Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Bulaq #typeface

When you print an #Arabic text, there are considerations that go beyond does it have all the required characters. It may have to look good, respectful, pretty... Such considerations become practical in the layout of a page and the use of a typeface.

The reduced Bulaq typeface, casted in 1950 to simplify the original, 1910, typeface, cuts it from 470 to 238 glyphs (not counting vowel marks).

The first of the Bulaq typefaces was developed in Italy and was not met with universal approval. It took considerable time and effort to come to something that met general approval. The aim was to achieve maximum readability and to simplify the number and composing rules while retaining the beauty of Arabic calligraphy.

What this history teaches us that just having a typeface or a font allows printing or displaying a text. It does not mean that it will do a  script justice, for that you need research and someone who has mastered the art of font design.
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