Handwriting is not just a practice, especially for languages like Arabic. Arabic typography and calligraphy are one of the simplest and most complex forms of art. Originally, calligraphy was used as a tool for communication, but as time passed by, it began to be used in architecture, decoration, and coin design as well. You can see how the language’s different visual replications and interpretations are used in some of the world’s largest and most sophisticated museums and are studied by many renowned scholars from around the world. However, sadly with the globalization and technological boom, Arabic typography and calligraphy fonts didn’t get as much attention as other languages, and they slowly became undermined in the world of design, with only a few fonts left to choose from.
On the bright side, there are a number of research labs in the Arab world that are solely dedicated to spreading and enriching the visual knowledge available, and unveiling the hidden art of typography to scholars as well as designers. The American University in Cairo’s “TYPE Lab” is doing exactly that. For decades, Egypt has been a hub for Arabic typography. Scroll down to check out TYPE Lab’s efforts to develop and disseminate the Arabic script, from its historical calligraphic renditions to its futuristic typographic manifestations.