The ‘simplified’ version of the Arabic script was invented in response to the constraints of hot-metal typesetting. To minimize the production cost, the variety of contextual letterforms and ligatures had to be reduced. The result was often unsatisfactory: a uniform dull appearance, stiff and flat bottom line, illegible letter combinations, unrefined connections between rounded and straight strokes, and many inconsistent compromises.
Hot-metal typesetting is now history, but the genre of simplified Arabic persists. Typefaces from this genre continue to be used everywhere from newspapers to branding, posters and packaging – wherever a modern, pared-down look is called for. However, in emphasizing this modernist aesthetic, many simplified Arabic typefaces sacrifice readability. Wanting to design a typeface that would provide simplicity, but maintain a good reading experience, Borna Izadpanah created Marlik. He teamed up with Fiona Ross as an art director.
Marlik is well-informed by the calligraphic tradition as well as the options of the digital world. It provides for the needs of contemporary designers, both aesthetically and in terms of utility. The elegant Thin and robust Black shine in headlines and posters. Marlik’s modern, straightforward forms retain conventional Arabic proportions, making for a great reading experience at all sizes. Its low contrast holds up in print or online. Marlik is simple, but not oversimplified.
Marlik supports Arabic, Persian, and Urdu. It pairs with Skolar Sans Extended’s Latin harmoniously, without compromise. The Latin includes the marks required for Arabic and Persian transliteration.