Linotype publishes winning fonts from Arabic Type Design Competition – December 28, 2006

Trendsetting new Arabic fonts

Bad Homburg, 28 December 2006. Linotype is proud to announce the release of the six award-winning fonts – Sultan Free, Midan, Isra, Sultan Nahia, Hakim Ghazali, and Firas – from its first-ever Arabic Type Design Competition. The winners were announced last April in Dubai during “Kitabat”, the Arabic Calligraphy and Typography Conference. In fact, the awarding of the prizes provided the central focus for this seminal conference. Today’s release by Linotype of the winning designs is an additional accolade, contributing significantly to ushering the classic craft of Arabic calligraphy into the digital age.

Together with leading designers in the industry, Linotype is in the process of expanding and updating its font collection according to the latest technology developments and the growing publishing demands of the Arab world. This comes at the same time that new advances in font technologies give designers greater freedom to work with complex Arabic script and open new doors for typographic design. It was these developments that inspired Linotype to initiate the Arabic Type Design Competition, the very first of its kind in content and scope. With the goal of supporting the development of Arabic typography as well as honoring new and innovative trends in Arabic type design, the competition drew international attention. Entries arrived from 16 countries ranging from Iran, the Arab world and Europe, and all the way to the US and Japan.

In November 2005, internationally renowned calligraphers, type designers and academics assembled to consider the competition entries and select the winning designs. These jurors were Samir Sayegh (Lebanon), Fiona Ross (UK), Mamoun Sakkal (Syria/USA), and Kris Holmes (USA), all of whom have contributed significantly to the development of Arabic typography. Also participating as an honorary guest juror was the master calligrapher and type designer Hermann Zapf. In the three categories Text, Display and Calligraphy, the jurors’ top choices were:

Text 1st Prize: “Sultan Free” by Sultan Maktari (Yemen) – an open, dynamic design suitable for large displays but also as a text face
Text 2nd Prize: “Midan™” by the studio Al-Mohtaraf Assaoudi (Lebanon) – the large body height and open counters make it suitable for body texts in brochures and magazines
Display 1st Prize: “Isra™” by Almamoun Ahmed (Sudan) – condensed geometric forms make it ideal for headlines or short texts
Display 2nd Prize: “Sultan Nahia” also by Sultan Maktari (1st Prize Text) – bold, geometric design well-suited to large advertising displays
Calligraphy 1st Prize: “Hakim Ghazali™.” by Hakim Ghazali (Morocco/France) – its long, fluid curves and fresh style mean it can be used both in headlines and text
Calligraphy 2nd Prize: “Firas™” by Abbas Al-Baghdadi (Iraq) – the contrasting, geometric design is ideal for large advertising displays

The new Arabic typeface Insan™ is also being released, suitable for texts in brochures and magazines. All the fonts being released today include a matching Latin design and support for Arabic, Persian and Urdu, as well as proportional and tabular numerals for the supported languages.

The Awards Celebration took place during “Kitabat” on Dubai’s man-made island of Madinat Jumeriah. The awards included contributions by Winsoft and the calligraphy magazine Hurouf Arabiya, as well as the commitment of Linotype to publish each winning font. Today that promise is being fulfilled.

Riding on the heels of the success of the first-ever Arabic Type Design Competition and Awards Ceremony, Linotype has received numerous inquiries concerning the next competition – the details, however, are still in preparation.

Today’s release of the competition fonts honors the winning designers of the first Arabic Type Design Competition and the artistic tradition they represent. At the same time, Linotype’s creative initiative is a celebration of the exciting new advances in typography that make it possible to apply innovative font technologies to Arabic design – and to meet the important and growing communication needs of the modern Arab World. All these new fonts are available for download at www.linotype.com.

Linotype GmbH, based in Bad Homburg, Germany and a fully owned subsidiary of Monotype Imaging, looks back onto a history of 120 years. Building on its strong heritage, Linotype develops state-of-the-art font technology and offers more than 6,700 original typefaces, covering the whole typographic spectrum from antique to modern, from east to west, and from classical to experimental. All typefaces (in PostScript™ and TrueType™ format as well as more than 2,500 fonts in OpenType™) are now also available for instant download at www.linotype.com. In addition to supplying digital fonts, Linotype also offers comprehensive and individual consultation and support services for font applications in worldwide (corporate) communication.

Linotype GmbH
Du-Pont-Straße 1
D-61352 Bad Homburg
Tel.: +49 (0) 61 72 - 484 - 0
Fax: +49 (0) 61 72 - 484 - 499
E-Mail: info@linotype.com

Please find more typeface application samples on the Internet at www. linotype.com.
This press release is available as pdf file. Please download:
English version (61 kb)
German version (63 kb)