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Ismar David was a prolific type designer, calligrapher, graphic designer and illustrator. He also engaged in architectural design and taught calligraphy. From the 1930s to the 1990s, he created exquisite designs, studying in Berlin in 1928, emigrating to Jerusalem in 1932 and to New York City in 1952. His most important work is considered to be the David Hebrew Typeface family. It was the first of its kind when it was issued in1954, and up until today, it is the pinnacle of Hebrew type design. What are the challenges entailed in designing a Hebrew typeface family? How did David tackle these obstacles? Why is this work paramount and what has become of it over the years? This talk is based on Shani Avni’s research for her MA dissertation at the University of Reading. In it, she will shed some light on David’s fascinating design process and ground-breaking results.
Shani Avni is an independent designer and researcher. She holds a BA from Shenkar College of Design in Tel Aviv and an MA in Typeface Design from the University of Reading, UK. Fascinated with letters and the stories they tell, she collaborates with designers and educators in order to expose more practitioners to this subject through workshops and lectures. For her Typeface Design MA dissertation for the University of Reading, she researched the David Hebrew typeface family and, since receiving her degree, continues to do so. Shani has been chosen for the 2017 Cary Collection Research Fellowship at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), USA, where David’s work is archived. She perseveres in her efforts to make historical information available as both an academic and a practical reference.