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Type and Culture.

An odar who’s fascinated by the Armenian alphabet - very cool.

It could be said that Armenia is one of the world’s fastest disappearing nations as waves of emigration going back centuries gradually reduces the population. However, as an ethnic or cultural group Armenians maintain a strong presence in the world and over four million Armenians live outside of the country.

Throughout centuries of persecution, as the country shrank to ten per cent of its original size, Armenians have relied on their ancient language and culture to ensure the survival of their identity. Since the adoption of the specially-created alphabet 1605 years ago, most letters have remained unique and unchanged and Armenia’s alphabet is fundamental to her religion, language, literature and culture. Now that more Armenians live in other parts of the world than live in modern-day Armenia, the diaspora attempts to keep the culture and language alive and their unique alphabet is of course, key.

Although I’m not an Armenian, for a few years now I’ve concerned myself with the Armenian alphabet and type. I was first struck by the unusual forms and the fascinating story of its origins. I have dabbled with Armenian type design for a few years but in 2007 I tried my hand at «serious» type design and obtained research funding to design a typeface with both Armenian and Latin characters «Lagoon» – a revival of an Armenian metal type from late eighteenth century Venice.


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