Kufam Arabic

Kufam Arabic
Designed by Wael Morcos

Background

OurType Kufam is the work of Dutch type designer Artur Schmal and Lebanese graphic designer Wael Morcos. Kufam is Wael's first typeface for OurType and Artur's third, next to Parry and Bonnie.

Kufam is a fully-produced Latin–Arabic family based in a preliminary version of the typeface conceived in 2011 as part of the second Typographic Matchmaking project. The project, innitiated in 2005 by the Khatt Foundation in Amsterdam, asked its participating design teams to create partnered Latin and Arabic typeface designs suitable for modern urban environments in the West (Amsterdam) and Middle East (Dubai).

In answering the project's brief, Schmal and Morcos merged inspiration from apparently disparate sources: for the Arabic, from archaic Kufi script in books, and for the Latin, from 1920s and 30s lettering on Amsterdam shops and signs. To Morcos, the Kufic script was bold and surprisingly modern; and crucially, he noted that certain of its characteristic shapes were not unlike those of roman letters. Following Morcos's lead, Schmal responded with a Latin lowercase that re-created shapes in the Kufi. This was achieved by bending vertical stokes into an arc or a bowl with a single movement. It was augmented by eliminating spurs on lowercase characters, such as a, d, m, or p, where a curve runs into a stroke. To echo the calligraphic character of the Kufi, subtle curvy details were added at these and other locations.

Where Schmal's Latin lowercase gently emulated the ebb and flow of the Arabic, for his uppercase he adopted shapes that appear at first to be too distinctive but on reflection are surprisingly sympathetic. This resulted from a particular quality found in the Amsterdam lettering, particularly in characters such as B, E, and R, which have over-large upper counters, and A and V, which are built from one diagonal stroke and one vertical, instead of two diagonals. It is a quality that can be described as vertical 'dis-balance'. The striking effect it created mediated between the Latin lowercase and the Arabic, and – on its own – was able to deliver a architectural and monumental impact.

OurType Kufam – developed and fine-tuned under the direction of Fred Smeijers, assisted by Thomas Thiemich – now completes the inspiration of Schmal and Morcos as a intelligently worked out family of typefaces. It is the smart choice for information design applications such as sign and way-finding systems, and editorial typography that demands a confident, contemporary feel.

OurType Kufam consists of five weights of roman and italic designs. Its Latin Pro character set includes small caps; lining, old style, and small cap figures (each in tabular and proportional widths); fractions; comprehensive superiors, inferiors, numerators, and denominators; case sensitive punctuation sets; mathematical and monetary symbols; arrows and miscellaneous newspaper symbols; stylistic alternates; and a complete range of accents for all Western, Central, and East European languages based on the Latin script.

The character set of Kufam Arabic supports the standard Arabic and Persian, as well as four ranges of figures, ligatures, punctuation, symbols and ideographs.

Produced by OurType, Kufam was released in 2016. Available in OpenType PRO, TrueType, EOT and WOFF formats.

Language Support

Kufam Arabic OTF PRO fonts support the following languages:

Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Punjabi

Kufam Arabic fonts are delivered in OpenType Pro, TrueType, WOFF & EOT format.

Single weights

  • Kufam Arabic Pro Normal
  • Kufam Arabic Pro Medium
  • Kufam Arabic Pro SemiBold
  • Kufam Arabic Pro Bold
  • Kufam Arabic Pro Black
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