Arabic fonts require the same amount of thought as you would give to Latin scripts. They too have characteristics which can either be completely lost or magnificently extolled if used correctly and in the right context.

For the better part of the past three years, Boutros’ GE SS Two has followed me everywhere. It was Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank’s preferred Arabic typeface for the web and print. And now I see it amongst many other brands too. Firstly, lets be clear. There is nothing wrong with it. It’s a great font which can be both fun, approachable and formal all at the same time. And it pairs really well with sans serifs in the body copy if you mismatch English with Arabic texts.

But, life is about experimentation and so here are my picks for fonts that are definitely worth a shot for both headlining and body copy too.

1/ Janna by Nadine Chahine for Linotype

Dr. Nadine Chahine designed Janna for the signage of the American University of Beirut but it works splendidly in branding too. I was fortunate enough to see a designer working with it and the Janna Bold is one of my favorites. If you’re unaware of Nadine’s work, you must check out her renditions of Frutiger Arabic and Neue Helvetica Arabic.

Janna by Nadine Chahine

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2/ Neue Helvetica by Nadine Chahine for Linotype

This one is just sublime. I’ve always like the Neue range of Helvetica better than the original series. It has some of the best Light and Ultralight weights. And it continues into for the Arabic series put together by Nadine for Linotype too.

Neue Helvetica Arabic by Nadine Chahine

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3/ FF Amman Sans by Yanone

If you’ve never heard of Yanone, you’ve probably seen their amazing creation Kaffeesatz which was released for FREE. The English typeface itself had been used by Dubai Mall for its collateral at times. FF Amman Sans is a completely different story however. It was developed between Ahmad Humeid and Yanone to rebrand Amman in Jordan for its centennial celebrations.

FF Amman Sans by Yanone

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4/ Harir by Typotheque

I won’t be able to do justice to ILT’s excellent breakdown of Harir but the mere fact that there is an article dedicated to it on ILT is commendation enough for this typeface. Designed with counter-spaces to improve reading and reduce noise, Harir is a beautiful typeface for long-running body copy.

harir-typeface-typotheque

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5/ Atrissi Sans Arabic by Tarek Atrissi

Born in Beirut, Tarek’s eponymous typeface saw itself take life in late 2008. Tarek is an alum of the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York. Atrissi Sans is a stunning font. Its the heavier weights of this font that make it really effect for both headlines as well as branding. Definitely worth a type-out.

atrissisans-arabicfont-1

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