Reviving Arabic diacritic agencies

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
Location:
Date
2023
Department
Major/Subject
Visual Communication Design
Mcode
ARTS3035
Degree programme
Taiteen ja median maisteriohjelma
Language
en
Pages
55
Series
Abstract
Introducing the letterpress to the Arabic script stripped the writing system of many of its characteristics in favor of forcing the script into the limited specifications of typesetting technology. The loss of multiple integral script qualities trickled down to the modern standards of font building, becoming part of typographic norms. One forgotten or lost characteristic of the Arabic script is the agency given to its writers to control the placement, shape, and composition of its diacritics, using it to manage the negative spaces or to create diacritical compositions depending solely on the scribe’s aesthetic tastes. The research attempts to bring back such agencies to typefaces through mainstream and accessible modes of font building, producing functional fonts usable in mainstream typesetting environments. The results of this research were favorable, as most diacritic agencies proposed by the author were either fully or partially restored using variable axes, Open-type stylistic sets, or layer fonts. The investigation resulted in a working built font prototype with a basic character set demonstrating all the restored agencies put in context throughout the thesis.
Description
Supervisor
Karhumaa, Arja
Thesis advisor
Apelian, Khajag
Guibert, Leo
Keywords
typography, diacritics, decolonisation, Arabic typography, Arabic design, type design, tool building
Other note
Citation