Copyright©2007. Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares
Published by BIS Publishers, Amsterdam. 2007
As the world moves forward towards a more international (design) society, the need for fonts that can support multi-scripts becomes imperative. Technology is now capable of supporting many scripts on one and the same device, and across a range of computer platforms. However, the design of such large and international font families is still in its infancy. This book goes beyond presenting this unique intercultural project, to demystify the design process behind creating Arabic digital fonts. The five projects discussed in this book, pose questions around the aesthetic and technical issues of creating Arabic fonts as companions to Latin ones, thus addressing modern communication needs in the Arab world. This book serves as both a concise guide and a source of inspiration for modern Arabic type designs.
Typographic Matchmaking is conceived to address the specific educational (informational) goal of presenting the process behind researching and designing an Arabic typeface within the strict limitations of the design brief. The idea is to study and explore what collaboration between two designers (from different design and cultural backgrounds) can lead to and what are the issues that surface from such a unique design experiment. The discussions and results from this project should provide some concrete observations about the differences and shared principles between these two seemingly opposite scripts (and cultures). The results will be discussed in light of what discoveries have been made, how successful was the end result in coming close to the original intention of the designers, and what has this experiment contributed to enriching each designer’s personal maturity and development. The learning experience of the designers involved in this project can also provide insight to other designers interested or involved in similar design projects. Judging from the way design is heading, the problems that design has to resolve in our multi-cultural societies will most likely increase and cross-cultural communication will become an essential part of everyday design practice for most. This documentation intends to go beyond the mere visual presentation of the final refined product (the matching Arabic fonts) in order to outline what will hopefully become lasting lessons in multi-cultural design collaborations. Nonetheless, we consider having a final product as important because it serves the purpose of setting a good model for the future of Arabic typeface design. Having well-crafted and well-designed Arabic fonts (which are much needed for improving the quality of design in the Arab world) is part and parcel of this publication, and a clear reflection of the noble goals of the Khatt Foundation.
The Typographic Matchmaking book can be ordered now from www.nijhoflee.nl