Lekton is an open-type web font that was originally created in 2008 by Luciano Perondi and his students at ISIA Urbino, Italy and was inspired by some of the typefaces used on the Olivetti typewriters.
We had used Lekton for the typography of our own visual identity, including logo, business cards, website headings etc. Ever since there has been an increasing need to use it in the greek language in applications such as quote forms, invoices etc. but Lekton lacked the greek characters. Instead of using some other already multilingual set, we decided to design the missing characters and extend Lekton ourselves!
We decided to embark on this project as soon as Manon Photopoulos, a French/Greek graphic design student particularly interested in typography, arrived at role play for a 2-month internship. The task to develop greek characters for Lekton Regular, Bold & Italic was on!
Stage 1: Studying the latin set
As according to its creators, the glyphs are 'tri-spaced' which means that the spaces are modular, 250, 500, 750, this allowing for a better spacing between characters, but allow also for a vertical alignment similar to the one possible with a monospaced font. Moreover, they are all monolinear with only a few tweaks.
Step 2: Designing the greek set
Modern Greek alphabet has 24 letters, sharing 14 uppercase and 2 lowercase with the latin alphabet. So we needed to develop 10 uppercase, 22 lowercase plus 20 punctuated versions for the vowels, total of 52 x 3 styles = 156 character slots to fill!
The next challenge was for our non-greek speaking intern to familiarize with distinct greek characters such as φ, ξ, ζ, ω etc, some of which present a particular geometry.
Basic Latin VS Greek characters
Step 3: Working with open-source
Developing Lekton-Greek would allow us to use it internally as well as to contribute the extension back to the community that offered it to us openly in the first place. That on mind, we used an open-source, cross-operating system software (Font Forge), even though the initial studies were elaborated in a standard design suite.
Step 4: Lekton-Greek beta release
The beta version of the extended Lekton was ready just before this summer's vacation. We are already in contact with ISIA Urbino for the evaluation of our work, the implementation to the new Lekton release and eventual update on Google Fonts and other open-type font libraries. Here's an overview:
Download Lekton-Greek_beta version, test it and leave us a comment.