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First Digital Fonts (Cyrillic and Armenian scripts)

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Gajana Aslanjan


(For a school project) I was wondering if anyone knows what the first digital adaptation of the Cyrillic and Armenian scripts were. For Latin I already know that it is Digi Grotesk, but for some reason I can't seem to find what the equivalent was for Cyrillic and Armenian.

Thanks in advance!


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Hrant Papazian

Gajana, it's great to see you researching this! And April 24 is a good day to promote Armenian culture, so I'll gladly share what I know, since I'm in fact deeply involved in Armenian type design.

Caveat: this is all pre-Internet of course, and from a time Armenia had near-zero communication with the –notably, larger– diaspora; plus, some decades have passed... so it's rather impossible to truly know too much.

In terms of bitmap fonts, the first one I know of was actually made by my brother and myself! On the Commodore 64, in 1983. Here's something I've shared on Twitter.

But you might be more interested in outline fonts, and the first I've heard of were by a priest in France by the name of Ara. I was the third that I know of, with my Tasagan, in 1987.

BTW I've tweeted your request, so I hope you get some answers for Cyrillic. If you don't, let me know and I'll ping some key people.

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Gajana Aslanjan

Wow! Thank you so much for the great response, I feel honored! I'll do some research on the fonts you mentioned. I'm actually planning on making a modular font that consists of Latin, Cyrillic and Armenian components, and in fact marrying the three scripts that are closest to me for my graduation project (for my graphic design bachelors degree). I'm not sure yet wether or not I'll use the first display fonts of these three scripts or if I will go for more contemporary fonts either way the fonts you mentioned will broaden my knowledge and interests! Knowing more has never hurt anyone haha

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