- General info
- Available languages
- Background story
Zapfino® Arabic font family
Designed by Nadine Chahine in 2014
Up to 1 Family
Available licenses for all styles:
Supports up to 50 languages.
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Supports up to 26 OpenType features.
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Zapfino Arabic: a decade of collaboration between Hermann Zapf and Nadine ChahineZapfino® Arabic is designed by award-winning Lebanese type designer Dr. Nadine Chahine as the Arabic companion to Prof. Hermann Zapf's ionic Zapfino typeface, with the nod of approval by the legendary designer himself. This is the third collaboration between the two designers during a span of almost ten years, following the design of their Palatino® Arabic and Palatino Sans Arabic, and is the culmination of two years of work.
Work on Zapfino Arabic started in the summer of 2012, and after a meeting with Prof. Zapf in Darmstadt in August to look at early sketches, the project was approved and ready to start. The design process took many turns and ups and downs. The difficulty of finding the right structure and rhythm, the technical implementation of contextual alternates, and the reality of juggling several projects at the same time, made this into a very slow moving project. The meetings in Darmstadt took place every few months, and the development of the design was in these stages:
1. Find the right shape for the independent letters.
2. Design the connecting forms.
3. Design the words i.e. keep designing until the font creates good word shapes.
4. Design the line i.e. keep designing till the lines of text look good.
The design was finally completed in the summer of 2014, and the final sign off by Prof. Zapf was made in November of that year.
The design of Zapfino Arabic
The design of Zapfino Arabic is an evolution of Arabic calligraphic traditions and combines Naskh and Nastaaliq to form a backward slanted calligraphic style. The character proportions refer to Naskh manuscript traditions but the isolated and final forms bring with them an exaggerated swash-like movement that references the extravagant ascenders and descenders of Zapfino.
The style of the design is delicate and flowing with multiple variants per character depending on the context it appears in. However, a lot of care was given to ensure legibility and the overall pleasantness of reading. The text flows smoothly with a slight slant to the baseline.
Zapfino Arabic is meant to be used as a display typeface, for logos, greeting cards and short headlines. It could also work for short pieces of text, for poetry or chapter introductions, when used in a generous type size and with ample space around it. Its design is soft and elegant, and leaves a lot of room for typographic playfulness.
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