29LT KAFF : An Adequate Multilingual Typeface

29LT Kaff is a contemporary typeface family designed by Pascal Zoghbi of 29Letters (29LT) and Ian Party of Swiss Typefaces, in which the Arabic and Latin letterforms were created simultaneously. Its name is taken from an Arabic word meaning ‘adequate, sufficient, necessary and essential’. Kaff’s family of eight weights (Thin, Ultra Light, Light, Regular, Medium, Bold, Semi Bold and Black) is designed to be the suitable typeface that answers the need of designers and publishers in most of their typographic projects. Continue reading “29LT KAFF : An Adequate Multilingual Typeface”

29LT Zeyn : A Graceful Multilingual Typeface


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.

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UA Neo Fonts

UA Neo B, originally known as UA Beiruti Modern, and UA Neo N, originally known as UA Neo-Nashki, belong to the first set of type revivals of Unified Arabic first introduced by Nasri Khattar in the 1950s. They belong to the Unified Arabic™ type system that contains a library of eight typefaces, including both print (detached) and cursive (connected) styles. After over 60 years, Mr. Khattar’s daughter, Camille, has entrusted 29Letters with the revival of her father’s fonts to keep them in line with his vision and design approach. Continue reading “UA Neo Fonts”

1st Printing Press in the Middle East

The Printing press of Saint Antonius in “Quzhayya” is the first printing press in the Middle East. It is located in a monastery in the Valley of the Saints in the mountains of the north Kaza of Lebanon. According to historians, a movable type printing press was imported from England to the Saint Antonius Monastery in 1585. The first publication was the book of “Mazameer” dated from 1610, and now present in the University of the Holy Ghost in Kaslik, Jouniyé, Lebanon.

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Experimental Arabic/Latin Type Workshop

Arabic Letter “Yeh” of Seria Arabic type drawn with coffee, ink and dantelle pattern.

Students in the Advanced Typography course at the Lebanese American University [LAU] were asked to experiment with textures/patterns and try to apply them on existing bi-script Arabic/Latin fonts in-order to create their own experimental fonts. The students were handed the outlines of Seria Arabic and Fedra Arabic.

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The First Arabic Script Printing Press in Lebanon

“Al-Shamas Abdullah Zakher” founded the first Arabic printing press in Lebanon in 1734. The press is located in “Deir Mar Youhana” in “Khinshara”. The printing press operated from 1734 till1899. It was the first Arabic script printing press in Lebanon, but it was the second printing press in general since in 1610 the first Syriac Script printing press was established in “Deir Mar Antonious” in “Quzhayya” near the valley of the saints in the North of Lebanon. The printing press of “Deir Mar Antonious” was the first printing press in the Middle East.

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Khatt Fonts Event (Art Lounge) & 29letters Lecture (AUB)

Through out November and December in Beirut, I had giving : 1. a lecture entitled “29letters” about my Arabic type project and type design process at AUB, 2. a presentation about EL HEMA project alongside the Arabic team (Wael, Kj, Maria & Raya) at NDU Zouk and NDU North, and 3. took part of the event, lecture and exhibition of the “Khatt Fonts: Matchmaking Amsterdam – Beirut” with Huda Abifares and the Arabic team.


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Imarat Headlines Arabic Type

Imarat is an Arabic newspaper type family consisting of “Imarat Headlines” & “Imarat Text”. “Imarat Headlines” is a display type for use in the headlines and titling of a newspaper, while “Imarat Text” is for the copy text of the newspaper. “Imarat Headlines” will be exclusive for 3 years for “Emarat Al Youm” newspaper in Dubai starting from 2008. The newspaper needed a new, young and crispy headlines type that will appeal to their young readers. You can see the font in use on the online e-paper version of “Emarat Al Youm” newspaper.


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EL HEMA at Mediamatic, Amsterdam.

August was a great experience for five young Arabic graphic designers (fresh graduates) from the Arab world and I. The 24th of August was the “Khatt Kufi Kaffiya” symposium on Arabic Visual Culture, the official launching of the Khatt Foundation website and the launching and book signing of the Typographic Matchmaking book. Alongside these events, Mediamatic initiated an exhibition to team up Arabic typographers with Dutch design and culture. The exhibition was to create an Arabic version of the famous HEMA Dutch stores.

Design of the White Scarf by Kj using Sada Bold. The text on it is the lyrics or the song “YA Maré’ 3al Taya7een” for Fairuz.

Wael, Kj, Maria, Ray, Abi (the 5 young Arabic graphic designers) and I were invited by Mediamatic to come to Amsterdam for 6 weeks before the opening of the EL HEMA exhibition to work on the making of this exhibition. Continue reading “EL HEMA at Mediamatic, Amsterdam.”

History of Arabic Type Evolution from the 1930’s till present.


1.1 The origin of the Arabic script goes back to the first alphabet created by the Phoenicians. The Phoenicians were living on the coastal areas of Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria. Since the Phoenicians were traders sailing throughout the Mediterranean, their alphabet influenced all Mediterranean cultures and nations. The fact that the Middle East was located at the center of the Ancient World, between East and West, also had played an essential role in the spread of the Phoenicians’ alphabet. That is why the Phoenician alphabet is the mother of both Latin and Arabic scripts.


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Politics by means of Arabic Type

During the last month political slogans took over most of the Lebanese billboards.

On the right is the first set of billboards and the left is the second set. Compare the two. Notice the difference between the Alef-Hamza, the Heart shape and the Arabic type used. And for sure you notice you added sprayed Arabic type and the rainbow logo.

The first set of billboards conveyed a non-political method using the slogan (or logotype) as “I Love Life” in all three languages Arabic, English and French. Continue reading “Politics by means of Arabic Type”

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