29LT Zeyn is an elegant, contemporary Arabic and Latin typeface. Each weight contains 900-plus glyphs covering the Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and Western European languages. The Arabic set contains an extensive set of ligatures in addition to short and long stylistic sets to give the font an added elegant appeal and feel.
Zeyn «زين» is an Arabic word meaning beautiful, graceful, and elegant.
Arabic character set designed by Pascal Zoghbi from 29LT. Latin Character set designer by Ian Party from SwissTypefaces.
The Zeyn type family of four weights (Light, Regular, Medium and Bold) are derived from the corporate typefaces created in 2010 for Shawati’ Magazine, the cultural magazine about the United Arab Emirates.
The Arabic is inspired from both Naskh and Thuluth calligraphic styles, while the Latin is drawn based on the Modern Serif Roman style. The letterforms are drawn with extreme refinement and high contrast between the thick and thin pen strokes that unveil modernity in a stylish approach. The Arabic and Latin were created simultaneously and without any sacrifice from one script on behalf of the other. The elements that bring both scripts together are the design approach, the proportions, the weight, and the contrast.
We designed each letter in a special way, making sure that they all had the extreme thick and extreme thin pen strokes. The extreme contrast was coupled with strong cuts and edges to give the font a strong and crispy feel. We drew the Arabic letters with a free approach. We cut the letterforms’ descenders in an elegant, thin open stroke instead of curving back into the main figure of the letter. We created the loop structures in the letters in an original manner with extra extended strokes with thin endings, as opposed to the traditional fully circular or triangular approach.
When setting up to establish 29LT digital type foundry in 2013, Lebanese designer and educator Pascal Zoghbi aspired to explore the diversity and potential of the Arabic script. Zoghbi envisioned 29LT with a cross-cultural approach. Having evolved, studied and worked in a multicultural and largely bilingual environment, he embraced multilingualism. Coming into contact with more than one language in his everyday life, he has developed an exceptional ability to think global and to reflect the various technical, conventional, and cultural writing systems into his work. Accordingly, he has excelled in creating innovative, high-quality contemporary multiscript type families, each of which is unique in its design approach and responds to regional and international market needs. Staying true to his culture, he worked on turning traditional Arabic script into contemporary type. Always on the lookout for new ideas and harmony between scripts, he explores various tools and techniques and regularly partners with a team of professional designers specialized in specific scripts to create multiscript typography.
Not only is he heavily involved in the practice of Arabic type design and typography, but he has also contributed to the field as an educator. Between 2007 and 2017, he taught at various design schools in Lebanon (American University of Beirut, Lebanese American University, and Notre Dame University) and in the UAE (American University of Sharjah). Besides lecturing at universities, he takes part in a range of design events worldwide and provides trainings and workshops on Arabic typography at universities, conferences, and agencies.
Zoghbi has gained an international reputation for his work and has received throughout his professional career prestigious design awards and honors, such as TDC Typographic Excellence, Granshan, AIGA, and was nominated to Jameel Prize 3. His work encompasses an outstanding collection of contemporary Arabic and multilingual typefaces. He co-authored and edited the “Arabic Graffiti” book published in 2010.
Zoghbi started his academic journey at Notre Dame University in Lebanon where he grew interest in Arabic typography. He further developed his type design skills at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK), the Netherlands, where he obtained in 2006 a Master of Design in Type & Media.
In 2018, he relocated to Madrid where he is currently based. Since then, his interest in a vast number of Spanish historical and cultural topics, especially those that showcase the merging of Arabic and Spanish cultures, grew keener. 29LT expanded accordingly, shifting from supporting only Arabic and Latin scripts to a global multiscript approach tapping into other world scripts.
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