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Graphik Latin was inspired by expressive graphic design done with very plain type. It was a reinterpretation of the lesser known mid century typefaces without the baggage of the more familiar ones like Univers, Helvetica or futura. From Thin to Super, the nine Latin weights exhibit a display and text quality.
The objective was to design an Arabic typeface that achieves two main goals. First, to balance the visual quality and texture of the Latin and second to operate in both contexts: display and running text. This meant basing the design on a fluid construction and adopting a stroke contrast where the baseline is thicker than the verticals—a characteristic considered to be the standard for Arabic running text.
Other design decisions echoed the detailing of the Latin typeface and shaped the design of the Arabic. The start and ending of the stroke is geometric and unadorned drawn with closed apertures and open endings. Letters with looping counters have a vertical axis allowing the typeface to stand straight. The baseline mixes straight lines and curves that become thinner at connection points—a contrast increase necessary to resolve multiple stroke overlaps. The diacritic dots remained circular to match this distinctive feature of the Latin face.
To complete the glyph set we added the ligatures or fused letterforms necessary to respect the grammar of the script but omitted cascading letter combinations that proved to be incompatible with the simplicity of a plain grotesque.
Nine weights were drawn by interpolating three masters with higher contrast in thick weights, and lower contrast in the thin ones. The spacing of the thin weights is tighter as a means to maintain a sturdy structure. The thick weights are slightly wider in proportion to allow more blackness in the limited vertical space.
Graphik Latin neatly straddles the line between the round bowls like a geometric sans, but the structures and proportions of a European grotesk. Similarly, Graphik Arabic combines the simplified strokes of a grotesque with the structure and proportion of a fluid script. The Arabic aims to be a meaningful departure from calligraphic detailing and presents a utilitarian workhorse with a plain style.