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Type. Design. Research.

Shani Avni is the Ismar David Assistant Curator in RIT Cary Graphic Arts Collection since 2020. She designs, researches, teaches, consults, writes and lectures on Hebrew type design and typography. Avni holds a BA in Graphic Design from Shenkar College, Israel, and an MA in Typeface Design from the University of Reading, UK. For her MA thesis she researched the David Hebrew typeface family and, since receiving her degree, continues to do so. In 2017, she was chosen for The Cary Research Fellowship, where David's work is archived.

Her work in The Cary includes facilitating the access, arrangement, description, preservation, and enhancement of the Ismar David papers, as well as processing and researching the printing realia collection of historic Hebrew and Yiddish wood type.

In addition to her focus on Hebrew typography,
she holds various classes on the history and practice of Latin typography and type design using the Cary Collection's rare holdings.

Talks & Workshops

Curating Jewish Type Collections

Letters That Link Us: Histories & Mysteries of Hebrew Type. An Interdisciplinary Symposium. University Of Minnesota, 2024

Hebrew Type and Typography 

Center for Jewish Studies, University of Rochester, 2024

Defect Turned Default: Navigating Technology's Impact on Hebrew Type Design, with Liron Lavi Turkenich.

Face/Interface: Global Type Design and Human-Computer Interaction, Stanford Humanities Center, 2023

Wayzgoose 2023: Hebrew/Yiddish Wood Type Workshop with Lynne Avadenka 

Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, 2023

Hebrew Type Intensive: Cast, Typeset, and Print Historic Jewish Wood and Metal type.

The Press and Letterfoundry of Michael and Winifred Bixler Skaneateles, New York, 2023

Masters of Letters: German-Jewish Type Designers in Service of Modern Hebrew Typography

EAJS, Frankfurt, 2023


Hebrew Wood Type at the Cary Collection,

GRANSHAN, Munich, 2022

Center for Jewish Studies, University of Rochester, 2022

The Wonders of Hebrew Wood Type, Typewknd  2021

Hamilton Hang, online, 2021


RIT Friends Group, online, 2020

Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum Awayzgoose, online, 2020

Type Design Research 

Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design
Jerusalem, 2019

Unfolding the first Hebrew typeface family

St Bride Foundation, London, 2019

Practice Led Research

Alfred Cooperative Institute for Art & Culture

Tel Aviv, 2019

Sheqel for your thoughts

ATypI 2018, Antwerp

Innovation meets tradition

ATypI 2017, Montreal

JCC Rochester, US

Monotype Imaging Inc., NYC

Unfolding the first Hebrew typeface family

Type talks, Birmingham City University

Ismar David & the first Hebrew typeface family

The Cary Graphic Arts Collection, Rochester NY

The Type Directors Club, NYC

Kvutsa Ivrit, Hebrew Group, North London

Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design, Jerusalem

Shenkar College of Engineering & Design,
Ramat Gan, Holon Institute of Technology, Faculty
of Design, Holon

Discoveries from Ismar David's archive

Holon Institute of Technology, Faculty of
Design, Holon

Greetings from Ismar David

The Typophiles Inc., NYC

Tel Aviv > Reading > Tel Aviv

University of Reading MATD & MResTD, 2018 

Latin & Hebrew typography

Goren School of Graphic Design & Visual
Communications, Yezreel Valley, 2016

What is Hebrew typography?

Environmental Leadership High-School, Tel Aviv, 2009

An overview of Hebrew type

Ben Gurion University, Computing & Information Systems MA course, Beer-Sheba, 2008


NYPL Researcher Spotlight

Ismar David's visitors book design for the Jewish Palestine Pavilion, New York World's Fair 1939

Hebrew Type Anatomy


Yosef Haim Brenner's "Ha-meorer"

Ha-meorer project (Hebrew)

Ha-meorer: A Print Adventure (Hebrew)

Ismar David’s quest for original Hebrew
typographic signs

Visible Language, Special Issue 
Winner of The 2019 Design Incubation Communication
Design Educators Awards

David Hebrew: the first multi-style Hebrew typeface family, academic dissertation


Lost and found (and lost again)


The important job of the left thumb


Greetings from Ismar David

Alefalefalef (Hebrew)

The disappearance of the David Hebrew
typeface family

Alefalefalef (Hebrew)


Thank you for your email

Header photos:

_ Rockford Hebrew Wood Type Collection, Cary

   Graphic Arts Collection. Photos by: Jiageng Lin

_ Ismar David papers, Cary Graphic Arts Collection

_ Ambersonius typeface by: Jawaher Alali, Shani Avni,

Zenab Bastawala, Lisa Dröes, Manuel von Gebhardi,

Calvin Kwok, Rob Pratley.

_ Hebrew & Latin Gozalle typeface by Shani Avni

Ismar David Online Archive

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