SHB Arabic type family

22. 02. 2003

Saudi Hollandi Bank, a subsidiary of the international ABN AMRO bank commissions AlMohtaraf to design a custom Arabic typeface to match their corporate Univers type family.

We made sure that the typeface designed is not a mere adaptation of Univers, but rather a typeface in its own right, starting but not ending at the Latin reference. SHB in this sense shares Univers’s ascender and descender heights as well as x-height when possible, but has the freedom to break away from the latter whenever that restriction begins to jeopardize its authenticity as an Arabic type. Its forms and counter forms similarly stem from those of Univers and similarly remain faithful to their status as Arabic letters. The SHB family comprises of five fonts: SHB Text Light, SHB Text Normal, SHB Text Bold, SHB Titles Normal, and SHB Titles Bold. The title fonts that match Univers condensed bear a greater responsibility in striking an overall coherence within a bilingual page, and as such bear a greater formal similitude to Univers: their counters are slightly larger than those of the text fonts; they are slightly more geometric; and their dots are perfect squares just as are those of Univers ‘i’ letters.


The text fonts on the other hand are catered to serve a smooth and easy reading, and they consequently offer a more human experience of the typeface as their forms are friendlier; the proportions of their counters are closer to those of traditional Arabic letters; and their dots have a 45° rotation, turning them into calligraphic diamonds.


Message of the day

Kameel Hawa: Shape of the Word – Arabic Typographic Sculpture for Public Spaces  here.


Beirut sculpture takes center stage and opens the Beirut Art Week in front of Le Grey Hotel in the presence of the artist Kameel Hawa, the Lebanese minister of culture and the the director of the Beirut Art Fair Laure D'Hauteville among others.


On April 13, 2013, Al Mohtaraf Beirut studio will be hosting the launch of the book 'Arabic Type Design for Beginners' from the Khatt foundation. Book your copy:  

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