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A letter from the GRANSHAN President

Dear GRANSHAN community,

I am delighted to announce that the competition section of the GRANSHAN website went online on a completely new technical basis and, of course, a new design: The 13th GRANSHAN Type Design Competition 2023/2024 is open for submissions – until 15 February 2024. The GRANSHAN Competition promotes the highest standards in typeface design and welcomes all type designers, type foundries and custom typefaces from all parts of the world.

As always, it was the collaboration of many great, highly committed people who prepared this competition, contributed to it and developed the communicative foundations. I was very impressed that this was possible despite the fierce disputes worldwide, which also affect many people in our community personally. Thank you so much!

New Co-Chairman in the 13th GRANSHAN Type Design Competition

Edik Ghabuzyan has decided to step down as Co-Chairman of the competition for age-related reasons. At this point, it is extremely important for me to say how grateful I am to him personally for introducing me to this GRANSHAN project, which has played a major role in shaping my life since November 2009. Without him, GRANSHAN would not exist, and he deserves the highest recognition for what he has achieved with this initiative. Thank you, Edik!  

His successor as Co-Chairperson alongside Veronika Burian is Toshi Omagari, whom we warmly welcome. Toshi is a Japanese-born type designer. After graduating from Musashino Art College in Tokyo, he studied type design at the University of Reading from 2010 to 2011. Since then, he has been working as a full-time type designer in the UK. He received the TDC Certificate of Excellence in Type Design 2014 for Metro Nova and won four GRANSHAN awards from 2015 until 2021.

With great respect, we would like to thank Edik Ghabuzyan for his unique contribution to Armenian type design and the establishment of GRANSHAN: In the 13th GRANSHAN Type Design Competition 2023/2024, the Armenian Script Group will become the "Edik Ghabuzyan Lifetime Achievement Award for Armenian Type Design". In this Script Group, the submission costs are borne by GRANSHAN itself and are therefore free of charge for the submitters. In order to celebrate Edik Ghabuzyan and Armenian type design in particular, submissions will only be accepted in the A1/A2 category for text and display typefaces, which focuses on Armenian type design. The categories that focus on font combinations with Armenian typefaces, specifically B1/B2 and C1/C2 (non-Latin combined with Latin and Multiscript), will be paused in this 13th Type Design Competition. In the usual three-stage process under the direction of Angela Poghosova, the evaluation will be carried out exclusively by outstanding Script Specialists from the modern tradition founded by Edik Ghabuzyan with the moderating support of GRANSHAN President Boris Kochan.

Insights about the Script Groups and the Script Experts

To find the most excellent non-Latin typefaces, more than 60 international, well-known Script Experts will now judge the entries of 10 Script Groups in a three-level-process.

This year's competition expands the Script Groups to include Georgian. We thus integrate a cultural identity shaped by script. Nino Jishkariani is announced to be Script Chair of the Georgian Script Group. Nino is a graphic designer, artist and author of several books, founder and president of the Association Georgian Font and has been a professor of Type and Ornament. We warmly welcome her and her colleagues to the GRANSHAN family.

We welcome two more new Script Chairs: Irene Vlachou for the Greek Script Group and Eunyou Noh for the Korean Script Group. Welcome aboard! Their highly esteemed predecessors Gerry Leonidas and Chang Sik Kim pass on to the next generation and remain closely connected with GRANSHAN – including as part of the jury and on the recently established new GRANSHAN Advisory Board. And another new addition: our long-standing Script Specialist Rathna Ramanathan will head the South Asian Script Group as Script Chair together with Kalapi Gajjar-Bordawekar.

Also new in this year’s competition: The Thai Script Group becomes the South East Asian Script Group and includes from now on Burmese, Khmer, Lao and Thai.

This year for the first time we are also invit­ing, in some of the Script Groups, young and very talen­ted profes­sion­als to join the jury as non-voting observ­ers. With this we want to strengthen the inter­na­tional type community. We aim to involve and capture better the contem­por­ary local design scene and prepare new colleagues to become jury members and thus slowly expand the pool of Script Special­ists. The GRAN­SHAN Newcomers will eval­u­ate the entries and take part in the discus­sions, but their vote will not be counted.

Categories and prizes 

Again, we have divided the submissions in six categories: We distinguish between text and display typefaces, and here again between typefaces focused on a single script, on typefaces combining a script with Latin, as well as multiscript typefaces with at least two complements.

Typefaces may be submitted by anyone involved in their design, production, or marketing. All typefaces designed or digitized in or after 2020 complying with the requirements of the competition are eligible for submission. 

The prize money for the GRANSHAN Grand Prize has been increased to 3.000 Euro. In addition to the Grand Prize, there is the possibility of winning first, second and third prizes in each category and in each Script Group – which means a total of 180 prizes could be awarded. Moreover, the jury has the possibility to award Special Mentions.

Declaration of commitment

Even though the GRANSHAN community has been affected by violent conflicts all over the world in the past, we have come to the conclusion that the current situation requires a clear statement. We have therefore decided that we require everyone to confirm a declaration of commitment, which must be confirmed by the Script Experts at the latest before the evaluation of the entries and by all submitters during the submission process. If you would like to read up on this – the declaration of commitment can be found here.

We apologies if not all the functions on the new section of the GRANSHAN website are working and would be pleased to hear what we can improve.

It would be wonderful if the GRANSHAN community would now actively publicize the new competition in their networks. As a voluntary project of script enthusiasts, all our community activities thrive on mutual support!

Thank you in advance!

All the very best!
Boris Kochan
President of the GRANSHAN Foundation e.V.