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Tagirov, Faik Shakhirdzhanovich

Тагиров, Фаик Шахирджанович

Born October 29, 1906, Bol'shshie Achasyry, Russian Empire; died 1978, USSR

Faik Tagirov was born in a small village located in what is today Tatarstan, Russia. For over 60 years he worked in graphic design and publishing in the Soviet Union and he was a part of the literary scene of the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic early in his career. Although he was a Kazan-based artist, Tagirov spent the majority of his life in Moscow.

Beginning in 1925, he studied at VKhUTEIN (Higher Art and Technical Institute) and graduated in 1930. Tagirov worked in photomontage and was active in Soviet Agit-Prop movement of the 1920s. Photomontage and geometric forms are a hallmark of his style. With illustration skills added by his artistic comrade, Alexandra Korobkova, the pair created what Tagirov called, “a new ‘architecture of books’". By 1927, he and Korobkova were designing Tatar-language magazines and journals published in Moscow. Works by Tagirov and Korobkova were presented at the All-Union exhibition "Art of the Peoples of the USSR" in Moscow (1927). He'd previously exhibited as a solo artist at the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris in 1925.

During 1930s, when the Tatar alphabet was changed from Arabic to a Latin-derived script called Janalif (New Alphabet), Tagirov was at the forefront of the change and participated in the creation of posters for the alphabet's promotion. From 1938 on, he designed Cyrillic scripts for Uighur, Korean, Hindi and other languages. In contrast to his support of a Roman-based Tatar alphabet, Tagirov's early design work often incorporated Tatar Arabic script.

From 1930-1933, Tagirov taught theory and practiced font design at ONSh (Moscow Polygraphic Institute Department of Typed Fonts) where he worked with designers to standardize the Cyrillic printed word.


Edwards, M. (2012, April 19). Faik Tagirov, A Tatar Rodchenko. The Kazan Herald. faik-tagirov-the-kazan-herald-19-april-2012.pdf
Faller, H. M. (2011). Nation, language, Islam: Tatarstan's sovereignty movement. Budapest: Central European University Press. (p. 120, Janalif history in Tatarstan)
Shmarinov, D. A., et al. (1990). Knizhnoe iskusstvo SSSR: Oformlenie, konstruirovanie, shrift. (Tom 2). Moscow: Izd. Kniga. (p. 125, bio) (Tagirov's early design work cited)