- FF Seria® Arabic, originally called Sada, by designer Pascal Zoghbi, is an Arabic type companion to FF Seria®, designed in the nineties by Martin Majoor. The Arabic type family was part of the Typographic Matchmaking 01 project organised by the Khatt Foundation. Echo, which means “Sada” in Arabic, is the repetition of a sound caused by the reflection of sound waves from a surface. Accordingly, Sada/Seria® Arabic is the echo of FF Seria®. FF Seria® Arabic is a young crispy type based on the Arabic Nasekh style. The Regular and Bold are text typefaces, the Light is both display and text type, while the Black is purely a display typeface.
- The beta versions of Sada Regular and Sada Bold were released with theTypographic Matchmaking book in August 2007. The Arabic typeface workswell together with FF Seria® as with all modern serif fonts that sharesimilar proportions and characteristics as Seria. FF Seria® Arabic alsofunctions as an independent Arabic modern type.
- FF Seria® Arabic combines basic Latin (Western) and Arabic charactersets. As FF Seria® does not have any Light and Black variants, theSeria® Arabic Light comes with Seria® Regular Western charactersinstead, while Seria® Arabic Black contains the Western characters ofSeria® Bold. Type designer and engineer Hasan Abu Afash programmed theOpenType layout features that are needed for the Arabic script system.
SHARP CURVES & ENDINGS
FF Seria® Arabic consists of two different kinds of sharpness applied in thestructure of the letters. When the stroke flows into a closed counter(a loop), only the sharp corner is applied on the inner part of thecurve, and when the stoke flows into an open counter, the sharpness isapplied both on the inner and the outer part of the curve.
NASKH & KUFI BASED STRUCTURES
Since Sada/FF Seria® Arabic has to work with the serif FF Seria®, a Naskh based structurewas adopted with a high contrast structure based on the broad nib pen.Yet, the weight in FF Seria® is applied on the horizontal strokes and noton the diagonals as in a traditional broad nib based structure. As aresult, the weight in FF Seria® Arabic had to be moved from the diagonals to theverticals and make the structure of the glyphs more straightened up.
The solution was to make all the toothed glyphs and the right side oflooped glyphs straightened up and the weight applied on the vertical(which is more Kufik), while the stroke in the left side of the glyphwas kept flowing more calligraphically and the weight is applied on thediagonal (which is more Naskh). This combination gave FF Seria® Arabic a uniquefeel.
Unlike most Arabic fonts, the counter shapes in FF Seria® Arabic are well openedand will not clot up at small point sizes. Additionally, the opencounters enable FF Seria® Arabic to acquire more weights (from Thin to Black) andmake it more legible and readable.
PROPORTIONALITY OF THE GLYPHS
Usually in Arabic font the ascenders and descenders are taller than theloop and tooth heights. That makes the Arabic script feel like it is aline with some upper and lower strokes coming out of it. In FF Seria® Arabic,there is an even balance between the loop height, tooth height,ascender and descender. This gives the font a more balanced look.
COLOR OF THE TEXT
The color of FF Seria® Arabic in a set text is even. The grey of the text is thesame as the grey of the Roman type. This is because the glyphs areproportional.
NO STRAIGHT BASELINE
FF Seria® Arabic is a marriage between a stiff straight baseline and a verycalligraphic curvy one. The glyphs connect in a slight curve but at thesame time define a very clear baseline. The glyphs connect in a slightcurve but at the same time define a very clear baseline. The glyphs sitclearly on the baseline without having a robust straight line.
LANGUAGES SUPPORT & FIGURES
FF Seria® Arabic supports Arabic, Farsi and Urdu Languages and offers the choicebetween Arabic hanging figures, Indic figures, Farsi figures and UrduFigures. Usually, most of the Arabic typefaces only have the Indicfigures while a few other new Arabic typefaces have lining Arabicfigures. Since there are no capitals in the Arabic script, lininguppercase Arabic figures look bigger than the Arabic text. My solutionwas to borrow the hanging figures of FF Seria® and modify them to workbetter with the Arabic script.