Call for Entries – May 19, 2005

Linotype announces its first Arabic Type Design Competition

Bad Homburg, May 19, 2005. Linotype Library has the pleasure to invite designers and calligraphers from around the world to take part in its first Arabic Type Design Competition. The competition is the first of its kind in recent years and is a response to the growing publishing demands in the Arab world. Recent developments in font technology have opened new doors for Arabic typography and have eased out the process of developing a complex script like Arabic. Now that technical limitations have been conquered, the remaining challenge is to seek out a new vision of Arabic typography that is free from past limitations, and is in direct contact with the everyday life and usage of the Arabic script. The competition aims to encourage and support the development of Arabic typography and to detect and publish new and original trends in Arabic type design.

To these ends, the type design competition offers the winners attractive prizes as well as the chance to gain worldwide popularity through Linotype Library’s marketing activities. Clear and fair license agreements are the basis for this relationship. Linotype contests are internationally renowned and offer type designers an excellent opportunity to attract attention to their work.

The jury is made up of renowned calligraphers, type designers, and academics who have each offered a great contribution to the development of Arabic typography. They are Samir Sayegh (Lebanon), Fiona Ross (UK), Mamoun Sakkal (Syria/USA), Kris Holmes (USA), and Huda Abi Fares Smitshuijzen (Lebanon/Netherlands). Also participating as an honorary guest juror is the master calligrapher and type designer Hermann Zapf.

The competition has 3 categories: text, display, and calligraphic. The text category is reserved for text faces, the display category for designs intended for larger sizes, and the calligraphic category is intended for designs based on calligraphic models or any undigitised work. The deadline for submissions is October 31, 2005.

Sponsors for Linotype’s first Arabic Type Design Competition are Winsoft S.A. and the UAE-based calligraphy magazine, Hurouf Arabia.

Linotype’s involvement with Arabic type design goes back a century. In 1911, Linotype was the first to produce machines for the mechanical typesetting of the Arabic script. Working closely with Arab designers and calligraphers, it launched typefaces like Mrouwa and Yakout in the mid 1950’s. Dubbed as the genre of Simplified Arabic, these typefaces responded to the need for faster and more economical typesetting, and helped the growth and the expansion of the newspaper industry in the Arab world. Today, Linotype Library boasts a number of high quality Arabic typefaces that have proven very popular across the Arab world. Together with leading designers in the industry, Linotype Library is in the process of expanding and updating its font collection according to the latest technology requirements and the growing publishing needs of the Arab world.

Linotype Library is the Source of the Originals. Releasing typefaces through Linotype Library places the designers with the likes of famous figures such as Neville Brody, Matthew Carter, Adrian Frutiger, and Hermann Zapf. The submitted work will sit with typefaces like Industria™, Bell Gothic™, Frutiger™, Univers™, Syntax™, Helvetica™, Optima™, Palatino™, and Zapfino™. Moreover, Some of the largest software companies in the world, such as Adobe, Microsoft Corporation and Apple Computers, have licensed Linotype fonts to include in their operating systems.

For details about the submission of typefaces and for further details please contact +49 (0) 6172 484 2460 or by mail to

Linotype GmbH, based in Bad Homburg, Germany and a member of the Heidelberg Group, looks back onto a history of 119 years. Building on its strong heritage, Linotype Library develops state-of-the-art font technology and offers more than 6,000 original fonts, 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 1,400 fonts in OpenType™) are now also available for instant download at In addition to supplying digital fonts, Linotype Library also offers comprehensive and individual consultation and support services for font applications in worldwide (corporate) communication.

Adobe and PostScript are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems, Inc. Apple and TrueType are registered trademarks of Apple Computer Inc.

If you would like further information, please contact:

Linotype GmbH
Du-Pont-Straße 1
61352 Bad Homburg
Tel.: +49 (0) 61 72 - 484 - 24 60
Fax: +49 (0) 61 72 – 484 - 5 24 60
E-Mail: [email protected]
This press release is available as pdf file. Please download:
English version (56 kb)
Arabic version (48 kb)