Բարեւներ: Greetings.

Բարեւներ: Greetings.

by Hrant Papazian
October 9, 2010

Like all good things this website has come about serendipitously. In the summer of 2009 I was in Armenia on a family vacation. The previous year I had been fortunate to win a top prize in the inaugural Granshan typeface design competition masterminded and orchestrated by Edik Ghabuzyan, the head of Armenia’s Department for the Development and Conservation of Typefaces. (Yes, the Armenian government is as obsessed with the alphabet as is our collective consciousness.) During that trip I met Edik in person for the first time, and his ambitions were at once compelling, outrageous and infectious. He wanted to run a Granshan competition every year; I thought that was recklessly too frequent, and told him so. I was wrong. Now in its third year Granshan continues to attract quality entries from around the world, this in spite of now charging an entry fee and omitting a Latin category. Granshan even dares to award monetary prizes, something not seen in type competitions since the sad demise of the venerable Morisawa.

But Edik’s most shocking plan is to host an ATypI conference in Armenia. I remember the moment he told me this, sitting in the Santa Fe café in Yerevan; I suppressed an incredulous smirk. But it took only another few minutes to realize that it might very well be the ideal place to hold a type conference; in a place so imbued with letters and letterforms that the typographically obsessed would no longer feel like Gregor Samsa.

As a seedling this site was intended merely as a vehicle for convincing ATypI and font people at large that staging a conference in Armenia was actually a good idea. But being infected with ambition it is now dreaming of becoming the online home of the culture and manifestation of Armenian typography. Planned are news coverage, interviews, opinion pieces, type specimen showings and photography; and many more authors of all that content. The future is murky by definition; from here however it seems a glowing, inviting murk.

But this is all talk. Without a dedicated and gifted graphic designer this swell of ambition would merely implode or peter out, leaving things in a worse state than before. Nina Stössinger –quite possibly against her own good judgment– has become a champion of our little presence in the spectrum of written communication, crafting armenotype.com into something that can bear the weight of all our ambitions, in style. Nina was in Armenia herself that summer, and in an unnervingly short time has become a promising typeface designer as well, collaborating with a crazy Armenian fellow on a multi-script family. This site is a beacon of form & function thanks to her eye & hand. The Armenian people owe her one.

Enjoy. Բարի վայելում:

10 Comments

  1. Sevag says:

    Just got an email from my professor aka Klimis Mastoridis with the link and couldn’t be more happier. Me being a type «addict» & Armenian, this could be the best thing since the invention of the Armenian alphabet. You are doing a great work and you have my full support and love.

    Best regards,

    SB

  2. Meinen allerherzlichsten Glückwunsch!

    Congratulations to the launch of this site!
    And my sincerest admiration to the Armenian people, who have ever been uniquely conscious of the value of their script, even in terms of self-assertion and survival as a nation.

    I offer to contribute an Old-Armenian font I did some time ago for Frankfurt University.

    Alles Gute,
    Andreas Stötzner.

  3. Mikael says:

    A couple of days ago I was thinking about the lack of such a site. Thank you for filling the gap. I’ll be a constant visitor and I wish you all the best.

  4. Zyb says:

    Wonderful! It would be great to see some examples of modern Armenian handwriting in the gallery. :)

  5. Thank you for all the overly kind words!
    We will make sure to satisfy your expectations.

    I just got an email from Edik Ghabuzyan with this message that he asked me to post here: «Hrant, I congratulate you on opening a new website devoted to Armenian type art. I express my gratitude to you, Nina and Carolyn for your articles and great work.»

    Andreas, once we have time to breathe a little we will discuss your very generous offer! Many thanks.

    hhp

  6. Hi

    Couldn’t find anywhere on the site answers to the following questions:

    • Is Lagoon for sale or is it for free?
    • How can it be purchased or downloaded then?
    • Is it a Unicode font?
    • Are there any more typefaces to come?

    ;)

  7. Karen, I’ll point Carolyn this way!

    hhp

  8. Shortly Lagoon will be available via MyFonts but please email me directly and we can come to some arrangement before then. I like to post it on a CD.
    Yes, it is Unicode and OpenType so will work on Mac or PC.
    Carolyn

  9. Hi Carolyn, thank you for replying.

    What is your e-mail address? Or, could you please send me a message to the address mentioned here?

    P.S. One important note: I am not yet planning to buy the font, however I am interested in Armenian fonts, and would be glad to put an announcement in my blog about a new Armenian Unicode compliant font.

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