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Research of the Unique Linguistic Pattern and Frequencies of the Turkish Language and Designing a Typeface Based on This Research

Phd obtained at Istanbul Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Institute of Social Sciences, in 2014. 


This project states that in addition to the alphabet, the chosen language should also be considered as a factor for micro typographic factors of text setting to aid optimum legibility and readability. The design of letters and words, letter space and word space, line length, leading and columns should be examined within interchangeable language parameters such as orthography, range of alphabet, frequently used letters, frequently used letter groupings and average word length.


The aim of this project is to design a text typeface and suggest suitable micro typographic parameters in order to facilitate more legible and readable printed continuous reading Turkish text based on unique features of the language. To identify the unique nature of the Turkish Language, letter frequencies, the forms of frequently used letters, contact pattern motif, frequently used letter groupings, often used words, word endings, the distribution of vowels and consonants and grammar rules were researched.After investigating these aspects within typographic parameters of the Turkish Language, the identified problems were used as the foundation of a new typeface design.


The typeface created in this project looks at legibility and readability problems related to the forms of frequently used letters and letter groupings in the Turkish language. Kerning pairs were extended due to the unique letter frequencies and pairings. The size, coordination, location and form of the diacritics were designed to be in harmony with the base glyphs. Also, to increase the horizontal movement of the text special modifications on serifs, axis and terminals were made. Additionally, stylistic set of ligatures was designed that added better horizontal movement and harmony in text.


The aesthetic of the typeface incorporates cultural and historical references of the era when the Latin based alphabet was first introduced into Turkey and well known Turkish general historic visual reference. This is interpreted in a contemporary way to create a uniquely Turkish typeface for today. To test the typeface and the typographic parameters suggested for Turkish Language, two novels – one written in Turkish, one in Czech translated into Turkish – were chosen and critiqued in terms of the typeface and their micro typographic features. These were then set with the new typeface and typographic parameters. The issues of legibility and readability in the redesign was then analysed. 

IMG_4558 copy
IMG_4559 copy
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