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Efforts to adapt various Arabetic scripts to the machine are as old as the field of typography. But most of these efforts concentrated primarily on forcing the machine to duplicate the Arabetic handwritten forms. Others have practically advocated divorce from the calligraphic tradition rather than enrichment and reform. One reason why the few modern attempts to typographically solve the technology-induced Arabetic script problems had failed is that many typeforms (or many times just theoretical calligraphy style) was presented as replacement for the traditional ones rather than as optional working types. New “controversial” types should be made widely available for users to experience and judge rather than be dismissed based on unsupported claims or verdicts by a few influential individuals. Through the open design of the Mutamathil type style, the past restrictive, calligraphy-based, Arabetic typography is overcome and a more progressive development path is established. This is an open system that produces Unicode compliant, technology-oriented, fonts to work side-by-side to the traditional ones. Such fonts not only work with current Arabetic applications but also facilitate future creative ones.


This work was originally published in Visible Language.



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