Book 1 Jan 2008
Arabic Font Specimen Book
Author: Edo Smitshuijzen
Published by Uitgeverij De Buitenkant. Amsterdam. 2009
Blind & Gilt-stamped grey cloth with dust wrapper 656 pages, 3 coloured book-marks
Text output: Thesis - Luc(as) de Groot
Basic typographic design & text-editing: Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares
Illustrations/layout and cover design: Edo Smitshuijzen
Price: € 150.00
Arabic typography exists in a universe of extremes: considered as holy by some, frightening by others, but more often painfully neglected. It is mysterious and elusive but also an unmistakable cultural icon. Based on the world's richest calligraphic traditions, it has become today a technological challenge for font designers. This first of its kind book, which was long overdue, is also extreme in its thorough covering of all aspects relating to contemporary Arabic fonts. It is book is a must have for everyone working with Arabic type or interested in complex typography and scripts.
The Arabic Font Specimen Book is the first thorough overview of Arabic type available on the market. Though Arabic has a rich calligraphic tradition, its typographic one pales in comparison. There was little documentation about Arabic fonts, making it difficult to find the design or production source of the fonts offered on the market and/or their technical specifications.
The goal of this book is to give adequate help in selecting Arabic fonts for use in print and other media. It provides information ranging from historical essays on the development of the designs and related technologies, to guidelines for the design and use of dual-script (Latin & Arabic) fonts in various design applications.
Each type specimen has concise information about its designers, technical specs and manufacturers. Text fonts are shown in the size and the format that corresponds with three archetypical applications: one sample in display size, one sample in an average text size, and one in a very small size used for captions or business forms. Fonts that are only suitable for display text are shown solely in the display option. These samples cover the use of Arabic fonts in print. Though nowadays text is also produced to be read from computer screens, the appearance of a font under these circumstances can be best judged on the final display. However it is safe to assume that a font that is legible at very small sizes, will also be legible when used on low resolution computer screens.