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Bahman Eslami


Bahman Eslami
Last Active
  • Re: Where is Arabic Italic originating from?

    There are practical problems with slanting Arabic though, a word with no vertical lines like “حب” will not stand much (if at all) when slanted: “حب”, so structural differences are important in Arabic, though they might not even help much here either.
    I can’t even tell from first glance which is the slanted one!
    Khaled this is exactly the point the researcher in the video I posted above is trying to make. Latin has a vertical rhythm but Arabic doesn't have that. If users don't see the difference and it's not functioning what's the point of slanting in Arabic? Your example on blackletter next to Roman is extreme. I was talking about construction not a complete different style. Of course the difference has to be subtle but it's possible to use even Ruqah and make it more unified with the naskh as an alternate for emphasizing. It's called designing a family. Putting different styles next each other is a typographer's job not a type designer.
  • Re: Where is Arabic Italic originating from?

    Personally I'm not fan of only slanted italics. Bringing idea of italic in Arabic is forced by softwares and is not serving a function in Arabic. A person did a research on how you could emphasize words or have same effect of italic on Persian readers. The video is here (sorry there is no english subtitles). He's saying slanting in either directions does not have emphasizing effect. Using keshide is a better option. But there are many manuscripts showing usage of different calligraphy styles in one text column. Unfortunately I can't find examples at the moment. My point is construction of Naskh, Thuluth, Ruqah, Nastaliq, ... are different. You can use this as a starting point. It's not easy to come up with one unified family containing some of these styles. But I can't buy into the idea of slanting Arabic and also naming it italic or iranic or whatever. It's fundamentally wrong.

    .The video contains slides with english text. It could help non-natives to get some of the points he's trying to make.
    .The link to the researcher's website if you want to ask more information on his research. He can speak english btw. 
  • Re: Where is Arabic Italic originating from?

    Italic is not only slanted, it's another construction model. Arabic has many different construction models. They don't have to be called italic. They could be called whatever they're already called.
  • Re: Questions about Arabic Type

    This is a metal type that was also used for a long time in Iran and is most likely based on Thuluth. But it looks different as a typeface because letter combinations has been reduced dramatically to make it easier to typeset. I would suggest if you want to dig deeper into this you have to learn how to read Arabic script. There are also some resources out there also in english showing major known calligraphy styles of Arabic script.
  • Re: Optical correction in Arabic monoline

    Nina, Arabic script is not intolerant of reversed contrast and I have to say I'm not against reversed contrast either as long as it works in its context or purpose even in Arabic. In fact as Mamoun mentioned we have a bit of history of reversed contrast in early ages of Arabic script which falls under category of Kufic (كوفي or کوفی) and more especially Eastern Kufic style. There are some astounding examples that hasn't been discovered much in Arabic type design yet. But there is a problem when people start to talk about Kufic style in Arabic type design. In order to see what I'm talking about just google image search Kufic Manuscripts and see how many Arabic reversed contrast you can find. It's just a very very small proportion.

    There could be some reasons why Kufic style had become less common over centuries for writing long text. One reason could be that it's not efficient when it comes to speed of writing. Other reasons could be because it just worn out as hip style. If I pair a Kufic style with a Latin design I would go for black letter because it signifies the same historical image and it has been used in relatively similar context.

    Latinized Arabic has been advertised as Kufic style but it has nothing to do with it. There are some foundries who have distributed quite a library of Latinized Arabic and this is not really good because graphic designers are not that sensitive or Latin graphic designers don't have a clue about what is a good Arabic typeface or not. If contrast direction of Arabic is same as Latin when they are paired the Arabic is Latinized. It's just the easiest way to get away from solving a problem. There could be cultural reasons why designers in Arab world are accepting reverse contrast as a new normal contrast but I can tell you it's not modernity. I think plain ignoring of hundred years of history of Arabic writing and just looking at Latin letters as paradigm is not novelty. Probably they think this signifies progress and modernity because it looks like western world but I think it signifies ignorance. Every curve is designed like the way it is in Latin for a purpose and copying it without knowing that purpose has created a mess.

    It's also about context. Imagine if someone uses a western slab serif reversed contrast for a daily news website. Right now such horrendous choices are happening for Arab news websites or brand identities but it's not even well designed reversed contrast. They think it looks modern, because the designer paired the reversed contrast Arabic with Latin and the users see the Latin and it looks normal to them so they assume the Arabic is also at its normal contrast direction. I think Arab and Persian designers should look at what they have at their disposal instead of looking at Latin letter forms for all the inspiration and ignoring what they have.

    Also one thing that you mentioned is that Arabic is cursive. The word shape that we perceive is different from Latin. Because words are made from connected chunks and they are interpreted differently. Imagine if the contrast becomes reversed, it diminishes this feature because the connected parts becomes thin and hence it becomes less familiar for the reader. It looks disconnected. They were designers out there and might be still out there who effectively want to make Arabic script disconnected because they think it's naive or unsophisticated. So you can see why I think reversed contrast in Arabic is not about just a design decision. I can go on about so many stories why it has become very annoying subject for me. It's just hasn't been done with care.