Once, we were checking to see if the thicks and thins were even across the entire character set so we measured the stroke thickness to make sure.
When looking at the original design we noticed that there were several features that came about due to technical limitations of hot metal and we decided to re-address that. Palatino Arabic was always meant to be a book face though I know find it to work well in large titles. This approach to harmonizing Arabic and Latin is quite different from the one seen in Frutiger Arabic or in Koufiya. If you like the design and would like me to work on more typefaces, please respect my intellectual property. Our web site employs the latest SSLencryption to protect your sensitive data and transactions. At some point we came across a glyph and he immediately said the thin is too thick and we measured it and it was only 4 units thicker! The design took on new life and within just a few versions it became something completely different.
By January 2006 the individual glyphs were looking good but the word shapes were just not working out. Usually, I’m not a ligature fan but Palatino Arabic needed to have them and so I started expanding on the existing design. Koufiya is meant for bilingual publications and Frutiger Arabic is originally a signage face and so it would sit in proximity to its Latin.


Hermann Zapf has a great working relationship with Linotype and he comes to the office quite often. We had decided that it would be a companion to Palatino nova (the Platinum version of Palatino), and there was very little of the original design left in it. For the next months the main issue to solve was the character joins and the relative proportions. By then, I was quite usd to the style that we draw the glyphs in so I could draw more characters on my own and they would still maintain the same look and feel as the ones that I worked on with Pro.
It was such a great learning experience and I am so lucky that I actually got to sit side by side with a legend. They do have the same weight and optical size but Palatino Arabic is matching Palatino nova in its function as a text face. Palatino Arabic is a book face and there’s a very unlikely chance that you would have the two on the same page. Shortly after I joined, Bruno Steinert introduced me to him and told him about my work there.
As I had a lot of other responsibilities at Linotype, especially within marketing, work on Palatino Arabic was not as fast as we had originally thought.
Point placement was an issue, since we needed to make sure that all characters appear as if part of the same stroke irrespective of the combination.
These characters are usually closed off because the pen is too thick for their size but if you slightly expand their size then you can have a more open, and more legible, result.To make sure that we got it right, we consulted with a calligrapher towards the end of the project.


The filming for the Helvetica movie at Linotype coincided with one of our sessions and they filmed us working together in my office.
When designing it, the main concern was how to make a good text face that is legible and still has the trademark Zapf touch. The following May, we had our first meeting and I presented my work done so far and we looked at prints of his Al-Ahram typeface which he had designed for the Al-Ahram newspaper in Cairo in the fifties. Still, since there were time lapses in between, every time I opened the files, I saw the design with new eyes. I did the mistake of jumping in too quickly with the ligatures and I started designing them when the main characters were not finished yet.
Bruno suggested that we revive the typeface and we scheduled that we start work in October as I was quite busy at the time. It was so interesting to observe how he looked at outlines, the way he looks at characters, and just how sharp his eyes are. Zapf took place in the outdoor part of our cafeteria and hence all the greenery and the water sounds.



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