TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Tue Aug 11 15:14:22 EDT 2020






Ismar David

Letterer and calligrapher Ismar David (b. Breslau, 1910, d. New York City, 1996) designed the immensely popular David Hebrew in 1954 (published by Intertype and Stempel). He emigrated to Palestine in 1932 and lived in Jerusalem until 1952. During this period he worked as a graphic designer and developed the David Hebrew typeface. From 1953 onwards, he lived and worked in New York City as a book designer, lettering artist, calligrapher and architectural designer, and as an instructor at the Cooper Union and Pratt Institute. Ismar David's prolific design career was donated in 1997 to the Cary Graphic Arts Collection at RIT.

Zapf wrote about him: The work of Ismar David can always be identified by his characteristic style. [...] His expressive drawings, with their undulating linear quality and unusual construction, show his elegant style in every detail. Helen Brandshaft and David Pankow wrote and edited the text The Work of Ismar David (RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press, 2005), which covers his entire oeuvre.

Typophile discussion. One of his types, David, became a huge success in the digital era, thanks to a digitization by Zvika Rosenberg, although some say that it is not as elegant as the original pre-digital version.

In 2012, Monotype published David Hadash (or New David). Substyles include David Hadash Formal, David Hadash Sans, David Hadash Script, and David Hadash Biblical.

Meir Sadan was the lead designer in the David Libre project. David Libre, published in 2016 by Google Fonts, is a Libre David Hebrew, based on David Hadash Formal. Google has worked with Monotype to release the three book weights (Regular, Medium and Bold) under the SIL Open Font License and create a new version for use by the public. Some glyphs were updated, such as the Sheqel symbol---it was redesigned to be recognizable by contemporary Hebrew readers, since the original Sheqel symbol is too far from today's standard. Open Font Library link for David Libre.

At the University of Reading, Shani Avni wrote a Masters thesis on David. In it, she presents David's design process and ground-breaking results, and tells the story of this lost design and offers reasons for its disappearance. Her graduation typeface there in 2016 was Gozalle.

Ismar David
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file name: Ismar David Victor Gaultney Annie Olsen Meir Sadan David Libre 2015 2016

file name: Monotype David Hadash 2012

file name: Monotype David Hadash Biblical 2012

file name: Monotype David Hadash Formal 2012

file name: Monotype David Hadash Sans 2012

file name: Nonpareil David Hadash 2012 after Ismar David David Hebrew 1954

file name: Nonpareil David Hadash 2012 after Ismar David David Hebrew 1954b

file name: Nonpareil David Hadash 2012 after Ismar David David Hebrew 1954c

file name: Nonpareil David Hadash 2012 after Ismar David David Hebrew 1954f

file name: Monotype David Hadash Script 2012

file name: Ismar David Pic

Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html