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Khatt Font Project- 12 reactions

The Typographic Matchmaking 01 project

Building cultural bridges with typeface design

10 Arab and Dutch designers collaborate on designing Arabic companions for Dutch fonts

The Typographic Matchmaking project was initiated by the Khatt Foundation (Amsterdam), in April 2005. The Khatt Foundation selected and invited five renown Dutch designers and matched each one of them with an established and upcoming Arab designer. The aim was to facilitate a collaboration bewteen the Dutch and Arab designers in order to design Arabic typefaces that match and can become part of the font family of one of the Dutch designers’ existing font families. The main thrust of the project is to address the modernisation of Arabic text faces that can provide design solutions for legible Arabic fonts that answer the contemporary design needs in the Arab world (namely for publications and new digital media applications).

The designers involved

Gerard Unger & Nadine Chahine
Fred Smeijers & Lara Assouad Khoury
Martin Majoor & Pascal Zoghbi
Lucas de Groot & Mouneer Al-Shaarani
Peter Bilak & Tarek Atrissi

Typographic Matchmaking workshop - Workshop and working sessions with the designers and khatt members.

The Typographic Matchmaking project was first discussed with a number of Dutch designers during the ATypI conference in Prague in September of 2004, and developed accordingly into a project with a defined and practical design brief. The Khatt Foundation initiated the Typographic Matchmaking project, spearheaded and coordinated by Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès, in April 2005. Five renowned Dutch designers were invited and each was teamed-up with an established or upcoming Arab designer. The aim was to facilitate collaboration between the Dutch and Arab designers in order to design Arabic typefaces that can become members of one of the Dutch designers’ existing font families. The participating designers formed the following teams: Gerard Unger with Nadine Chahine, Fred Smeijers with Lara Assouad Khoury, Martin Majoor with Pascal Zoghbi, Lucas de Groot with Mouneer Al-Shaarani, and Peter Bilak with Tarek Atrissi. In order to create a smooth and productive collaboration, the designers involved were matched according to their aesthetic styles, their personalities, and/or experiences. The initial challenges of this project were slightly humbling. First, asking two type designers who have never worked together to design a typeface was highly unusual— usually type design is an extremely individual and solitary endeavor. Second, matching two designers from different cultural backgrounds (and in most cases) living in different countries posed other small complications; like traveling to meet face to face, or communicating remotely (through telephone and email). Third, the expertise of the selected designers within one team was diverse; ranging from highly advanced technical knowledge, to design experience, to mastery of the Arabic language and script. This latter condition created an interesting balance of expertise within each team and lead to productive inter-dependencies between the partners whereby each had new things to learn from this experimental project. The over-reaching goal of this project was to set an example and to propose working methods, standards, and conventions for creating professionally designed and produced Arabic fonts. The experiments, problems, and developments encountered during the research and design process of each team raised some questions (hopefully to be further investigated in later projects and by other designers), provided some solutions and demystified the design and production process of Arabic type.

Comments (12)

Great Project


This is a great project , I hope to participate such a project like this


Ahmed Kandil ( A Calligrapher )

Ahmed kandil
20 Nov 2007, 12:23

نعم الفكرة Swell idea

I was referred to this project/site by one of our members at
I just bought a copy of this book, and hopefully will start using a couple of matched fonts in our Shuffle magazine
Thanks to team who initiated and pursued this project.

Zaid Al-Hilali
7 Feb 2008, 20:30

I wonder

Dears Matchmaking Project

I found my self missing in your project
an iraqi-born Dutch -nationality graphic designer
I wonder if still possible to participate the project
please keep me posted on

nedim kufi
11 Jun 2008, 10:25

fresco arabic


I have bought the book with the cd in. But I would like to use the type for the flemish-morroccan culturehouse. Where can I buy the license for these fonts?



Fenna Zamouri
16 Feb 2009, 15:45


This is a good job ,

I've designed a new font & this font is companion with the
"Futura" font , so could you please tell me which foundation is support these projects ???

Thanx ... )

6 Sep 2009, 1:46

Wish I could be part of such project

This is an amazing project, wish I could be part of such project in future...

21 Sep 2011, 9:03

Wish I could be part of such project

This is an amazing project. Wish I could be part of such experimental project on Arabic typography....

21 Sep 2011, 9:04

Spanish/Arabic typography matching


We are organizing a typographic mural in Havana and we would like to use some of your fonts as we want to write in different languages. So I was wondering if you could collaborate online with us for a project about Creative Resistance, aligned with the Occupy Movement and the necessity to resist against the mass mediated cultural invasion.


5 Jun 2012, 18:35

Arabic Calligraphy

what about this Arabic Calligraphy web site ?

6 Jun 2012, 5:09

hi, interesting idea

I think it is an interesting idea and could be more beautiful the Arabic script to help people around the world. Thank you چای لاغری تیما

8 Feb 2015, 22:59


so , it's about creating new fonts by inspiring from latin ones?

<a href="">???? ??????</a>

17 Jun 2017, 4:28


so , it's about creating new fonts by inspiring from latin ones?

17 Jun 2017, 4:30

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