Font Designer – Zoran Kostic

CURRICULUM VITAE
Born in 1947 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Graduated from the Faculty of Geodesy of Belgrade University and completed post graduate studies of photogrammetry at ITC Enshede, The Netherlands. Started professional career as a programmer for geodesy and photogrammetry and continued working in the Research and Development Department of the Institute of Photogrammetry in Belgrade. At that time I felt that this field held no more challenges for me.

In 1986, inspired by articles written by visionaries describing DTP as the job of the future, I and a friend decided to start a private DTP business. So we raised US $ 8,000 and set off. We acquired our first Macintosh SE and LaserWriter in 1987 and established Studio B&Z, the first DTP studio in Yugoslavia.

I had no intention of becoming a type designer. But at this time there were no Cyrillic PostScript fonts on the market nor were there any YU letters in Adobe Latin fonts, so, out of necessity, we had to become font making experts ourselves. We designed the first PostScript Cyrillic
font already in 1987, in fact the first one in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. Only veteran users of Macintosh and Fontographer 2.4 which provided exclusively Type 3 fonts, without hints, can appreciate the difficulties we were up against in seeking to make the PostScript
font. Even remodelling Latin fonts by adding YU letters was nasty, until Adobe opened the Type 1 code.

While designing the first font I discovered a whole new world whose beauty and complexity wove such a spell over me that I am under its hold to this very day. It was love at first sight, and, I think, for ever.

Since then, whenever I have a free moment I make a Cyrillic font as a counterpart of the existing Latin fonts, for there is still a great shortage of the former. The following Cyrillic fonts were created in
this way: Avantgarde, DINEngschrift, Eras, GillSans, Helvetica, Industria, Lithos, Lubalin, Also I made some original fonts like: Resavac, Sketch, KosticSans, KosticSerif, Why Square, Just Square and DesignerRound and about ten others, designed on the basis of old scripts. The last one typeface is "HilandarskiUstav" reconstructed on the basis of handwriting gospels "Cetvorojevandjelje of Patriarh Sava IV", Monastery Chilandarios, Mount Athos, 14 century. OT font with 4.356 glyphs and symbols which use only one keyboard layout.

In cooperation with the Belgrade typographer Djordje Zivkovic who designed them, I made: FlahScript, Garamond, LepiScript, Manasija, Naisus, Ravanica, Traian.


THE STORY ABOUT THE WHY & JUST SQUARE FONTS.
The fonts Why Square™, Just Square™ and DesignerRound, Latin and Cyrillic versions were created during the bombardment of Yugoslavia in 1999. It start when my son Nikola, student of Academy of Applied Arts ask me to draw letters from his sketch for some logotype. It was very good and I realised that it could be more than logotype. As there was no other work, I began the Square project.

I finished Why Square in three weights, the war went on, so I made Initials and SmallCaps variants, the war went on, so I did the fourth weight, the war went on, so I did all the four weights in the Cyrillic
variant, the war went on, so I did four weights of the Just Square font (which I didn’t plan in the beginning), the war went on, so I did the same in the Cyrillic variant, the war went on, then it struck me that I was annoyed when a font had only four weights so I did four more in both the Latin and the Cyrillic variants, the war went on and I realised that it would be good for Why Square to have its alternative in the DesignerRound font, i.e. four weights again in three variants plus the Cyrillic, and when I was nearly finished, the war ended.

By then I had made 56 fonts; who knows what might have happened if the war had gone on?


I LIKE
Rock and roll music, drinking beer in pubs after 10:00 p.m, hot and tasty (unhealthy) food, European movies and literature, Apple computers, informal dressing and communication.


I DON’T LIKE
Techno music, pubs closing at 10:00 p.m., vegetable (healthy) food, American movies, Microsoft based computers (PC), formal dressing and communication, greed, vanity, prejudice and superstition.

If you would still like to contact me, please do!

zkostic@eunet.yu

P.S.
For those who realise the meaning and importance of the alphabet I shall quote some thoughts of the great Serbian linguist Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic from 1827.
"Of all the things in this world that man has invented, nothing can compare to the alphabet. To be able to send to a friend or acquaintance, far away somewhere in the wide world, one’s thoughts on a piece of paper; to be able to read what others wrote two thousand years ago and to be able to write something that others will be able to read several thousand years later; that is a science almost transcending the bounds of the human mind, and one can say that whoever first invented it, was more God than man."
The Know How section offers detailed background knowledge to deal with all enquiries about the use of fonts.