Talk on Tifinagh at the 7CIT (Valencia) standard

I was very pleased to talk about the Tifinagh script in the 7th International Conference of Typography in Valencia. This time the focus was in its cultural, social and political aspects. The standardization of the Amazigh language implied the choice of a script to write it. The election of the Tifinagh rather than the Arabic and the Latin was a controversial issue which, to some extent, remains nowadays. It illustrates visibly the political implications of a writing system in multilingual/multicultural environments. Other issues like the need to adapt an ancient alphabet to the new technologies, but above all, to the needs of a mostly Tifinagh-illiterate population in order to facilitate the learning and the use of the script in common life raised interesting ...

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Typographic Matchmaking in the Maghrib III
(Montalba-le-Château) standard

Montalba-le-Château welcomed us with a warm and sunny weather. The castle looked like the right place to isolate ourselves from any distraction and to focus in our porjects. This has been probably the most intense and productive of our workshops. Four days of hard work resulted in the consolidation of the three projects, which was the main goal of this meeting. There is still a lot of work ahead but the main guidelines of our projects are already set. Qandus, Tubqal and Al-Zahra, the three type families, have completely different approaches and are devised for different purposes. Qandus is a display font based in the work of the Moroccan calligrapher Al-Qandusi. Tubqal is a rational sans for long texts based on the mabsut ...

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Typographic Matchmaking in the Maghrib II (Granada-Córdoba) standard

I think it is high time I updated the information about this wonderful and inspiring typographic experience. Since our first workshop in Marrakech last September, we have met two more times in Granada/Córdoba –in December— and recently in Montalba-le-Château, France. Our work in Granada and Cordoba was still rather exploratory. The main guidelines seemed to be defined but there was still the challenge of translating the findings and proposals of each alphabet into the the others while keeping each one’s specificity. During this second workshop we spent a whole day visiting La Alhambra. With the help of renown professor of Islamic art José Miguel Puerta Vílchez we were absolutely delighted to discover the stunning omnipresence and integration of calligraphy and lettering in the architecture: words ...

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Talk on Tifinagh at Face Forward 2015 (Dublin) standard

It seems that the end of this year is going to be intense. I am really glad to announce my talk about the Tifinagh script in the Face Forward conference in Dublin. I’ll talk about the normalisation and unification of the Amazigh language, as well as the renaissance and standardisation of its original script, the Tifinagh alphabet, in Morocco, where it coexists with the Arabic and the Latin scripts. The practice of typeface design in this peculiar context raises extremely interesting and uncommon questions, namely: Which are the criteria to define a unified and manageable character set from more than 20 dialects each one with diverse peculiarities and uses? How to translate the shapes of ancient carved letters into digital media? How ...

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Talk about multiscript design at Typomad 2015 (Madrid) standard

This was one of the nicest surprises of last month. While I was in Marrakech taking part in the TMM3 project, I got an email from Pablo Gámez (Chulotype / Typomad) inviting me to give a talk in Typomad 2015 about multiscript design, focusing on the project I developed during my Master’s Degree at the University of Reading, and more specifically on the Tifinagh script. I gladly accepted the invitation. It will be a pleasure to share stage and experiences with Jean Baptiste Levée, Toshi Omagari, Sol Matas, Raul García, Ismael González, Julia Kahl, Jesús Morentín, Diego Dier and Damià Rotger among others. You will find all the information about the conferences, workshops, exhibitions and tickets here: http://www.typomad.com/home-eng/ See you at Typomad 2015!  

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Typographic Matchmaking in the Maghrib (Marrakech) standard

I am glad to start the News section with this project. During one year a group of European (Dutch, Spanish, French) and Arab (Lebanese, Moroccan, Tunisian) designers will research and develop tri-script font families that combine Arabic, Tifinagh and Latin scripts harmoniously. Both the Maghribi and the Tifinagh scripts have not been fully explored in contemporary digital fonts, though they harbor a wealth of aesthetic variety and expressive potential. I am really honoured to work with such talented type designers as Laura Meseguer, Kristyan Sarkis, Naïma Ben Ayed, Redouan Chetuan, Salah Bellizi and Andreu Balius. The first workshop took place in Marrakech, from 12th to 19th September 2015. Following three busy days of introductions, presentations, meetings with experts and calligraphers, visits to ...

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