Hrant Papazian

Frakturstreit! (Broken typefaces don't need fixing)

Summary
The panel will start off considering whether fraktur typography (having a history including Martin Luther and Martin Bormann) can or should exist in the present German environment. The panelists will illustrate their arguments with selected fraktur designs, each putting fraktur in a lively, personal perspective. Separately, whether fraktur can play any role in a language like English, outside of Germany, will be examined. The discussion is expected to be engaging.

Biography
Since childhood Hrant Papazian has had daily exposure to three distinct writing systems. This has afforded him an expanded view of written communication. At age 13 he designed Armenian and Arabic fonts on 8x8 bitmaps - his social life has been going downhill ever since.

Graduating to outline font creation in 1989, Hrant realized that there was much to learn about the subtleties as well as the history of type design, and started absorbing type knowledge at an alarming rate. However, he has always truly enjoyed wrestling with the technical issues of typography, and feels that balancing them with the cultural considerations is the key to effective communication.

Hrant specializes in non-Latin type design (www.themicrofoundry.com), and has created typefaces in numerous languages including multiple-master fonts for Armenian. He has a typeface licensed by Linotype Library and his groundbreaking Arasan font was chosen for inclusion in the BigCrit99 awards.

Recently Hrant has taken to dissecting the Latin alphabet with the intention of improving functionality. Other interests include screen fonts and an exploration of the merits of Fraktur. All in all Hrant has much to say and even more to learn, and tends to do both with excessive fervor.