Arabic glyphs offensive or disrespectful?

Aristarco's picture

I'm currently working on the arabic block of my font and since I don't speak, read nor write arabic language(s), I suddently felt concerned about the design.
I know the way it is written and how glyphs join, etc., give meaning to the words and phrases but, if I take some liberties when drawing the glyphs, could it result in something offensive? Something that could enrage the people using that language? I feel worried about it, very very worried. I mean no disrespect. I never would! That's unthinkable to me! So, if I flatten a curve a little or round it a bit more for it to fit the general design of this font, could it result in something awful? Please help!
This is the first time I try to fill all the blocks of a font and my font has no 45° angles. No straight lines at 45° angles. So I round some segments a little, or straighten them. Could this be a problem for the nature of arabic calligraphy?
Thanks in advance.

AzizMostafa's picture

> So, if I flatten a curve a little or round it a bit more for it to fit the general design of this font, could it result in something awful?

@ Screw it the way you like!
http://typophile.com/node/28634#comment-161482

Explore more by clicking on these images:
http://www.maryamsoft.com/FontShop/

Regards with Flowers
http://typophile.com/node/112936
http://pressedflowers.weebly.com/khat-and-pressed-flowers.html

Aristarco's picture

Thanks a lot AzizMostafa! I feel more confident now. :)

hrant's picture

Unless you have an "allah" glyph that looks intentionally offensive, don't worry one bit. On the other hand there are certainly a multitude of ways of producing an Arabic font that's just plain bad. :-)

hhp

Aristarco's picture

Wait, what??

hrant's picture

I simply meant that it's hard to make a good Arabic font; most people who don't parrot precedent fail. This is especially true for somebody who didn't grow up exposed to it.

What does yours look like?

hhp

AzizMostafa's picture

Hrant > Unless you have an "allah" glyph that looks intentionally offensive...

@ There will be no sin upon you for any mistake that you may make therein, barring what yours heart may premeditate. God (Allah) is All-forgiving, All-merciful.
http://ysfq.blog.163.com/blog/static/1765782582010111842511942/
http://ysfq.blog.163.com/blog/static/1765782582010111842656496/

hrant's picture

But in any belief system there are people looking for a fight.

hhp

Aristarco's picture

It looks like this:

hrant's picture

It's looking like you're trying to match some Latin font's x-height? FWIW that happens to be something yours truly has railed against since the late 90s. :-) Although certainly not something broadly "offensive".

hhp

Aristarco's picture

Well, the only thing that matches the latin range of the font is the baseline and the caps height. I used different heights loop height, tooth height, descender 1 and descender 2. Maybe looks like that because it's out of context without the latin letters in the image. Anyway, I hope someone likes it when it's finished. Thanks for your comments =)

hrant's picture

Yes, I was having to imagine the context.

What are you matching to the Latin cap height?

hhp

AzizMostafa's picture

Aristarco> Anyway, I hope someone likes it when it's finished...

@ Promising Mexico Creativity! I like those talking letters and love to see more.
@ God bless your clicking finger and all the best.

AzizMostafa's picture

hrant > But in any belief system there are people looking for a fight.

@ And in my belief system too! (Every time they ignite the flames of war, Allah puts them out. They seek to cause corruption on the earth, and Allah does not like the agents of corruption).

hrant's picture

Yes, in any belief system. As in: in any belief system. To put it another way: in any belief system.

hhp

Aristarco's picture

Latin caps height is matched to the upper part of alef.

Aristarco's picture

AzizMostafa: Thank you for your kind words. I want to finish this and show it to the world so you all can tell me if it needs corrections, which I'd gladly do. :)

AzizMostafa's picture

Aristarco> I want to finish this and show it to the world

@ Showing it to the WORLD will make every one happy, but might make you regret later, unless you dream of NOTHING else in return. The WORLD is MERCILESS!

Aristarco > So you all can tell me if it needs corrections, which I'd gladly do. :)

@ At your service, and if interested, we can work together to add it to QB
http://typophile.com/files/QB-English_1.pdf as well as to our list of the newly developed Arabic Web Fonts that work more or less like rechargeable skyfonts http://www.fonts.com/browse/font-tools/skyfonts
By the way, what name have you given your nice-looking font?
Regards with Flowers

Aristarco's picture

I think my reply didn't enter the system! The name for the font is StarCo Round Regular. :)

Aristarco's picture

Ok, here I go... please, don't be so hard at judging it. Consider I do not speak, write or understand arabic. I've consulted sources and I found this is a possibility...

Also, if I did anything wrong and this is disrespectful, please accept my apologies. I'll correct it right away.

Aristarco's picture

Also, I did this because of a pic I found on the internet where a person is facing a wall with a giant inscription. Again, I dunno if it is correct. If not, I'll stick to the first one I posted.

Aristarco's picture

Oh, about the first, I decided to make the diacritics a bit thinner:

I think it looks better this way.

AzizMostafa's picture

Aristarco > ... I decided to make the diacritics a bit thinner

StarCo looks even better if you make (a) smaller, or replace it with that flower?! alll=@lll

Zuhair Albazi's picture

All three shapes are beautiful and correct.
The larger medial black and white image should have a small straight line over the diacritic mark as in the other two images though it is not necessary but it will make the word shaping perfect and you will observe the same shaping in almost all Arabic fonts. Yes, in the same medial image, the second diacritic like shape is not necessary as it is also not present in the other images. It is not a mark, but the isolated shape of the same last letter of the word, above which it is made. You may use it or remove it according to the need of design.

Aristarco's picture

Ok, I made the final heh (is that the name?) smaller. I just don't know how much smaller is better so I made it a fraction of the loop height.

Zuhair Albazi: Thank you for your comments! I thought of that second form because I saw this pic:


and I liked it. I might include it as an alternate. For the time being I think I'll include the one shown in the small magenta tile as default.

Thank you both for being so understanding and kind!

Aristarco's picture

Here are my heh variants. I hope they are ok. Or at least, not that bad, =)

Greetings!

Aristarco's picture

It works, I think...


I think I've finished the arabic block. I'll move to the other blocks while I wait for your opinions. :)

AzizMostafa's picture

L, K, La @ alll are beautful, but...
1. Are those 4-digit numbers equal?!
Wonder how 0123456789, 9876543210 and 024861793 will look like?!
2. Why Heh's petals are made spiky?! Why not closer to a, @, 8 or &?!
3. Is that غغغ or غفغ?!

Aristarco's picture

I, you, what? Lemme organize my ideas and I'll answer. I felt like a student in a surprise examination. Heheh :)

Aristarco's picture

Ok, I'll try and answer.
1. The digits are shown with the urdu language and with the 'locl' feature activated. The locl feature is as follows*:
feature locl { # Localized Forms
script arab; # Arabic
language URD exclude_dflt; # Urdu
lookupflag RightToLeft;
sub [afii57396 afii57397 afii57399 uni06F4] by [uniE864 uni06F5 uniE867 uniE864];
sub [uni06F6 uni06F7] by [afii57398 uniE867];
language FAR exclude_dflt; # Farsi
lookupflag RightToLeft;
sub [afii57396 afii57397 afii57398] by [uni06F4 uni06F5 uni06F6];
} locl;

For the number sequences you mention, I took this pic but I think it doesn't fit in the thread. Anyway, here it is:


2. Heh's petals** are spiky because... I dunno. I made it like that with no knowledge about how it should be drawn. Um... is it better if I draw it like the final form? I included an 'a' next to a heh in the image.
3. That's a triple غ to test the 'init', 'medi' and 'fina' features. I included a triple ف for comparison.

:( I hope it's just a matter of corrections and I hadn't offended anyone. I apologize in advance.
___________
* I must admit I copied this feature from another font as I'm not familiar with arabic, as I mentioned before.
** I asume 'petal' means the form of the heh. Oh God, I am so ignorant in this matter. :(

Bahman Eslami's picture

Why would anyone be offended? Designing a typeface for a writing system you don't read regularly if is not impossible, is not easy. Personally I think some of the numbers are illegible like «۳» and «۲». The loop in medial and final variations of letter «غ» are very similar to the letter «ف» and could be easily mistaken by each other. I didn't want to comment because the style doesn't attract me, but hey, that's just me. :)

Aristarco's picture

Thank you, Bahman Eslami. Please tell me, how can I make legible those numbers? Should I make the superior arcs larger? I mean, those that look like a small 'w' and 'u' to me? You are right on the loops of those letters (غ and ف) and I'll do corrections to them. I started doing this typeface because of the latin portion, of course. I just wanted to include more unicode ranges so more people could use it, should they like the style.
Thanks again for your comments.

Bahman Eslami's picture

I think enlarging the upper part of the numbers would improve legibility. Good luck.

Aristarco's picture


How about this?

Aristarco's picture

I thought of these variants:


To avoid confusion with:

hrant's picture

Make the top of the medial "غ" angular.

hhp

AzizMostafa's picture

1. Make 7 (flipped 8) closer to V than U, as in http://typophile.com/files/YS-Aziz.pdf.
2. To distinguish between the two, make F like an egg, and Gh like a spinning top.
Good luck

Bahman Eslami's picture

I'm with Hrant on «غ».

B

Aristarco's picture

I've made these variations. I have to leave this for a while since I have to work on another project but I'll be returning often. Thanks for all your comments!

AzizMostafa's picture

Thumbs up!

Aristarco's picture

I tested the font a bit...


I took the paragraph from Wikipedia.

hrant's picture

The spacing is uneven, and in spots way too tight.

hhp

AzizMostafa's picture

Dear Aristarco ,
1. For your font, I recommend the Maghribi style of @:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/maghribifonts/files/Font%20Maghribi%20Ma...

2. Kill the spaces after R @ Z as explained here:
http://typophile.com/node/19609

3. Shorten the initial F @ Q.

4. Add half space after LA (=( L+Alif)

More later

Aristarco's picture

Aziz, thanks for your advice, I'll adjust and retry. I will sound terribly ignorant but, what do you mean by @? Is it the ھ ? Or is it every letter that looks like the "@"?
Thanks again for the advice! I'm reading and trying to understand how to apply it to the font.

AzizMostafa's picture

> Is it the ھ ?

@ Yes it is the flower-like letter.

Mamoun's picture

You may find it helpful to review my font Shilia which has similar forms to your design:
http://www.sakkal.com/type/shilia.html

Good luck

Aristarco's picture

Mamoun, your font is gorgeous! Thanks for the link. I will gladly review it. Thanks again.

Mamoun's picture

Thank you.

Make sure to review the brochure since it includes much information about the typeface's extensive OpenType features:
http://issuu.com/linotype/docs/shilia_brochure/1

Best wishes.

Vladimir Tamari's picture

I agree - Mamoun's font is gorgeous.

Now let me preach my usual sermon: More than half of the Arabic letters rely on dots to differentiate them from others with a similar base outline. In my own fonts, and despite some early criticism, I use larger-than-usual dots, and for the sake of legibility would advise Aristarco to double the size of the dots in his nice-looking font! The very large zero dot in the numerals is necessary for the same reason, but the letter dots can be a bit smaller.

Best wishes

hrant's picture

I use larger-than-usual dots

I do the same in Latin! And when another type designer says "your tittle is slightly too large", I know I've done it right. :-> The "i" needs all the help it can get. Now, if we could only help the village idiot that is the lc "el"...

hhp

Aristarco's picture

Thanks for your advice, Vladimir Tamari!
Thanks to you all for your tips, suggestions and advice. I'm learning a lot from all of it.

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