Fonts, Foundries
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Fedra Arabic


Typotheque launched a new product: Fedra Arabic.

It takes into consideration the contemporary uses of Arabic type and offers a pragmatic solution for multilingual typesetting. The simplified forms of Arabic are stripped of all decoration while keeping the intrinsic structure of the Arabic writing system.

The typeface is available either as a separate Arabic font, or as part of the large Multiscript font package, which includes support for extended Latin, Cyrillic, Greek, and Arabic, with advanced typographic features.

The characteristics that were carried over to the design of the Arabic version are mainly the proportions of the Latin: the baseline, ascender and descender, which were kept identical. On the other hand, two middle heights were defined, which are different than the x-height of the Latin font. Rather than directly bringing shapes from Latin, it was mainly the character of the curves that has been adopted for the Arabic counterpart. In Fedra, the curves start fairly fl at and begin to turn relatively late, which creates a particular tension of shapes. The contrast between the thick and thin is maintained. This has allowed for keeping the same color in both the Latin and the Arabic text. Of course many things are not possible to translate from Latin to Arabic directly, so oneto be very sensitive not to impose the Latin structure on Arabic. The Arabic version uses the proportions and formal attributes of Fedra, but not its individual shapes. Because of the Semitic roots, the angle of the contrast is inverted, and what was the thickest horizontal in Latin, becomes the thickest vertical in Arabic. The same is true of the thinnest strokes, it is again rotated 90 degrees.

Fedra Arabic was designed so it can be combined with either Fedra Serif or Sans, by carefully matching the typographic ‘colour’ of the typeface.

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