Today is big: my Univers Next Arabic is released, and there’s a feature about me in the Guardian.
Univers Next Arabic is everything that I’ve wanted to design. It has the modernity of a low-contrast typeface, the cleanliness and strength of curves, and an overall look that makes you want to just keep looking. It also makes me want to redesign my earlier typefaces, but that would be cheating, no?
A small note about the design, and I’ll expand on that later. What I’ve been trying to do since 2004 is to find a working solution as to how to pair Arabic with a Latin sans serif. My first attempt was Janna, quickly followed by Frutiger Arabic. A few years later came Neue Helvetica Arabic. All of these typefaces play in the grey area between Naskh and Kufi. They are all hybrids. I was always trying to find a mix that would allow that the typeface would have the presence of a Kufi, and the differentiated forms of the Naskh. Naskh is easier on the eyes (another post in itself) and there-in lies the problem. So, while all these 3 typefaces have had to migrated towards a Naskh construction, Univers Next Arabic is closer in look to a a Kufi. It almost mostly is. This gives it the stature, and elegance, that is inherent in Kufi styles. I would not set long texts in it, but it is looking gorgeous in headlines and short paragraphs. I hope you will like it too :)