For example, consider the lettter "a". There is an infinite variety of forms and shapes and embellishments that nevertheless (in proper context) are all recognizable as the letter "a." Hofstadter included a figure illustrating some twenty-five or thirty radically different "a"s to emphasize his point.
Along another axis, Hofstadter analyzed traits that can be preserved across characters, such that this "a" and this "b" can be readily recognized to be in the same typeface or font, even though they are distinct letter forms. Characteristics like axis (whether the letters are vertical or slant to the right or the left), the presence or absence of serif, and the relative height of ascenders and descenders all combine to define a typeface that is recognizable across all the different letter-symbols in the Roman alphabet.
Hofstadter also discussed typeface characteristics of other scripts, such as Chinese, that allow characters with widely divergent styles to nevertheless be recognized as a particular character, and that unite different characters under a the style-umbrella of a single typeface.
One thing that I don't recall Hofstadter exploring, though, is the preservation of these typeface characteristics not just across letterforms within a single alphabet, but even across alphabets. I can imagine, though, that presented with a variety of, say, Greek typefaces, or Cyrillic, I would be able to pick out one that was most like Times New Roman, or most like Helvetica, or what have you.
It's harder to imagine preserving typeface characteristics between a Roman alphabet and a writing system that has more overall distinction from the Roman alphabet. It's hard to imagine what the Hebrew equivalent of the Courier typeface would be, for example.
Still, today I came across and interesting example of an attempt to preserve typeface characteristics between Roman script and Devanagari script, the writing system used for Hindi. I noticed it on this poster for a soon-to-be released film called "Kabhi alvida naa kehna," or "Never Say Goodbye:"
The name of the film is written across the bottom of the poster in Hindi transliterated into Roman characters.
The first letter of three of the four words in the title is written in a different typeface from the rest of the letters; it is larger, with a right-slanting axis (compared to the vertical axis of the remaining letters), with curly embellishments that are quite distinct from the simple, serifed style of the other block letters.
The poster also features, in its lower-right hand corner, the same four words of the title written not in Roman characters but in Hindi's "native" script, Devanagari:
Notice that certain characteristics of the letterforms in the Roman version of the title are displayed here as well. Most of the characters are rendered on a vertical axis with light serifs. The first character of three of the four words, however, is rendered in a larger, slanted-axis, fluid, embellished style very much like that of the first characters of the Roman version.
It's probably not a well-defined question to ask if the Devanagari characters on this poster are rendered in the same typeface as the Roman characters. Nevertheless, there are clearly a number of typeface-defining characteristics that are shared between the two versions of the title.