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Bahman Eslami

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Bahman Eslami
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  • 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.

    Edit:
    .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: Optical correction in Arabic monoline

    Nina it's not possible to do it in a same way. Because what you're doing in Latin is reordering the letters and they are not contextual. If I reorder the letters in Arabic their shape change and the whole pattern becomes different. In more abstract way of describing it you're reordering patterns but in Arabic it would also change the nature of pattern.
  • Re: Optical correction in Arabic monoline

    If Arabic takes longer to read than Hebrew, or presumably English, when people reading English tend to read English words as a single unit, taking advantage of the general shape of a word as indicated by letters with ascenders and descenders in lower-case, what could be the cause?
    There is no scientific evidence to support your hypothesis. I'm just shocked how many designers without much knowledge of Arabic script are considering the Arabic writing system complex or harder to read or make assumptions that Arabic should be larger next to Latin to be as readable. Please stop making assumptions until you can read it and have proof!

    There hasn't been an unbiased research on Arabic legibility yet and the methods on how a letter is legible or illegible are Latin centric. I know this could be hard to believe for you but people who regularly read Arabic script might read Latin slower even if they do it on day to day basis. I read English considerably more than Persian but still I can scan a Persian text much faster. I'm available for testing! ;)

    but when the letters are connected, letter-by-letter reading, which is still resorted to occasionally, is slower.
    Strongly disagree! Brain recognizes patterns. It doesn't matter if it's connected or not or if it's a letter or not. It just takes some patterns and associates it with a sound or an abstract concept. After a while you become used to certain patterns and you just read the word without decomposing it to letters. You swallow the whole pattern without realizing what it is made of. The pattern could be made form different shapes. In your script the patterns are individual letters. That's probably so hard for you to see why we can read Persian/Arabic text fast enough without decomposing letters because you're used to your own way of reading. We're talking about cognitive psychology here and it's a very elusive subject and very dependent on different factors. Even it has been proved that you can create misleading scientific results with statistics.

    It also doesn't help that typesetting systems designed around Western languages, in addition to being utterly unable to cope with the Nastaliq script used for Urdu and Farsi, also stripped the Naksh script used for Arabic of one of its significant sources of distinctiveness in word shapes.

    Please don't confuse implementation of writing systems with reading. If Arabic writing doesn't fit with western methods of type systems it doesn't mean it's inherently complex to comprehend for its own natives. Before making assumptions about the script please learn the script and read it and see how you perceive the words.

    Right now we're desinging a Latin/Arabic typeface with a colleague of mine. He's designing the Latin and I'm desinging the Arabic. It's very interesting that all the time he perceives Arabic as smaller and I perceive the Latin smaller. It's just about what is our reading bias that defines what is the right proportions. There shouldn't be any 'one to one' proportion similarity in neither of the scripts when they are designed simultaneously. Otherwise it becomes a compromise for one of them.

    The third is that many English words have distinctive shapes because of a unique pattern of ascenders and descenders in lower-case. In the case of Arabic, not only is there a reduced distinctiveness of the letters, particularly in their initial or medial forms, but the larger letters that affect the shape are usually the ones in the final or isolated forms. So distinctiveness in overall word shape largely comes from the points in the word where there are breaks in the script-like connection from one letter to the next.
    It's again confusing type design with cognitive activity. Words are not seen like the way you're describing here. This could be surprise for you but there is no final, initial, medial form in Arabic script. This is just an implementation method in western type systems. We read the script by recognizing the grapheme fusions. It's hard to explain here but I think I really need to come up with illustrations and show how patterns are made in the script to show it explicitly that there is so many incorrect conclusions in this discussion about Arabic script.
  • Re: Optical correction in Arabic monoline

    If you want to bring contrast to your typeface where do you get the contrast in Latin? It's from the tool that writes the script. It could be a broad nib pen or expansion pen. The angle of the pen causes the vertical strokes become thicker in Latin. This naturally happened because the most important part of the construction in Latin is in vertical strokes. If you make the the verticals thinner it would become much harder to recognize the shapes in text sizes. Actually Latin calligraphy starts with practicing lots of vertical strokes.

    In Arabic the angle of the pen causes the contrast to be more horizontally stressed and this happened naturally because the construction of arabic is majorly distributed horizontally or in simpler words Arabic script is mostly horizontal strokes. If you make the horizontal strokes thinner in Arabic then it is Latinized or reversed contrast.