number of awards at the Modern Cyrillic, Granshan, and European Design Award competitions.
Both Ruderman and Ostromentsky graduated with degrees in graphic design from the Moscow State University of Printing Arts. Ruderman also attended the renowned Type and Media post-graduate course at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague. Besides teaching for seven years at the British Higher School of Art and Design in Moscow and working as an art director at information agency RIA Novosti, Ruderman drew the Cyrillic expansions for several popular typefaces for other foundries, and created a number of commercial and bespoke typefaces.
Until 2013, Ostromentsky worked primarily as an editorial designer and art director for Bol’shoy Gorod (BigCity) Magazine, and authored several books on design and logotypes. His editorial work for BigCity served as an outlet for his personal lettering, which in turn became his point of entry into type design. Olga Pankova, a Moscow Power Engineering Institute alumna who enrolled in the two-year Type and Typography program at the British Higher School of Art and Design, joined CSTM Fonts in 2015.
CSTM Fonts’ initial release on Type Network consists of four varied type families that cover a wide range of styles. Ruderman originally designed BigCity Grotesque for Bol’shoy Gorod. He drew the humanist sans serif on the skeleton of oldstyle serif faces, giving it a familiar and easy-to-read appearance. The typeface invites creative use and experimentation—it’s the first magazine sans serif featuring Cyrillic and Latin ligatures for both upper- and lowercase letters. The current version, BigCity Grotesque Pro, was revised by Pankova, who updated the character shapes, expanded the family with new upright and italic styles, and added small capitals, symbols, and even more ligatures: two thousand wildly imaginative connections.
Kazimir is a neo-baroque display serif of narrow proportions and dynamic shapes. Based on late-nineteenth to early-twentieth-century book typography, it incorporates elements of prerevolutionary Russian typography into contemporary notions of fashion, form, and harmony. An “Irregular” stylistic set features surprising character shapes that are difficult to picture in a text face but work wonderfully well in display sizes. The family was later extended with Kazimir Text, designed with slightly wider proportions and lower contrast for immersive reading. It has extended language support and more weights than its display counterpart. The “Irregular” stylistic set was toned down a little, making the interesting alternates a better fit for text.
Initially developed for the Moscow City District wayfinding system and visual identity, Navigo is a contemporary geometric sans that includes a comprehensive set of icons and symbols for signaling purposes. The versatile design has outgrown its original wayfinding function; it can now also be deployed in demanding text and display settings.
Finally, Pilar is the most eccentric part of CSTM Fonts’ release. The first iteration of this contemporary interpretation of European art deco typography was drawn by Ostromentsky in 2012 for Bol’shoy Gorod’s headlines. It possesses four stylistic sets—every letter comes in four different shapes—that are increasingly adventurous: from the conventional Regular Open, via Wide Closed and Narrow, to the exuberant Wild. This allows one and the same word or phrase to don varying personas while remaining in the same consistent graphic system.
Type Network General Manager Paley Dreier sees the addition of CSTM as a great opportunity for expansion: “I’m thrilled to welcome Ilya and Yury’s foundry to our family. Their typefaces bring fresh variety to our catalog and offer extensive character sets and language support. I’m eager to see how our customers put these designs to use!”
Join us in welcoming CSTM Fonts to the Type Network family! We’re excited to broaden our horizons by introducing Cyrillic specialists into the mix, and we’ll be looking more closely at their typefaces in the weeks and months ahead. Please let us know if you use any of their fonts in your work—email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be featured in a future story about type in use.