News: Tagged as Arabic

In-use: FF Seria and FF Seria Arabic in Reflections on Islamic Art

FF Seria and FF Seria Arabic

The English and Arabic soft cover copies of the Qatar Museums Authority’s Reflections on Islamic Art. Each book is also available in a hardbound edition.

Reflections on Islamic Art is a new book edited by Ahdaf Soueif. It is available in two editions: Arabic and English. Both are typeset in FF Seria, one of our multi-script typefaces.

FF Seria started as a Latin script family; Martin Majoor began the design in 1996, and we released it in 2000. Nine years later, we brought FF Seria Arabic onto the market, which Majoor developed together with Pascal Zoghbi, a Dutch-trained type designer based in Lebanon. Their tandem Arabic family was the first Arabic typeface published by FontFont; it grew out of an earlier collaboration named Sada, which had been designed as part of the Khatt Foundation’s Typographic Matchmaking project.

Both the Arabic and English editions of Reflections on Islamic Art were designed by Muiz Anwar, a graphic designer based in London – and also a former intern with us at FontFont. Anwar’s solution for these books is reduced and thoughtful. Each edition is a mirror of the other. Images play the primary role in the design, often taking up full pages, or half of a spread.

FF Seria Arabic Reflections on Islamic Art front page FF Seria English Reflections on Islamic Art front page

In order for the Arabic and English titles to take up the similar amounts of visual space, the Arabic title employs long kashidas – or lengthening strokes. However, the English title makes use of additional space, too. Had Anwar set the English title in upper and lowercase, its words would have been much shorter; by switching to all caps, letterspacing may be applied. The combination of tracked capitals in English and kashidas in Arabic is an interesting solution.

FF Seria Table of Contents in English FF Seria Table of Contents in Arabic

The books’ colour palettes are reduced, drawing more attention to the images themselves when their appear. Text in the Reflections on Islamic Arteditions is always either black-on-white or white-on-black. The tables of contents are handled in a similar way as the books’ title pages. Yet the typographic hierarchies are not identical in each edition: for the English-language, author names are set in FF Seria Italic, setting them apart from the main text in FF Seria Regular. Whereas in the Arabic typography there isn’t an italic weight in FF Seria Arabic, so the Arabic text has a slightly more even feel.

FF Seria Italic is an upright italic. Its letters have only a minimal slant. This sets it apart from the italics in Majoor’s other typeface families; FF Nexus Italic and FF Scala Italic both feature a steeper slope.

FF Seria Reflections on Islamic Art Calligrams by Anwar

Anwar is a type designer and letterer himself, and he contributed more to Reflections on Islamic Art than just its typesetting. Each chapter opens with a very short text in a thin, dotted-line constructed Arabic script that he designed for the purpose. The hard geometry and ‘digital’ nature of Anwar’s lettering in these books contrasts well with the pen-shaped form of FF Seria Arabic.

Regarding his design, Anwar wrote to tell us that he aimed ‘to reflect the architecture of the Museum of Islamic Art, an environment with an amazing collection of unique and intricately wrought works of art’. He continued, ‘the book is the building and its design is the architecture; its job is to maximize the impression the words and the images make on the viewer/reader. My design is rooted in the grid system traditions evident in the layout of Qur’anic and other Islamic manuscripts. Margins are wide and generous to allow the eye space to appreciate the variant detail of each piece of work. The reduced colour palette for the book is an extension of the architectural aesthetic I.M. Pei established for the MIA building.’

FF Seria English spread FF Seria Arabic spread

Great care has been taken to ensure that the harmony achieved and evident in an
Arabic spread is reflected with equal beauty in a Latin spread – with particular elements
reflected/reversed to conform to Arabic and Latin reading patterns. The grid layout for internal spreads is based on the proportions of early Arabic manuscripts, which characteristically featured expansive borders. Although these borders were often used for annotation, commentary and illumination, in many cases they were left blank, allowing greater emphasis to be placed on the content centralised on the page.

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New release: FF53

BERLIN, GERMANY, June 2010 – FSI FontShop International announced the latest additions to its award-winning FontFont® typeface library.

The new FontFonts

FF Amman came into existence as Yanone’s graduation project at Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. In late 2008, Yanone set out to Amman, the capital of Jordan, following an invitation by Ahmad Humeid from the local design and branding office Syntax. They were to re-brand the capital’s municipality in preparation of Amman’s centennial celebrations.

FF Amman Sans Pro

First and main part of Yanone’s diptychon »Amman The FFilm« about the making of the FF Amman typeface for Jordan’s capital on occasion of its centennial celebrations in 2009. 

Never officially commissioned as a custom typeface, it was rather a birthday present from Syntax and Yanone for Amman, and the perfect university graduation project for Yanone. In the end, the typeface with several typographic novelties has been widely used for all kinds of municipal services in Amman. The family consists of seven sans and four serif weights, each with their true Italics and both Latin and Arabic character sets. It is one of the largest bilingual families ever made, one of the few designed bilingually from scratch and the first containing true Arabic Italics.

FF DIN Round Pro

FF DIN Round — This welcome addition to FontFont’s most popular family brings a softness to FF DIN’s simplicity and industrial sterility. FF DIN Round is more than a “search-and-replace” rounded version of its predecessor. Albert-Jan Pool and his team redrew each letterform to maintain the structure of the original. This ensures FF DIN and FF DIN Round will work well together in logos, slogans, price tags, etc. as compatible parts of advertising campaigns and corporate identities.

FF DIN Round is not only a good companion to FF DIN, its smooth and friendly curves make it work on its own for branding strategies for family cars, bikes, household appliances, sportswear, shoes, or medical products. It’s also very legible on screen.

FF Suhmo Pro

FF Suhmo is inspired by classic Egyptian and typewriter fonts such as Courier and American Typewriter, which feature headline and text use. This impressive duality was Alex Rütten’s guideline for the concept of FF Suhmo. At the same time, many formal details were derived from the typical neon-lettering you can find on aged Italian restaurants in Germany. FF Suhmo has short ascenders and descenders and a generous x-height, making it a good choice for editorial design. It combines simplicity and functionality with playfulness, offering interesting details such as loops and swashes and a slight stroke contrast. Its varied details are unobtrusive in text sizes while developing character and sparkle in headlines.

FF Suhmo’s extensive character set includes numerous special characters and ligatures, several figure sets and small caps throughout all styles. The family consists of 4 weights: Light, Regular, Bold and Black, each with an Italic. The weights were staggered to complement each other within a layout, the Black corresponding to the Regular and the Light corresponding to the Bold weight, allowing words or phrases to be clearly stressed within a text. The Italics are lighter than the Roman and have a relatively slight angle of slope. The forms are derived from a manual writing process and often cross the base-line or the x-height.

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New release: FF48

BERLIN, GERMANY, April 2009 — FSI FontShop International announced the latest additions to its award-winning FontFont® typeface library.

The new FontFonts

FF Dingbats 2.0 OT — The original FF Dingbats font package was designed in 1993 when there was no other symbol font available except Zapf Dingbats. The FF Dingbats package was the first with some 800 symbols and icons from the world of modern communication: faxes, ISDN, disks, keyboards … all absolutely usable. But over the following years times have been changing and quite a lot of pictograms for office communication are no longer needed – no-one uses floppy disks nowadays – or simply changed their appearance, so Johannes Erler and Henning Skibbe started a complete redesign two years ago.

FF Dingbats 2.0 OT

All pictograms have now been revised and adjusted according to the current stylistic vocabulary. Arrow and number fonts have been reworked and extended as well. All symbols have been sorted into clear categories, and the font “Strong Forms” includes the most needed symbols in a bolder version. Besides this, many symbols can be layered and coloured via an easy-to-use layering feature (see FF Dingbats 2.0 info guide PDF). All this makes FF Dingbats 2.0 a state-of-the-art font package again and probably the largest collection of contemporary symbols and icons for office communication.

FF Milo® was started in 2000 with the goal of a compact typeface with very low ascenders and descenders. Because of its compact design FF Milo is a workhorse typeface suitable for magazine and newspaper typography. It has modern bones with a touch of detail for distinction (especially in the italics). The name Milo is from a resilient grain and that's why the designer chose this name for the typeface. He wanted it to be a basic usable font like corn or grain is to any culture.

FF Milo Serif OT

With the help of Paul van der Laan for kerning, spacing and production, Michael Abbink developed FF Milo Serif as a companion to the Sans, but it is also perfectly suitable as a stand alone typeface or used together with any other sans serif typeface. Like FF Milo, FF Milo Serif is a text face with the utmost legibility, perfect for setting newspapers and magazine copy. Although rooted with historical attributes it is truly a contemporary face. FF Milo Serif comes with SC, TF, OSF, LF as well as a wealth of ligatures. Like the Sans, FF Milo Serif is also a resilient grain!

FF Seria Arabic

FF Seria® Arabic, originally called Sada, by designer Pascal Zoghbi, is an Arabic type companion to FF Seria, designed in the nineties by Martin Majoor. The Arabic type family was part of the Typographic Matchmaking 01 project organised by the Khatt Foundation. Echo, which means “Sada” in Arabic, is the repetition of a sound caused by the reflection of sound waves from a surface. Accordingly, Sada/Seria Arabic is the echo of FF Seria. FF Seria Arabic is a young crispy type based on the Arabic Nasekh style. The Regular and Bold are text typefaces, the Light is both display and text type, while the Black is purely a display typeface.

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