29LT Azal : A Free Geometric Display Font

29LT Azal is a sturdy geometric font with contemporary Arabic features that are inspired from the old Eastern Kufic manuscripts and drawn in a modern-day approach, and old is, after all, what Azal means in Arabic. It is a display font with prominent and sturdy design characteristics. Each letter structure is designed to create a balance between solid base forms and elegant terminals. The font structure is a mixture of: high contrast between thick and thin pen strokes, diagonal skeleton, small counters, thick baseline and sharp edges contrasted by circular dots.

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The font corresponds to the old manuscripts that were hand drawn by the “qalam”– which is a type of pen made from a dried reed, used for Islamic calligraphy. To emphasize on the usage of this technique, each set of novel letter structures has a different angle that gives the typeface a dynamic feature.

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أزل هو خط هندسي متماسك مع ميزات عربية معاصرة مستوحاة من المخطوطات الكوفية الشرقية القديمة ومرسومة بنهج حديث. فعلى أي حال، تعني كلمة « أزل » باللغة العربية قديم. إنه خط عرض يتميز بخصائص تصميمية بارزة ومتماسكة. إن هيكلية كل حرف مصممة من أجل خلق توازن بين أشكال القاعدة الصلبة والنهايات الطرفية الأنيقة29LT-Azal-Header-Image-0429LT-Azal-Header-Image-05

تُعد هيكلية الخط مزيجًا مما يلي: تباين كبير بين ضربات القلم السميكة والرقيقة، ومخطط هيكلي قطري، وعلامات صغيرة، وخط قاعدة سميك وأطراف حادة تتناقض مع نقاط دائرية. يتوافق هذا الخط مع المخطوطات القديمة التي كانت تُرسم يدويًا بواسطة «القلم» – وهو نوع من الأقلام، مصنوع من القصب المجفّف ومستخدم للخط الإسلامي. ومن أجل التشديد على استخدام هذه التقنية، تتمتع كل مجموعة من هيكليات الحرف العصرية بزاوية مختلفة تمنح الخط ميزة ديناميكية

 

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PROCESS

Azal was created within the duration of one month by the American University of Sharjah (AUS) students in the College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) enrolled in the “Arabic Typography” course that is given by Professor Pascal Zoghbi. At the start of the project letters were distributed among 17 students to be worked on, they were curated every week by the professor to review their progress, and provide feedback on the changes that were needed to be made to achieve the final result of the font Azal.

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In the beginning of the process, the font was first based on rough and geometric edges. After some revision, it was decided to take a more curved direction until a balance of the two was achieved. As the sketches progressed, changes on the previous constraints were altered depending on each of the letters’ characteristics; in order to achieve satisfactory final forms.

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After the drawing phase, type design digital techniques were discussed in class which enabled each student to draw their letters on the Glyphs App. All the letters were compiled on one file and recurrent design and feedback sessions were conducted in class to make the necessary alterations that made Azal come together.

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Alongside the finalization phase of the font, students experimented with different design mediums to showcase the font, varying from posters to 3D models.

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The 17 students that worked on this font were a combination of sophomores, juniors and seniors: Ahmad Geaissa, Layal AlGain, Malak Kobaisi, Mariam El-Ashmawy, Felwa Alhouti, Tala Khalil, Shaikha AlMaazmi, Lama Murad, Deena Khatib, Kinda Waisi, Nada Aldash, Aisha Almuhairi, Dima Khalayli, Sali Mallat, Shahdan Barakat, Aliaa Elhammamy, Afnan Al Dimasi.

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