Dr Elena Papassissa is a Graphic Designer specialised in Type Design and Typography, Type consultant, scholar and educator based in London. She is particularly interested in promoting the Armenian script culture and heritage and as a type designer, she has specialist expertise in Armenian script. Since 2013 she has been collaborating with international type foundries, type designers, and graphic design studios in London. In 2014–2015 she worked as a consultant at the Monotype archives in Salfords.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and Visual Communication and an MA in Communication and Design for Publishing from the ISIA Urbino, and an MA in Typeface Design from the University of Reading. She was awarded her PhD in Typography and Graphic Communication from the University of Reading in 2020. Her thesis title is: ‘Convention, traditionalism, Latinisation and modernity in Armenian typefaces across type-making technologies from 1512 to 1977’. Her PhD research was funded by (AHRC) Design Star. She has been teaching critical thinking—theory and practice—focusing on sustainability, ethics and social responsibility, type design, typography, branding, and interaction design at various universities in England. Elena is a member of the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) and the AGBU Young Professional (YP), a non-profit organisation involved in promoting worldwide the Armenian identity and heritage.
Conferences & public engagement
Future Graphic Language Warsaw (December 2019). Talk title: ‘Designing Armenian typefaces: Researching the past to inspire the present’.
HWDO (Hidden Women of Design). London (November 2017). Talk title: ‘Designing Armenian typefaces: Researching the past to inspire the present’.
ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale). Montréal (September 2017). Talk title: ‘Armenian typefaces as expression of national identity: the introduction of a newly fashioned Bolorgir typeface in the second half of the 19th century’.
Armenian workshop conducted at the MA Type Design course at the University of Reading, UK (May 2017)
TDI Type Design course at Reading University, UK (July 2014). Talk title: ‘Traditional versus Latinised approach to Armenian typeface design’.
ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale). Amsterdam (October 2013). Talk title: ‘The current state of Armenian typefaces’.
TDI Type Design course at the University of Reading, UK (July 2013). Talk title: ‘The current state of Armenian typefaces’.
ICTVC 5th International Conference on Typography and Visual Communication, University of Nicosia, Department of Design and Multimedia. Cyprus (June 2013). Talk title: ‘The current state of Armenian typefaces’.
Elena Papassissa. (2021) ‘Designing Armenian typefaces: Researching the past to inspire the present’. FGL – Future Graphic Language: New Directions in Verbal Communication. Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology, Warsaw, Poland, pp. 50–57. ISBN 978-83-66831-01-8.
Elena Papassissa. (2013) ‘The current state of Armenian typefaces’. Bardez/Partez: The bulletin of the Armenian Institute. The Armenian Institute, London, UK, (Special Issue), p. 14.
Elena Papassissa. (2012) Analisi Microtipografica sulla tipografia dei bugiardini, in AIAPZINE: International Design Observatory, Milano. Thesis, research, and studies section. On http://aiapzine.aiap.it/notizie/13260
(February 2021) ‘A Familiar System Font Goes Global with Monotype’s Avenir Next World’. Aiga–Eye on Design
(January 2021) ‘Monotype Introduces Avenir Next World: A Typeface for Global Brands to Design Consistently Beyond Borders’. Business Wire
(January 2021) ‘Monotype releases first update to Avenir in 20 years, expanding to 150 global scripts and languages’. It’s Nice That
(January 2021) ‘Avenir Next World builds on Adrian Frutiger’s legacy with a truly global typeface’. Creative Boom
(2018) Gerard Unger, Theory of Type Design. nai010, Rotterdam, pp. 70, 86.
(2017) ‘No more Tofu’. The Monotype Recorder (5/Summer). The Monotype Studio, London, UK, pp. 37–50.
(2010) ‘Urbino Servizi’. Fisianomia 2009. Quaderni Isia, Urbino, Italy (1 March 2010), corporate identity/4.
(2009) ‘Parola Macchina del pensiero’. Spaghetti Grafica 2. Mondadori Electa, Milan, Italy, pp. 318–319.
(2009) Illywords (27). Corraini, Mantova, Italy, p. 9. (2008) ‘Lekton font’. Italic 2.0. De Agostini, Novara, Italy, pp. 54–55.
–As a Type Designer–
Fraser Muggeridge Studio (UK)
Jeffery Keedy (USA)
–As a consultant–
Tiro Typeworks (Salish Sea, BC)
Dalton Maag (UK)
Monotype Archives in Salfords (UK)