Arabic Type: a challenge for the 2nd millennium.

© Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares 1998


Fig. 6 - Monotype was recently commissioned by Microsfot to extend the Tahoma font to include Arabic and Hebrew, a (Latin) font designed by Mathew Carter specially for MicrosoftCorporation. Tahoma is meant to be a highly legible on-screen system and web font, for Windows NT systems. Tahoma which is supplied as a TrueType font, has been throroughly hinted by Monotype to maximize on-screen legibility, specially at small sizes. Tahoma(tm) is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

Fig. 7 - Mamoun Sakkal designed the font Al-Futtaim with a special attention to the needs of signage and environmental graphics as well for use for digital reproduction. This font solves the problem of long ascenders and descenders and opens up the inner forms within letters. It creates a clear, sturdy, and highly legible effect without losing the fluid calligraphic feel that is so typical of Arabic Type. However, the font manges to give a contemporary impression while carrying the seed of the calligraphic tradition in its line quality. It contains a balance between pragmatic visual restrictions, aesthetic concerns, and creativity in the design solution.


Fig.8 - Detail from a poster showing a design study for an Arabic stroke font, for special use on signage. From a series of exhibition posters on Arabic type design by Rayan Abdullah, Iraki senior designer at MetaDesign in Berlin.


Fig.9 - Some Arabic letters and their traditional ligature sets and possible Kashida swashes. Details from a poster/ typespecimen sheet for the Decotype Professional Naskh font.


Fig. 10-12 - Ziad Kadri. 1996. Research project on Arabic type. The graphic design program at the American University of Beirut.

Fig. 10 - The Daairah system, shows the structure of each letterform in relation to the letter "aleph" using the circle as a unit.

Fig.11 - The Nokat system, shows the structure of each letterform in relation to the letter "aleph" using the "point" as a measuring unit.

Fig. 12 - The Tashaboh system, shows the similarities between different parts of some letters.


| Back to Article: Arabic Type: a challenge for the 2nd millennium |
| Side notes: Comparison of Latin and Arabic scripts | End notes | Bibliography |
| Arabic Calligraphy |



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