Arabic Type: a challenge for the 2nd millennium.

© Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares 1998

End notes

1. In 1996, DecoType, Designers of Computer-aided Typography, introduced a font design and software that allow for the use of traditional calligraphic effects; such as variable alternate letter shapes, calligraphic stretch control Kashida, swashes, extension of ending swashes under the following word, and phrases... This font, Decotype Professional Naskh(tm), was based on the design of an elegant Naskh font designed for moveable type in the Middle East in 1866 by the calligrapher Mustafa Izzet Efendi. This font may be used on both Windows and Macintosh platforms (with Adobe Pagemaker(tm) Middle East Editions).

2. With software applications such as Quark Xpress Arabic XT, FontWorld's 'Expanded Ligature Support' which is supported by Adobe PageMaker 6.5 ME, and Diwan Software's Nasher El-Maktabi, designers have a variety of software to choose from with their respective fonts-varying in quality and quantity.

3. The relatively large amount of ligatures needed is a result of the constant changing horizontal position within a word (no constant baseline nor x-height).

4. For more details see The Unicode Standard: Worldwide Character Encoding, Version 1.0 (2 vols, Reading, Mass., 1991-92); Version 1.1 (1993); Version 2.0 (1996).

5. Leila Musfy, coordinator of the Graphic Design program. A Universal Language for a Multi-Cultural Community. 1996


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| Arabic Calligraphy |

Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares is a graphic designer working in France. She teaches at the Graphic Design program of the American University of Beirut. She is currently working on a sourcebook about contemporary Arabic type design and typographers.
This article has been published in Baseline InternationalTypographics Magazine issue #26 1998 -, and reprinted here with permission.


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