Arabic Type Design Workshop

I had an absolutely wonderful time participating in the intensive 5-day Arabic Type Design Workshop at Tashkeel. The Workshop was hosted by the Khatt Foundation and led by the talented Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès, Pascal Zoghbi and Lara Assouad Khoury.

On the first day of the Workshop we were each assigned two letters (with all 4 characters) to design over a 3-day period.

We were asked to consider how the Urban Dubai landscape could apply to typography and what experimental Arabic letterforms we could create based on our individual interpretations of the city.

We had a full day of brainstorming and sketching – followed by critique, re-sketching, critique, tracing and… more critique.

After the sketching process we brought our final designs into Illustrator and created vector versions of our solutions.

Critique. Refinement. Critique. Refinement.

Following the refinement process, the letters were brought into FontLab, individually exported, and collectively imported into one file.

Spacing and refinement of the group typeface was skillfully implemented by Pascal Zoghbi.

Our final typeface was appropriately named Khabsa! and re-shared amongst the group.

We spent the fourth day of the Workshop designing posters showcasing our newly created font Khabsa!.

The resulting silk-screened and digital posters were finalized and printed on the 5th day of the workshop.

The posters were trimmed individually and finally hung in the “Small Gallery” by the wonderful staff of Tashkeel.

In addition to the Workshop, there were correlating evening lectures exploring contemporary Arabic typography held at the Pavilion (in Downtown Dubai).

Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès – Arabic Typography Lecture Series – Day 1

Wissam Shawkat – Arabic Typography Lecture Series – Day 1

Pascal Zoghbi – Arabic Typography Lecture Series – Day 2

Salem Al-Qasimi – Arabic Typography Lecture Series – Day 3

Lara Assouad Khoury – Arabic Typography Lecture Series – Day 3