Travel to Yerevan with CoFo to Discover the Roots of Armenian Typefaces

In April, the CoFo team finally got together in full strength to explore the hidden type secrets of Armenia. And you are invited to follow along:

Day 1: Dear Passengers

When a team of type designers from all across the globe lands in Yerevan, you just know that a new chapter in type design history is about to begin. A glass of champagne at the airport and a work session on board. “Dear passengers, the fasten your seatbelts sign is off; you may now take out your laptops and work on your type projects.”

We promise, we are using every free moment to finish the thin masters of CoFo Weather.


Liza and Yerevan greeted us with gata, tons of fresh strawberries, and a wall of rain showers. The city, looking like a rose garden filled with wine and hundreds of restaurants with cozy terraces, was ready to reveal its typographic secrets.


After dinner, the team headed to an exhibition of the finest Armenian design: the fonts on the wine labels in the InVino Bar. There was some sampling involved.


Day 2: Vintage Treasures and Architectural Marvels

Our second day started with rummaging through the local vintage market, searching for treasures. And one we certainly found: an old Armenian typography book. This book, together with the old signs of Yerevan, served as a new inspiration for extending CoFo Peshka to include Armenian.


Armenian writing. Artistic fonts / Karo Tiraturyan, Yerevan, 1963

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On the Armenian modernist architecture tour, we explored the unique tuf buildings made from a volcanic stone that gives the city its distinctive pink hue. The tour highlights included the Armenian Genocide Memorial and the impressive Cascade complex.

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That was also the day we got to reconnect with our Armenian typeface designer friends, Gor and Ayarpi. Together, we found fun hipster shops and a beautiful cellar restaurant filled with creative designs.


(left) Natural wine bar—our favorite wine spot of the trip.
(right) Best Lahmadjo (Armenian flatbread) in Yerevan from Mer Taghe.

Day 3: Typographic Heritage and Phoenix Rising

The third day took us to the mountains, where we encountered seemingly wild horses and a breathtaking waterfall. We collected herbs along the hiking trail, making our way to the ancient Armenian monastery complex. This serene and historical site was a highlight of our trip, offering rich examples of ancient script.


At night, we discovered Phoenix, a bar aptly named after the mythical bird. Staying true to its name, the bar once burned down and was rebuilt from its ashes. We toasted to typography and rebirth with Ararat Cognac, making plans for the next day.


Day 4: Creative Inspirations and Type Designs

Our final full day in Yerevan began with brunch and a trip to Cone, a local designer fashion store, where we left half of our monthly incomes. The other half was spent at the TUMO Studios, where we got to see the work of some of the most talented Armenian designers. This stop was crucial, highlighting the intersection of tradition and modernity in Armenian design.


The final adventure of the day was a photoshoot by the mountain lake, capturing the beauty of the landscape alongside fluffy sheep.


© Aspo Manukian

Day 5: Farewell to Typeface Heaven

On our last day, we headed to the Matenadaran, a haven for typographic history and culture. This was a pivotal moment as we delved into a treasure trove of fonts, scripts, and letters, each one telling a story of Armenia’s rich cultural tapestry.

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After we barely forced ourselves to leave the library, we ran off to send postcards, grab lunch, and bid farewell to Yerevan, carrying with us not just memories but also the inspiration to infuse our future designs with the spirit of this vibrant city.


Keep Your Seatbelts Fastened

Although the trip is now over and we are back to our respective time zones, the CoFo journey is in full motion. Stay tuned for the Yerevan-inspired typefaces!


Author & Editor: Ekaterina Barannikova
Imagery: Contrast Foundry & Aspo Manukian



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