TypoArabic investigates exemplary historical models of Arabic typography to inform and advance contemporary practice. This project looks at letterpress printing from Beirut, Cairo, and Istanbul that was produced during the second half of the nineteenth century, an era that we consider a golden age of the craft. During this time Middle Eastern printers were still versed in the customs of a sophisticated manuscript culture, Ottoman scribal practice was at its zenith, and it informed the work of the pioneering printers and type-founders of the region.
Learning from these models, TypoArabic aims to work towards advances in today’s practice. It plans to distill observations of historical models into guidelines for current students and practitioners; it seeks collaborations with digital tool makers to work towards improved typographic means; and it seeks to contribute findings about the material aspects of print to the emerging history of Islamic books.
Join us on the journey!