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Hrant H. Papazian

Specialist in Armenian typeface design. Interested in multi-script typography, readability and notan... and everything else.


Hrant H. Papazian
Last Active
  • Re: Cyrillic lowercase shha (һ) - ascending vs non-ascending

    Sounds like a nice rare opportunity to not fret over relative precedent merit and make one's own considered decision.
  • Re: What are 'true italics'?

    If people didn't want Italics to send a different message from Roman, they would just use Roman. The flavor of the Italics is part of the flavor of a serif typeface. A bad Italic is a good reason to reject a serif typeface for a project.
    The best "flavor" suitable for an Italic is simply to mark emphasis, not to appear more informal, organic, fluid, etc. Because the emphasized word doesn't necessarily need that; in fact it's likely to backfire, because what it probably does need is to maintain the mood of the Roman, since that's what the designer explicitly chose.

    A good reason to reject a serif typeface for a project is that it has a primadonna Italic that doesn't know its job. Considering why people generally hit the Italic button, that is what's a bad Italic.

    The best way to view this Aldine shotgun wedding of expediency is as an accident, so we avoid it in the future.

    Christian Thalmann said:
    it would greatly impoverish and cheapen a serif typeface.
    There is a deeper, functional richness than this garish, shrill thing we've simply grown complacent towards.
  • Re: What are 'true italics'?

    John Savard said:
    because people are used to the kind of italics we have with Roman typefaces, a sloped one instead will convey a message that isn't wanted; it will remind them of certain badly drawn typefaces that happen to have such italics.
    There is a point to that. But I think laymen are fundamentally not like us there. Observe how often they h-flip the "A" for example*. Also, it's part of our duty to accept some discomfort for the sake of long-term improvement.
    But I think we're getting into a completely different debate here: whether the function of the type designer is to serve Art and educate the public, or whether it is to do what his customers want and put food on the table. I would like to submit that there's only one answer to that question, and that's to do at least a little of both; if a balance is not found, either one fails to serve Art because what one does is forgotten in obscurity, or one turns a creative endeavor into drudgery and even prostitution.
  • Re: What are 'true italics'?

    One of my favorite font stories:
    Treacy's Arrow typeface was originally released with a slanted-Roman for an Italic. Eventually that was replaced with a "true" Italic. Well, his customers went into an uproar! They wanted the original back. He ended up providing both.
  • Re: Weapon of choice

    I've used the same lowly Logitech MX300 for about twelve years.

    But my favorite remains the Amiga's "pregnant badger" model from the '90s: