In the sixties I was inspired by ancient calligraphy such as the Dead Sea scrolls and copied passages from the Bible using that style of writing. While I was living in Israel I began to cultivate my own design for Hebrew letters. After retirement I realized that inexpensive software tools had become available for creating fonts. This activity took me through dark Massachusetts winters and eventually I had made the True Type font "Mike Hebrew" available on my website. This font proved popular with 25,250 individual downloads. This was amazing! My next step was to take advantage of Open Type technology to create a professional font which I called "Shuneet" (my wife's name).
In my handwritten calligraphy the shape of each letter could be improvised to fit into a word. In contrast with a computer font, a given letter always has the same shape. I gradually evolved letter shapes which would look good no matter which letters were neighbors. This was done by examining whole pages of text. I strove for a crisp modern appearance which at the same time might remind one of ancient writing.
I am not a native speaker (or reader) of Hebrew so I chose texts with which I could become as familiar as possible - poems, biblical passages and song lyrics. My Hebrew reading improved. Instead of single letters, I saw whole words, phrases and even sentences at a single glance. Each letter was made unique and readability improved. While reading a lyric, I listen to the song and delight at the many renderings available on the internet. This accounts for an unusual feature of this website: I present the lyrics in my own fonts and provide links to the music so you too can read and listen.
Michael Cunliffe Thompson