ParaType was established as a font department of ParaGraph International in 1989 in Moscow, Russia. At that time in the Soviet Union all typeface development was concentrated in one rather small group which belonged to a state research institute, Polygraphmash. It had the most complete and in fact the only one collection of Cyrillic typefaces. The collection included revivals of Cyrillic typefaces developed by Berthold and Lehmann type foundries established at the end of 19th century in St. Petersburg and artworks of Vadim Lazurski, Galina Bannikova, Nikolay Kudryashov and other masters of type and graphic design of Soviet time.
ParaType became the first privately-owned type foundry in many years. A license agreement with Polygraphmash allows ParaType to manufacture and distribute their typefaces. Most of Polygraphmash staff designers soon moved to ParaType.
In the beginning of 1998 ParaType was separated from the parent company and established two companies: ParaType Inc. in California and ParaType, Ltd. in Russia that inherited typefaces and font software from ParaGraph. Both companies are directed by Emil Yakupov, former head of the font department of ParaGraph.
ParaType apply a multilingual approach to type design. Most of the fonts of the last years were developed from the very beginning for wide varieties of alphabets. ParaType's standard character set covers Western