29LT publishes it 1st type specimen showcasing an overview of its multilingual Arabic & Latin typefaces.
The following text is written by Maajoun about their creative process of desiging the 29LT Type Specimen:
The process of designing the 29LT type specimen started off with lengthy brainstorming sessions, followed by a thorough analysis of existing type specimens. It was important for both Pascal and us to distinguish this specimen from existing ones, which is why we opted against the traditional catalogue-like approach. We then took time to go through 29LT’s font collection and realized that each font had a different personality, a different inspiration, and a different raison d’être. From here came the idea to group all the technical information and specs at the beginning of the booklet, and allow ourselves complete freedom in designing the rest of the spreads to best showcase the fonts as tools to create beautiful layouts.
Each spread is highly inspired by the font it showcases, and tells its own little story so the reader can take the time to enjoy their reading experience while they view the fonts. For this purpose, it was important for us to pick the right text for the right font, which is why we worked in close collaboration with editor Saseen Kawzally who researched and compiled content for this booklet. However different in impact, all spreads are tied together by a loosely fixed grid, and by color usage (a combination of a classical black, a flashy orange, and a discrete blue-grey). On the other hand, 29LT’s visual identity strictly uses black and white, which is why we opted for a simple straight-forward cover featuring the foundry’s profile, and highly contrasting with the colorful interior.
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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