Sahar Afshar is a type designer and researcher from Iran. Her interest in typography during her years as a student at the University of Tehran led her to the University of Reading, from which she holds an MA by Research in Typography & Graphic Communication. Since graduation, she has been working on the design, consultation and quality assurance of Arabic typefaces, as well as researching the printing of Arabic and Indic scripts. She is currently based in the UK, and is a doctoral candidate at Birmingham City University, where she also works as a research assistant to the Centre for Printing History and Culture.
José Solé is a Chilean Type Designer. After studying Graphic Design at Universidad Diego Portales he joined Dalton Maag as a Font Developer in 2013. He has participated on projects for clients such as Amazon, Canonical, Google, Intel, Nokia and Under Armour, as well as on some of Dalton Maag’s library fonts, including Aktiv Grotesk, Effra Arabic and InterFace Arabic. He specializes in font engineering, hinting and scripting, developing OpenType features across a variety of scripts, as well as contributing to improvements to font standards internally and externally.
Since the printing of Arabic with early metal movable types, many compromises have been made to adapt the script with a technology not designed for its specific needs. One such compromise is the ‘Kashida’ or ‘Tatweel’; today a separate character with a designated unicode codepoint, traditionally, the kashida is an extended variant of letterforms. This talk will discuss the historic context and use of the Arabic extension, and demonstrate how, by using variable font technology, the long standing issue of organic extensions can be resolved to make possible a more dynamic typesetting for the Arabic script. While this talk focuses on the Arabic script, the methods can also be extended to other connecting writing systems, as well as Latin script styles.