Serbia & Yugoslavia – WWI & WWII 03 Aug 2020

Not many nations in their establishment history can have that pleasure to live and be part of elastic range of state forms – from The medieval Serbian Kingdom, The medieval Serbian Empire, The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians, SFR Yugoslavia, FR Yugoslavia, State Union of Serbia and Montenegro and Republic Serbia as the last one. Turbulent and dynamic history have been effected the development, archiving and preservation of written and printed materials. While Western countries stepped into industrial revolution, Serbia struggled with their internal wars (like nowadays) and somehow during its history, politic was primary “industry” here, neglecting growth of the culture, education and industry. As help in hand, the largest and most valuable treasury of the movable cultural heritage of this part of Europe – National Library of Serbia – has been razed to the ground during Nazi bombing of Belgrade at April 6th, 1941. It contained material not only of Serbian origin, but also which originated from the entire territory of Europe and which covered a chronological period of almost a thousand years. That was one of the biggest steps backward in modern Serbian history.

What are we talking about here actually? After this historical and a bit political introduction, we wanted to give you wider picture of overall situation related to Latin alphabet and Cyrillic presence in Serbia.

All together, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, all with Slavic origin, they formed (now former) Yugoslavia. As people in all these countries spoke different, but very similar languages, they also used two different scripts (earlier mentioned Latin and Cyrillic). Croats, Slovenians and Bosnian used Latin, while Serbs, Macedonians and Montenegrin used Cyrillic.
But, as there always can be more complicated, Serbia used both Latin and Cyrillic scripts equally. Cyrillic came as national legacy, while Latin alphabet came as solution that will unite all countries under capital city of Yugoslavia – Belgrade. So, after the collapse of Yugoslavia, digraphia (using two types of alphabets) stayed on power in Serbia till presence.
You can now imagine complexity of this area, at least in short and how politic and global changes effected and still do nations on Balkan.

What we wanted here is to show some of examples of printed materials like posters, packages, newspapers that were made in Yugoslavia in period of between two big wars. Typefaces used on examples are the mostly influenced from countries like Hungary, Austria (Austria-Hungary), Italy and Germany.
You can recognise some of the typefaces from the examples. Even now, some of them are still in use (digitalised as fonts of course).

All images taken from Kupindo.com and NoviBechej.com
We don't owe rights on images.