At the ATypI Reykjavik conference in 2011 Thomas Milo gave talk on ‘The role of Dutch Arabic Typography in Middle Eastern Printing’. It was there that I heard him using the term ‘Eurabic’ for Arabic type that was made –especially for scholarly purposes– in Western Europe. By now most of you are familiar with my preoccupation
with the standardization and systematization of the Renaissance font production. Earlier this year I asked a talented KABK LetterStudio student from Iran, Sabert Javanmard, whether he would be interested in (making a start with) investigating the standardization and systematization of Renaissance Eurabic in the context of one of the modules
that I offer the students. And Saber was and is indeed interested.
Some time ago at the Mueum Plantin-Moretus I took a photo of one of the Le Bé fragments collected by Max Rooses, who was the ﬁrst curator of the museum, and inserted by him in what is documented as Volume 153
. The Arabic type in question has been attributed to Le Bé, but it is not sure whether he cut it himself. In any case: the type is a faithful copy of one of the Eurabics that Granjon cut in Rome between 1583 and 1586.
First of all Sabert checked the texts and consulted some experts. This resulted in the mapping of the mistakes in the image above: the text on top is from the specimen and below as it should be.
The design by Le Bé / Granjon shows a strange mix of Arabic scripts like Naskh, Thuluth, and Muhaqqaq. There are different forms of the characters, proportions and grammatical and linguistic mistakes.
For instance the image above shows the missing words, dots, the wrong words and incorrect diacritics.
And this image shows the different scripts that can be traced.
More to come!