Recently I was pleasantly surprised to find two type foundries in Jordan (for those of you who are non-designers: type foundries are companies/groups/individuals who’s business is to design and sell fonts).
It’s really great that some Jordanian designers are directing their attention toward type design. Arab type is very lacking in diversity and innovation. Look at any newspaper and you see the same fonts repeated across the ads of different companies. Given the rich calligraphic heritage of the Arab world, it is sad to see so few good Arabic font designs.
Designing latin/English fonts is also something Jordanian designers should get interested in if they want to leave their mark on the global design scene.
One thing in common among the two type designer I am profiling here is that both of them hail from Zarqa, Jordan’s second largest city. Discovering not one, but two Jordanian type designers who belong to that city amazed me. Is there something in the water in Zarqa that encourages typographic creativity?
The first type designer is Ihsan Hammouri.
Ihsan Hammouri was born in Jordan in 1973. Raised in a family of artists he learned Arabic calligraphy as a child. He holds degrees in graphic design from Jordan and an MFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, USA. He has lectured and led workshops on Arabic calligraphy. His work includes corporate identities, packaging, interactive design, typography and typeface design. He has worked with well known typographers and graphic designers such as Huda Smitshuijzen Abi-Farès, Janna Anderson, April Greiman and Michael Sainato. He also led workshops on Arabic typography for many institutes and universities, including San Francisco University High School. In 2005, he established his independent Ihsan Type Foundry.Ihsan has a really professional looking site. I could not see any fonts for sale by him on the site but saw some really interesting modern type design and experiments. Ihsan is also active in the emerging Arabic type scene. More info about him can be found in his Bio from Kitabat conference, recently held in the UAE. From what I understood on his site, he currently teaches at the Yaromouk University in Irbid.
The other type designer I found is much younger. His name is Ali Almasri and he design latin fonts, mainly based on angual geometric forms.
Ali Almasri font foundry : MyFonts:All of this is very encouraging. It would be really cool if anyone out there knows of any other Jordanian type design efforts.
Ali Almasri is a young designer (b. 1986) from Jordan who is offering two fonts, Relaxic and Graphiro. Both geometric designs with strongly repetitive elements, they could enhance modern architecture or interior design, rather as Arabic script shapes are sometimes adapted to surrounding styles.
Read these related posts on 360east:
- A public moral stance against the Islamic Action Front deputies is needed
- Hacen: Amazing arabic type from unexpected places..
- Gatecrashing TypeRadio
- The School of Adam’s First Son: Jawdat Said and non-violent Islam
- Media war: As-Sabeel newspaper confiscated from newsstands?
Bookmark this post on your favorite bookmarking service