Balkan is a bi-script typeface system consisting of Latin and Cyrillic scripts. It is based on the study of a phenomenon known as the Balkan sprachbund, the linguistic features shared between different languages because of their proximity. The typeface system also represents an attempt to identify the features shared by some South Slavic languages: Bosnian, Montenegrin, Croatian and Serbian.
Historically, there were three scripts in former Yugoslavia: Cyrillic, Latin and Glagolitic, markers of cultural, ethnic, religious and political identities. Cohabitation and the parallel development of these languages resulted in shared features, and today, languages in the Western Balkans are so similar that they can even be thought of as dialects, but may be written in different scripts.
The Balkan typeface system is a series of fonts that depoliticises and reconciles them for the sake of education, tolerance and, above all, communication. Balkan transliterates and translates Croatian Latin into Serbian Cyrillic and vice versa, thus the fonts serve as educational software capable of reconciling disparate scripts. Download the transliteration table of Balkan Sans.
Since Cyrillic is used by dozens of languages, there is no single standard for its transliteration into Latin script. We reviewed the most common romanisation schemes to create OpenType Stylistic Sets that cover most common options for transliterating Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian and Ukrainian letters into English and other Latin-based languages.
Balkan is available in two alternative styles, Balkan Sans and Balkan Stencil, and in two versions, one with Latin letters on top, or with Cyrillic letters on top.
Authors & Awards
Balkan typeface family was published in 2012, designed by Nikola Djurek and Marija Juza. In 2012, it has been awarded Type Directors Club’s certificate of Typographic Excellence. Balkan also received Special Jury Award at 23rd Biennal of Design, Slovenia 2012. Balkan Sans among the Best Typefaces of 2012 by Typographica. In 2014 Balkan Sans was awarded the Grand Prix from the Croatian Designers Society, the most prestigious award in Croatia. In 2016, Balkan received another Grand Prix — Zgraf 12 at the international exhibition of graphic design and visual communications, held triennially in Zagreb.