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Urdu, Cyrillic, computers, text and meaning


This reminds me of a conversation I had a number of years ago with a Serbian graphic designer. I was always curious about something with Serbian and typography and this was the opportune time.

For most of you outside of the Balkans or Southeastern Europe for that matter, you might not be aware of the Cyrillic alphabet being used not just in Russia and the Ukraine but in about half of the Balkans as well, notably in this case in Serbia. There they use the Cyrillic alphabet, but also use the Latin alphabet. There doesn’t seem to be any logic or reason as to which alphabet you use beyond official stuff like the post office is more likely to be in Cyrillic. This always fascinated me, that they could, almost at random use one alphabet, let’s say for laundry detergent advertising and another for a flyer for a bar, in the same language.

The reason? “Simple,” she answered, when asked why use two different alphabets, isn’t this confusing, etc., “We’re graphic designers, we like to use lots of different typefaces and Latin has way more, so we use that alphabet.”