Article details 1 comment
7/12 2010

Univers Next Arabic and The Guardian

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 :)




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  1. abdelali
    24/12 2010

    I like it very much indeed. You are right, it looks gorgeous on shorter texts. for longer texts, I prefer Palatino Arabic. Now, please know that I am no font expert, not even a connoisseur. I am just judging from a pure aesthetic and ergonomic point of view. Texts written in your fonts a joy to read. All we need now is somebody as skilled as yourself to create some great looking Arabic fonts for the web. I think things are now getting really interesting now that most modern browsers support the WOFF font format and that they can be stored in a central repository like the Google font directory. There is basically no need anymore to worry about operating systems not supporting this or that font.

    Thank you again for what you are doing. as you said in one of your posters (alkhatt min 7osni Alkholo9)


    keep up the great work