International font competitions – of which there are few – usually focus on Latin script. But small type foundries, global corporations and leading universities have all uncovered a secret. Promoting non-Latin typefaces opens up enormous economic potential and fantastic design opportunities and Granshan non-Latin type competition is ready to bring into the limelight the best of the best aka the most notable typefaces for individual non-Latin scripts as well as multiscript families and it all started exactly eleven years ago.

Back then, in 2008, the Armenian Ministry of Culture founded a national type competition yet that was just the beginning. One year later, in 2009, when the Typographische Gesellschaft Muenchen e.V. (tgm; Typographic Society Munich) visited Armenia in 2009 a new organisation was born and just like that, a local idea became a fine typographic affair of global and diverse proortions. Ever since 2010 both institutions organize the type contest together building a hub for global visual identity. 

Every year the winning entries of the competition which was founded by Edik Ghabuzyan, leading Armenian type designer, and Boris Kochan, chairman of the type competition and the conceptional force behind the venue, are documented and presented in international exhibitions (e.g. in Alexandria, Moscow, Munich, St. Petersburg) and eventually Granshan (the Armenian word for script is) has evolved into GRANSHAN Type Design competition. 

As the number of multilingual typeface developments has grown continuously in recent years with more and more non-Latin typefaces designed on the basis of Latin typefaces, the 11th Granshan type design competition is open for entries to find the most excellent non-Latin typefaces in the world. 

“We are looking for the best Typeface Designs in nine script groups. Entries are possible in three categories to satisfy the wide range of multilingual typeface projects” notes Granshan and in this year’s 11th Granshan Competition Jury more than 60 international, well-known script experts will judge the entries in a three-level-process.  

For each script group, a minimum of three dedicated specialists will provide reviews of the submission with each script group moderated by a so-called script chair, who is also casting a vote and whose vote acts as a tie-breaker. To ensure continuity in the evaluation over the years, the script chairs are designated for several years and includes Prof. Fiona Ross (South Asian), Alexei Vanyashin (Cyrillic), Liu Zhao (Chinese), Gerry Leonidas (Greek), Angela Poghosova (Armenian), Adi Stern (Hebrew), Haytham Nawar (Arabic), Chang Sik Kim (Korean), Anuthin Wongsunkakon (Thai).

The script specialists are chosen collectively by the script chairs together with the chairmen. It includes experts such as John Hudson and Graham Shaw (South Asian), Panos Vassiliou and George Matthiopoulos (Greek), Vedran Erakovic and Kyrylo Tkachov (Cyrillic), Kamal Mansour and Bahia Shehab (Arabic).

Celebrating the diversity and richness of the typographic scripts that underpin global communication, empower communities, and enable identity is a task and Granshan type competition covers a growing range of scripts for communities on a global scale. From the most widely used, to scripts in use by small communities or those under threat, Granshan type competition gives the best excuse for all type designers, type foundries, and clients with custom typefaces from all parts of the world to be part of a non-Latin celebration in type design. 

From the most widely used, to scripts in use by small communities or those under threat, Granshan type competition is all about the diversity and richness of the typographic scripts 

Category A: non-Latin text and display typefaces

This category is reserved exclusively for non-Latin text or display typefaces, in one or more of the script groups listed below. Type designers and type foundries can submit the following scripts: Arabic Scripts (Arabic, Persian, Urdu), Armenian, Chinese (traditional or simplified), Cyrillic (Bulgarian, Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian, etc.), Greek, Hebrew, KoreanSouth Asian scripts (Devanagari, Bengali, Gurmukhi, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati, Malayalam, Sinhala, etc.) and Thai.

Category B: non-Latin – Latin text typefaces

This category is designated for non-Latin text typefaces with a Latin version to be used in combination. This can be a Latin version newly developed together with the non-Latin part or a pre-existing design. In case of a new developed Latin version, the quality of the Latin will also be evaluated along with the quality of the non-Latin typeface. In any case, the interaction between the non-Latin and the Latin version will be rated.

Non-Latin scripts underpin global communication, empower communities, and enable identity 

Typefaces from the nine script groups given above can be submitted. Note that in this category, display typefaces shall not be accepted. You can submit the following scripts: Latin with Arabic Scripts (Arabic, Persian, Urdu), Latin with Armenian, Latin with Chinese (tradional or simplified), Latin with Cyrillic (Bulgarian, Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian, etc.), Latin with Greek, Latin with Hebrew, Latin with South Asian scripts (Devanagari, Bengali, Gurmukhi, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati, Malayalam, Sinhala, etc.), Latin with Korean and Latin with Thai.

Category C: multiscript text typefaces

This category is reserved for text typefaces with at least two non-Latin complements intended to work together. An accompanying Latin version shall be accepted but not required. In this category, display typefaces shall not be accepted. 

“We celebrate non-Latin typefaces and typography, design and communication that enable communities to develop culture and enterprises in a balance between local, regional, and global”

All typefaces designed or digitized in or after 2015 complying with the requirements of the competition are eligible for submission. Typefaces may be submitted by anyone involved in their design, production, or marketing. All submitted typefaces shall comply with and use the Unicode encoding system and entries can be single typefaces or type families, revivals or new developments. Also, custom fonts, as well as student projects, are more than welcome.

This year the final jury meeting, the announcement of the winners and the celebration of the Granshan Grand Prize will take place during ATypI in Tokyo from 4–7 September 2019.

So designers submit your non-Latin entries by the 15th of July 2019. For further information check here

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