Thursday, July 2, 2009

Textual Perversion

I’m currently working on the first of a series of alcohol-themed angels, inspired by the advertising designs by such art nouveau luminaries as Alphonse Mucha (one of my favorite influences).
The concept is to do one for each basic type of liquor: vodka, rum, tequila, etc., with the angels wearing costumes inspired by the culture that originated that drink (or is popularly associated with it).
My original idea was to have the name of the drink integrated into the background design, but I’ve changed my mind. Instead of an obvious “label”, I’ll be using the equivalent of “cheers” in the relevant language.

So, I’m starting with vodka, and was doing my research yesterday.
The most common Russian drinking toast is na zdorovyeh, “to our health”, and I think it looks really cool in Cyrillic. Bonus!
But when I copied the Cyrillic text from the webpage and pasted it into my Illustrator file, what showed up was: “?? ????????!”, which actually made me laugh out loud. I could almost hear my computer saying: “WTF???”.
I pondered finding and installing a Cyrillic font and did a bit of looking into that option. I discovered that there are apparently several standard Windows fonts that are capable of displaying Cyrillic characters.
I tried pasting the same copied text into a Word document...
That worked fine- it came through in Cyrillic, using the Times New Roman font.
What was weird was that it wouldn’t work in Illustrator – even when I was using the same font. Even when I cut the text from Word and pasted it into Illustrator. More ?????!s.
For whatever reason, Illustrator refuses to speak Russian.

I could have just used the Word file (or even the website) for reference and just flipped back and forth between that and my Illustrator file, but that’s kind of a pain.
In the end I just pumped the font size up to 150 pts. in Word and screen captured it, then pasted that pixel-based image into my Illustrator file.
Font issues bypassed...Mission accomplished!

На здоровье!

On a semi-related note...
While researching alcohol-themed images, I came across this gem, by Source Creative, which amused me. :)

Apparently t-shirts with this design sold out within 5 days. Poor little green fairy.

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