I remember dealing several times in the late s with the person in Glyph Systems in Boston who I thought was the creator of the "Simplified Arabic", "Transparent Arabic" and "Traditional Arabic" typefaces for Windows 3. His name was Steve, but I forgot his last name. Thank you Hasan- this innocent question of yours has blossomed into a discussion of the roots of modern Arabic type design! Thanks Saad and John for the details you provided. Fiona Ross's pdf has a lot of interesting detail- I wonder if the Linotype sample sheet therin is available in greater resoltion? Around that time I presented Monotype and Letraset with a proposal to abridge the number of glyphs needed to print Arabic using common swash-like endings for final letters like beh teh theh, and for hah kha jeeem, etc.
I also obtained a patent for my idea UK Pat. I would not say that the trend towards what one might also call 'sans-serif' Arabic fonts was exclusively influenced by the technicalities of automated typesetting. I know well the clutter of those magnificent Linotype machines and their smell of molten lead, but the resulting text on newsprint did not appear too different from the older letter-press.
Around the 's and 's there was a surge of interest in modernizing the Arab world, and the reform and simplification of printed Arabic was one important aspect. For me as an art student at the time the concern was for a modern look to the printed word think Bauhaus and Gill Sans Serif , and that meant simplifying the outlines. The resulting abridgement of the number of glyphs needed came as an additional bonus.
Exactly, John - these days computers can 'do anything' and almost anything has being done! With all these fonts around the need for a systematic and critical appraisal of Arabic fonts is more important than ever. To clarify, I wasn't talking about a style of 'sans-serif', which I take to mean a kind of low contrast stroke model that is itself applicable to different kinds of letter shapes in Arabic type as in Latin , but of simplified Arabic in the sense of using a reduced number of forms -- prompted by technical limitations -- coming to constitute a new style with its own grammar.
The actual shape or contrast pattern of the letters used is in most respects accidental to the style understood as a system, i. So long as the same shape can function as both isolated and final or as both initial and medial, then the system is satisfied. Historically, as you say, there was a coincidence between a cultural interest in modernisation and this technically motivated innovation, but the two are independent: One extreme example of simplified Arabic is the campaign by Nasri Khattar whereby there is only a single unconnected glyph for each letter.
Individual letters were elegantly designed but were not really what can be call sans-serif, and had ornate features. I am sure Yakout must have had a significant impact on those involved in the practicalities of type design and printing in mid-century. I still wonder if the need to develop an Arabic typewriter had provided a similar solution even earlier? A history of type in that period is given here http: Vladimir, could you tell me if somewhere an attempt to design an Arabic Typeface with the "flavor" Gill Sans gave to the Latin forms i.
So, since I see there's such a wonderful ferment and vitality in Arabic type design of recent years, I was wondering if someone ever did something like that…. Pascal Zoghbi did a Gill Sans Arabic — http: Hello piccic It is amazing how influencial Eric Gill's work has continued to be through the years.
On the other hand Gill himself designed - or advised on the production thereof? I don't know how to judge properly the design choices operated in Erica and in the Greek Gills, since my familiarity with Greek is extremely limited, and I have no familiarity at all with Hebrew and Arabic. Coming closer to other scripts through heartfelt interpretation of Latin types by native designers seems to me one of many ways to get more in touch with the wonderful letters of other alphabets… I recall I quite liked the Gill Monotype version, but when my friend Panos sent me the new version they did at Cannibal, it seemed more "cold" to me.
It's also important to actually use them, and as of now I have not had the opportunity to do so… The work by Zoghbi looks good. I hope he will release Gill Arabic soon…: I had a look at your Al-Quds family and I really enjoy it. It's difficult to get good bezier curves out of pencil drawings. On Gill: In which sense you mean "closest to the original inspiration"? Are there any work documenting Gill's work in Jerusalem? Here is something about Gill working in Jerusalem at the Rockefeller Museum. I have fond memories of that very beautiful place with Gill's bas-reliefs surrounding the pool.
I meant closest to Gill Sans in the way the verticals, curves and are constructed, connected together and proportioned. AlQuds Arabic is monoline and lacks Gill Sans' variable thickness. Your website does not show your typographical work. Viva Italia! Vladimir, wow, thank you! Same link of Gill in Arabic: Some of my old types here: What I said about your Al-Quds is from a non-Arabic viewer, but I think some modulations esepcially in "junctions" is really needed even if you are designing a monoline.
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In your shoes, I'd just add some in the Latin and see how it could work for Arabic, if needed. I just found this: Thank you Claudio piccic I think one can speak of a type International Style - simple outlines, no decorations or extras, that corresponds to the International Style of architecture of the the last century. You mentioned the Gill-like Hebrew, and the phenomena is also seen in many fonts, Japanese, Thai, etc.
I'm pretty ignorant about it, but I think the modernism movement in design and communication quite missed the point of what the features of "universality" should be. A delicate exploration, by trial and error, each sensibility must be taken into account, said this, no experiment is too extreme. As type was exported from the pages of books to newspapers and TV screens and now to computers, certain constraints are imposed on the design. Marshall McLuhan's dictum "the medium is the message' applied to modern typography and one example in the 's was when Arabic type was simplified to adapt it to the limitations of the Linotype typesetting machines.
Now of course the 'medium' is so sophisticated that almost any kind of graphic communication is possible to display and print, so we are in a new era of possibilities where 'anything goes' and statement about experimentation rings true. In the end however it is human beings, not machines, that read type, and the choice of what is right must come from what people feel most comfortable with.
There is an idea of universality which went quite wrong, there, and it may be that it was because it was a preconceived route with not so much openness, despite the complexity of thought in Germany and other European countries. What you say about being comfortable is related to this, since a propositive idea cannot establish what is universal by preconceived simplification. This relates also to the recognizance of universality in specificity, precisely what we lack, seeing what's happening in Gaza and situations like that, which in my ignorance I do not know appropriately, but that they show how the other is not seen as an enrichment but as an enemy.
Claudio piccic This thread was started by Hasan from Gaza, so it is approriate that you mention it here. See http: It depends: Sometimes by willfully paring down extraneous material or ideas in one step, and sometimes it happens quite naturally by invisibly small steps over a long period of time. We cannot generalize about this without giving examples. By 'constraints' I meant practical issues such as legibility, that a font for a computer should consider the pixels at small sizes, that the shapes of an alphabet meant to teach children should be easy to learn, etc.
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In addition such concepts as clean design by simplification may be a sort of fashion, but they have their place. I have said "a propositive idea", in the sense that it's not just the theoretical idea which makes the change, and I said "cannot extablish", because despite of its good solution, it must be "lived" entirely. Modern experimentation, even if it produced results like Futura, to me, looks like it has been too much conceptual and abstract as you say, you cannot generalize in abstraction, but I wasn't generalizing, but doubting about a specific approach which do not take into account the worldwide richness of uniquities.
Maybe the incorporation of "post-modern" philosophy in this worsened the problem I have this strong feeling, as I became disaffectioned in Emigre magazine when this happened. Abstraction is part of analysis, but I think it should be dropped as you work, by somehow getting in communion with others. Like… hmm, say, what's happening with AlQuds? That's not actually what William of Occam said. The principle known as Occam's razor is that when faced with multiple explanations for a phenomenon none of which are testable one must give preference to that which involves the fewest assumptions external to the phenomenon.
Claudio, we probably agree about this more than our words reflect. It is so easy for us to get lost in words to describe our creative processes and attitudes to type design. This is paradoxical since type is what makes printed words possible: Strictly-speaking you are right, John. I was using the expression rather loosely in one of its modern variants see http: It is used to describe something that looks deceptively simple but is so perfect it is very difficult to achieve or imitate. I've sent you a link to the Italian answer to Futura.
In Arabic the positive simplification seems an inspiring process, considered it involves the re-evaluation of Kufic styles. John Hudson: I knew that it was used on the Selectric typewriter for Arabic, and presumably on other Arabic-language typewriters as well - and, of course, on a typewriter, it probably works better than in typesetting, since a letter can overprint the join from the previous letter. Latin Typewriters had less keys than Arabic Typewriters. I know that I've read claims that replacing Arabic script with Latin script in Turkey helped improve literacy in that country.
The argument usually given is that Latin is "more legible"; people used to the Latin alphabet think that some Hebrew letters - and many Arabic letters, at least not in their final forms - look too much alike and are hard to read. While this seems to be valid to me, I also think that it's very easy for someone to fall into the trap of thinking that whatever he is used to must be the best. Both the Hebrew and Arabic scripts omit vowels.
This seems bad from the viewpoint of a speaker of a western language. So denoting the vowels by full-fledged letters in line with the consonants would make it hard to quickly see the root of a word. In the case of the Hebrew alphabet, some consonant letters which were not applicable were instead used to represent vowels when it was used to write Yiddish, a dialect of German, an Indo-European language. At least in the case of Urdu, also a language belonging to this family, this was not done, so there is an additional problem with the suitability of Arabic writing to the language in addition to legibility.
However, Hindi is also written with the vowels as accents to the consonants, so this can't be a very big problem. Changing from one alphabet to another is a lot of trouble, and for a small future benefit.
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Usually, countries don't change their mode of writing for greater efficiency. If it does happen, it is usually because of religion or politics. Thus, just as the Arabic script followed Islam, Latin script followed Roman Catholicism, Cyrillic script followed the Orthodox church, and scripts derived from Devanagari including the Tibetan and Thai scripts followed Hinduism and Buddhism. Turkey, of course, is still a Muslim nation, unlike, say, Malta.
But while the force was nationalist politics instead of religion, if it hadn't been for a leader who, like Russia's Tsar Nicholas, wanted the country to make a break with the past it is unlikely the change to the Latin alphabet would have taken place. I don't think that such changes could be justified by a rational calculation, except, possibly , in the case of non-alphabetic scripts.
Politicians can make the ugly look beautiful and make the beautiful look ugly?! As typographers and typohiles , we discredit ourselves when we link Arabic script with the levels of illiteracy in the Arabic script using world. Having worked in the area of poverty for over 12 years, I know that illiteracy is the product of more serious social and economic factors. I encourage those interested in illiteracy in the Arab world, and indeed, in illiteracy in the world in general, to familiarize themselves more with Poverty issues and the Millennium Development Goals.
It is actually unfair to blame the Arabic script for illiteracy. In fact, if the Arabic script has anything do with literacy levels, it should be in a positive way for the intrinsic powers that the Arabic script has. To start with, Arabic script might be the closest script that represents the way the language is spoken. The omission of the short vowels that are represented in the writing system as diacritics still renders Arabic text completely readable, and indeed very compact. In my blog writing, as an example, http: An additional diacritic that I use is the shadda which is not a short vowel.
Arabic journalistic writing today does away with all three with no complaints about the clarity of meaning or the linguistic quality. Arabic spelling is relatively easy and is somewhat forgiving. The major difficulty in Arabic spelling is probably only with the way that the hamza is represented. This is mostly because of the catenation of letters, the wide variation of letter shapes, and the form of terminal letters. These characteristics contribute to easy recognition within saccades as the eyes scan the text. I honestly encourage those who could afford doing legibility and readability studies to generate more knowledge in this area.
A group of us Arabic typographers who were associated with the Tasmeem software fonts released by Winsoft made a big effort to start this Group a few years ago. That was partly in response to the Matchmaking program some aspects of which threatened to take Arabic type design in the wrong direction.
I find your defense of Arabic script above and in your blog encouraging and refreshing. During the past few years I was really depressed by the recent trends to Latinize Arabic typography with squared up shapes and even with serifs! This is an unhealthy trend that you have called 'touristic' in your blog. The genius of Arabic script is in its compactness and richness of forms that create unique word-shapes that are indeed helpful for legibility.
In this article that published in I pointed out that in Arabic types the dots tended to become smaller and smaller at the expense of legibility. One very 'popular' ie default Microsoft Arabic font is scandalous in this respect with dots so tiny they might as well not be there.
I wonder what her conclusions will be, as she is in a position to promote Arabic typography in the right direction. Even if the common attitude of users of the Latin alphabet that Arabic has legibility problems is entirely correct, of course it is really the social and economic factors that are the primary cause of illiteracy. The example of Japan proves this. The people who blamed China's writing system for widespread illiteracy in China were not, by doing so, claiming that it was impossible for the average person to learn to read and write in Chinese characters. They were merely claiming that, given China's poverty, learning to read and write properly with Chinese characters would not be possible given the limited amount of formal education with which China was capable of providing its citizens.
If the English-speaking countries were as poor as China was, it would be just as possible for someone to observe that the system of English spelling was such as to ensure that only the wealthy elite could afford to keep their children in school long enough to learn to spell properly.
As you note, Arabic writing is a close match to Arabic phonology. Thus, full literacy, the ability to express oneself in writing as well as to passively read, should indeed be as easy to obtain in Arabic as in Finnish or Italian, instead of as in English or Chinese. One can indeed make the claim that different letters in the Arabic alphabet are objectively hard to distinguish.
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If one is talking about Naksh as it is usually typeset , in forms that have been stripped down to be compatible with mechanization designed around the Latin alphabet. Thus, in Pakistan, where the newspapers had been prepared by calligraphers instead of typesetters, because of the national preference for Nastaliq', rather than being quaintly primitive, as Westerners would assume on first impulse, they have the right idea. Preferring Nastaliq' is as rational for people in Pakistan as preferring newspapers in 8-point type instead of 6-point type is for English speakers.
Thus, if there is anything about Arabic script that promotes illiteracy, it is the fact that it is ill-suited to the hand-me-down printing and typesetting equipment from the West the Arab world has had to make do with until recently. But "illiterate" is not the right word for a literate person whose eyesight simply cannot cope with common printed matter - although a dearth of readable printed matter certainly can contribute to real illiteracy.
The fact that Arabic it is right-to-left is certainly a problem in some software that has not been properly programmed for that. As to more traditional methods there was no insolvable problem in metal typesetting, or typewriters, or Linotype machines that hindered the use of printed Arabic. The Dubai Font supports the reading of Arabic and Latin scripts on screen by offering top class typefaces that support legibility and reading.
It also bridges the design gap between Arabic and Latin texts by providing harmonious typefaces that combine the two scripts seamlessly.
In addition, it makes high quality typography available to everyone, especially for app developers and web designers and thereby supporting the tech industry by making quality fonts available with no licensing costs attached. Both the Arabic and Latin letters are included in the same font files. To access the language that you want to type in, simply switch your keyboard to the design language and start typing.
The fonts support 23 languages: You may not change the design of the fonts or rename them. You may download the fonts for your personal or company-wide usage but you are not allowed to distribute the fonts. You may use the fonts freely in your own work whether for private or commercial use. You may also embed the fonts into apps and software. X How to install the font under Windows To install the Dubai Font for Windows, please read the instructions corresponding to your operating system.
Windows 10 Unzip the folder containing the Dubai Font first. It cannot be installed if it is zipped. Right click on the font file and select Install. Or Search for Fonts in the search box by the start menu. Windows 8 Unzip the folder containing the Dubai Font first. Go to search in the start menu.
Search for Fonts in settings. Click on the Fonts Folder to open the Font folder. Unzip the folder containing the Dubai Font first. Right click the font file and select 'Install. From the 'Start' menu select 'Control Panel. Navigate to the folder that containing the Dubai Font. Select it. Press the 'Install' button to install the fonts. Select 'Fonts' from the 'See Also' panel at the left of the screen.