“Graphic designers have a huge need for new Arabic typefaces”.
At a Master Class held at ESAV, typographer Pascal Zoghbi recently advocated for a diversification of Arabic fonts as a means to accompany the profound societal transformations occurring in the MENA region.
The creation of an Arabic logo for an existing Western brand brings challenges and questions that need exploring and assessing. The Arab designer must have a comprehensive knowledge of both Arabic and Latin scripts to achieve a professional result.
29LT Ada is a contemporary type design based on the Ruqʿah Arabic calligraphic style. It is a superfamily of Sharp, Flat, and Round typeface s, each in 6 weights, adding up to 18 styles. With all of its variants, Ada is the largest Ruqʿah-based type system to date. Challenging the boundaries of the style, it acts as a strong visual communication tool with different typographic voices.
Concept and design solutions created for the visual identity of the Kingdom of Bahrain pavilion in Expo 2020 Dubai.
Zarid Sans is a fresh, clean, contemporary design. Its robust outlines stem from calligraphic structures. Its letterforms are open, and friendly yet precise. This understanding of the visual grammar of the family was a pre-requisite for the design of the Devanagari. When designing for scripts that are structurally very different from each other, it is important that the respective characteristics of the scripts are retained and celebrated while co-existing in the design space.
29LT publications are modern-day typographic prints that aim to showcase 29LT fonts within content that has been found, written, and based upon texts that explore distinctive themes. The subject matter present in each publication stems from specific research that reflects the concepts behind the design and development of the typefaces.
29LT Oskura is the second interpretation of the diverse handwritings found in the Aljamiado manuscripts and works as a fluid alternate to 29LT Okaso. Its humanistic design approach is built on the concept of the progressing pen. It is not rough and grungy as the writings in the manuscript are, but retains the flow of handwriting and presents the letterforms in clean outlines.
The letters composing the Arabic word مجرّة (majarra) give endless typographic possibilities for creating a logotype. The first and last letters have closed counters, while the medial letters are diagonally constructed. Geometrically simplified, the word can be envisioned with a circle on each end, linked with a triangle and a line in between. These were Pascal Zoghbi’s initial thoughts when briefed by the Majarra organization’s directors for creating their wordmark.
One file can now do what many files had to do separately: it contains a whole type family, if not a whole super family. Whereas before, each standard (or static) font was accommodated in one file, and each file is one style of the typeface. Now everything is opened up. One compressed TrueType or WOFF2 (Web OpenFont Format 2) file has a whole family of fonts in a versatile design space, including all the styles in itself and everything in between.
29LT Okaso stands out from standard Arabic fonts, both in aesthetics and functionality. It embodies a fascinating typographical experiment that actually works particularly well when seeking harmonious contrast between enigmatic and mystical overtones and contemporary designs.
The Arabic Script as Springboard for Multiscript Families
29LT is progressing from a bi-script Arabic and Latin digital type industry into a multi-script fonts entity. The global market we live in and the continuous integration of different cultures is demanding the need for multi-script type systems.
First additions are the Cyrillic and Greek scripts to 29LT Zarid Sans typeface making it cover four scripts; the Arabic, Cyrillic, Greek, and Latin scripts.
29LT Zawi is a multipurpose typeface that was designed with a maximum legibility focus and an ease of usability mindset. Its simplified and vibrant design works perfectly well for a variety of projects, from fun and urban to serious and corporate ones.
29LT Zarid Display features a large range of weights offering typographic hierarchical solutions in bi-script Arabic and Latin layouts. Its contrasted pen strokes make it ideal for brave headlines and titles whilst being stylish and valiant.
Balenciaga Arabic logo echoes the visual identity of Balenciaga international wordmark. The logotype was designed by Pascal Zoghbi in collaboration with Balenciaga’s graphic design team. Several typographic Arabic styles and design concepts were drawn and tested to reach the perfect match. The final outlines of the logotype lend a robust and contemporary look to the brand while preserving a neutral and universal character.
Modern, clean, and sturdy, 29LT Zarid Slab lends itself well for assertive displays and comfortable text readings.
29LT Zarid Text displays advanced but softer features. Improved legibility in small point size and habitual appearance are its key characteristics. More calligraphy-influenced with a greater variation in line width, it does offer improved legibility and clearer interlinear space. The range of weights also provides suitable typographic hierarchical solutions in bi-script Arabic and Latin layouts. This reader-friendly typeface is quite useful for diverse long running texts, such as magazines and books, and it works well with both digital and print applications. Its fashionable feel makes it aesthetically functional in display typographic setting too.
Versatile, elegant and easy to ready, 29LT Zarid Sans gives diverse typesetting options. It is a clean, crisp and legible typeface that is proper, though not exclusive, to setting body copy texts both in print and digital mediums. It also works perfectly well when used in large display type.
29LT Zarid Serif embodies a sense of elegance, vitality and robustness. The typeface is suitable for a vast array of literature and educational publications besides branding and design projects.
29LT Azer is approachable without being sloppy, serious but not conformist. The typeface fuses charm, simplicity, and consideration. The Arabic and the Latin mirror each other’s appearances much like fraternal twins with compatible attitudes. Azer Latin is earnest and sincere whereas Azer Arabic is direct and austere. The various weights make this typeface suitable for refined copy-text as well as chunky titles and in-text emphasis.
29LT Riwaya is a practical and intelligible multiscript typeface family with character and voice. Each script has its own signature harmoniously articulated with the overall typeface family specifics. 29LT Riwaya brings clarity and accessibility to lengthy and encumbered texts while allowing for typographic hierarchy that creates contrast between elements. The differentiation of narrative levels and the natural, pleasant and readable textures make this typeface ideal for literature and story-telling.
Azal – which means old in Arabic – is a blast from the past that looks impactful in the present. It has both the flair of old eastern Kufic manuscripts and the modern-day touch, making it a clear and boisterous display font.
With its modern simplistic arrangement in all of its weight variations, 29LT Bukra is go-to typeface for corporate strong headlines and slogans as well as branding applications. The font’s clean and polished outlines allow for powerful corporate identities, while the typeface’s crisp structure portrays bold and memorable messages. It is a type family with endless visuals representations allowing it to be used in an infinite number of graphical applications. Bukra is mainly a display typeface but the lighter styles can be also used for short body texts.
29LT Baseet is driven by the idea that less is more. The design elements are pared down to the essential. The fonts were designed within a simplified Arabic character set and a monospaced Latin design, along with rounded terminals, enhancing the script’s simplicity and friendly appeal. All of these qualities make Baseet suitable for a diverse range of projects, from fun and urban to serious and corporate ones.
The RTA Dubai bespoke multilingual typeface is composed of a distinct contemporary Naskh style Arabic accompanied by a humanistic and … More
Since most documentation and references about the Arabic script stem from the calligraphic methodology, this article will tackle the problem … More
Reza Abedini designs vibrant posters with 29LT fonts A Collaborative approach between a graphic designer and a type designer 29LT … More
Pascal Zoghbi, founder of online business 29LT, has his pen poised, ready to launch an assault on the typography industry.
29LT publishes it 1st type specimen showcasing an overview of its multilingual Arabic & Latin typefaces.
29LT Zeyn has a traditional calligraphic look, but with a modern and unique twist to it. It exudes a sense of richness, elegance and subtlety. All these qualities make it an excellent choice for high-end projects and stylish brands seeking to bring sophistication and refinement into focus.
Graffiti: Changing Language, Changing Worlds اللغة تتحول، العالم يتغير Designers: Pascal Zoghbi and DUAL Mural Painting: DUAL Wall Size: 10 … More
Swatch Corporate Typeface (Swatch CT) is a contemporary multilingual typeface covering all Western and Middle Eastern languages used in countries … More
Noor Type is a simplified, hybrid Kufi/Naskh type family in three weights, light, regular, and bold. Its contemporary outlines reflect … More
MIA type is a contemporary, bilingual Arabic and Latin type-family based on the Eastern Kufic calligraphic style drawn in four … More
29LT Makina is an evocative typewriter font arising from a series of experiments. It makes a retro statement that offers a standout vintage vibe with a cutting-edge hint.
29LT Arapix’s unique and contemporary pixel approach makes it a perfect titling and display font. It is a funky and expressive typeface inspired from the primitive pixel technology but with vibrant modern characteristics. It can be used for both very low-resolution and high-resolution screens as well as for prints.
29LT UA Neo B and N are a tribute to Nasri Khattar’s pioneering work and a statement on the growing importance and power of contemporary Arabic typography. They are an invitation to explore the fascinating potential of UA fonts, especially when it comes to modernizing Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, or any other language using the Arabic alphabet.
Last August in Beirut, I had the opportunity to meet with Camille Khattar Hedrick, the daughter of Nasri Khattar, the … More
The fluent and smooth curves of Massira Pen make it suitable to give a vibrant punch to publications like comics, whereas the rough and grungy feel of Spray, Lipstick and TippEx styles makes them appropriate to add an urban or revolutionary edge to unconventional projects.
This spring, the elective course “Introduction to Arabic Type Design” at AUB [American University of Beirut] was introduced. It is … More
Since the publication of the Arabic Graffiti Book in 2011, which I co-edited with Don Karl, the scene and stance … More
Interview with Pascal Zoghbi by Huda AbiFares from the Khatt Foundation. Part of the Multiple Baselines series. Pascal Zoghbi is … More
Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art opened its doors to contemporary Arab art lovers in December 2010 in Doha, Qatar. … More
10 Questionnaires from Beijing Typography 2009 conference. Answered by Pascal Zoghbi. The Interview was published in the BT09 Book Catalogue.
You have been working side by side for that book. How did you get to know each other? Pascal: In … More
Which different styles exist (Kufi, Nashk etc.) and which are the differences between them? & Are the Arabic types divided … More
1. You recently taught a workshop on Kufic design. What does Kufi script mean to you? What place do you … More
1. short paragraph about yourself … (3-6 sentences) – where and when born, grown up … – education – profession … More
1. When was the last time you wrote a letter by hand? When was the last time you received a … More
ON A PERSONAL LEVEL – When did you first decide to become a designer? Was there a pivotal moment? Being … More
Like many others of his generation, Pascal Zoghbi began his studies in his native country but had to go abroad … More