Julia Sysmäläinen grew up bilingually with Finnish and Russian spoken in the family. She is equally at home in both languages and in the Latin and Cyrillic scripts. Consequently, most of the typefaces she designs contain Western and Central European as well as Extended Cyrillic character sets. She shared her knowledge about Cyrillic typeface design at a workshop for designers and font technicians organized by Monotype in Berlin.
After receiving in-depth background information about the history of Cyrillitsa and its design principles the participants did practical exercises designing characteristic glyphs in various styles, comparing upright and italic forms, and drawing national script variants such as Serbian, Bulgarian, Kazakh and Abkhazian.