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typography

The last letter in any combination has to sit on the baseline, so the position of the initial letter is determined by the connection level of the terminal letter, the number of letters in the combination and the number of levels each letter occupies. The Process

On the other hand, keeping the clear horizontal slant and smooth curved connections of the letters, and playing with the levels of the isolated glyphs were ways to create a dynamic liveliness in the typeface. I was very pleased with the results. The effect was instantaneous. It looked like a nice start, and from here on the letters went through several cycles of changing and fixing and redrawing to meet the needs of the typeface.

Levels As a Typographic System The design process that led from Thuraya’s first sketches to the final digital version was full of ups and downs. Assuming that the slant would eventually work, I started two sets of quick sketches, one based strictly on calligraphy and one separate from it (without losing sight of the structure). After several rounds of drawing and much time devoted to designing slanted letters based on the calligraphic style, I came to an important realisation: forcing the typeface to follow the rules and proportions of the calligraphic script was not the right approach. Like every other feature of the script, this system had to be adapted to the capabilities of the digital typeface. I had been so fully focused on designing the glyphs according to the levels of the letters that I had not explored the shapes of the letterforms independently of the number of levels they occupied. The result was an outdated feel and unsatisfactory shapes. Thus a major decision had to be made: I would put aside the slanted baseline in favour of preserving the Diwani shapes and achieving smooth connections between the slanted letters, diverging from calligraphy while preserving its spirit. From this straight-baseline typeface I would later devise a new system to incorporate the slant feature. There would be two versions of the typeface, each suited to a different purpose.

Drastic changes included minimising the inverted curves, creating clear cuts following the pen movement, making the teeth more pronounced, reducing the curled endings of some letters, changing the shapes of some letters to avoid confusion while reading, and opening all the closed counters. 06

Having gotten the design process of Thuraya Regular on the right track, I returned once again to the idea of Thuraya Slanted. This time, however, the slant and level system was based not on the original calligraphic principles, but on a simpler concept derived from the straight-baseline version. To achieve a fluid, aesthetically pleasing result, every letter’s slant (i.e., the number of levels it occupies) would be proportional to its width. At this point the entire design was still largely theoretical with no real evidence that it would actually work. In spite of this fact, I continued to develop both versions in hopes that they would both be successful. Thuraya Slanted Born After a 3-day-workshop with Adobe’s Miguel Sousa, in a discussion with Erik van Blokland, Miguel suggested the cursive feature as a possible solution for the slanted baseline. The feature works as follows: Named anchors are placed at the connecting points of each glyph (‘exit’ anchors for the initial glyphs, ‘entry’ and ‘exit’ for the medial ones, and ‘entry’ for the terminals) and the cursive feature connects the ‘exit’ to the ‘entry’ anchors.

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Kyoorius Magazine 8  

Featuring articles and works by Spirit Designs, Red Lion, Idea Spice, Happy Creative Services, Leo Burnett, Rickshaw, Big Active, Unit Editi...

Kyoorius Magazine 8  

Featuring articles and works by Spirit Designs, Red Lion, Idea Spice, Happy Creative Services, Leo Burnett, Rickshaw, Big Active, Unit Editi...

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