Qalam قلم

I haven’t posted for a very long time, this semester was beautifully hectic!

I will start with the sketches that were generated at the beginning of the course.


At first, I looked at the letters above for reference when designing the English typeface for both capitals and lower case letter. From this reference, I started sketching the English alphabets:


Capitals1 Caps2

To implement my concept in my designs, I tried to merge think and thick lines in every letter as well as straight and curvy lines where possible not forgetting to make them look like modern calligraphy.

Then I sketched some Arabic letters from the letters that I tested using the calligraphy pen and ink (see last Typography 2 post)

Arabic1 Arabic2 Arabic

I found the Arabic letters interesting to design maybe because they have more curves and different structures. After sketching the letters I started on Illustrator to bring the type to life…

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 8.01.40 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 8.48.58 AM Screen Shot 2013-10-18 at 2.24.07 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 12.45.23 PMScreen Shot 2013-10-09 at 9.26.18 AMScreen Shot 2013-10-08 at 7.35.02 PMScreen Shot 2013-10-06 at 1.50.33 PMScreen Shot 2013-10-29 at 4.27.26 PM

Working on Illustrator wasn’t easy, some letters work perfectly and others take a very long time to get them just right. When some letters were done I started creating words as our Professor advised us too because you will be able to see how the letters look like clearly…

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 8.15.20 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 7.59.48 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 8.51.11 AM

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 10.30.42 PM

When I started the Arabic letters, they were as not easy as the English ones…

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 8.56.31 AM Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 4.19.07 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 4.25.43 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 4.25.56 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 6.46.31 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 6.54.27 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 12.25.03 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 12.54.55 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 7.38.14 PM

To make the two alphabets (Arabic and English) I tried making the letters have both think and thin parts to them and give them similar thin rounded ends. Sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t.

Changes to the letters were a lot and they happened almost every time I sat on the computer with fresh eyes; from changing thicknesses of lines to changing curves and adding parts and deleting some.

In-Class Critique…

These are font specimen sheets (with the comments and feedbacks from my classmates and professor) that I brought with me to the critique:


To be honest, that day was one of my downs, I was feeling very sad about my work and while I was working on it the night before I was thinking to myself, why did I choose such concept for my typeface? But after the critique I started to like my work especially after doing the changes that were suggested during the critique.

Here are some words that were created post-critique period before final submission:

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 10.31.40 PM Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 10.31.52 PMScreen Shot 2013-11-07 at 10.32.01 PM Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 10.32.11 PM

This is how the final font specimens sheets look like:

[Click to Enlarge]

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 10.57.38 PM Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 10.57.52 PM

To showcase my typeface I decided at first to do a bilingual book of quotes with images in the background and quotes in the foreground and highlight some words and phrases using a technique of tearing the paper…I don’t know how to explain the idea but here is a sample that I like and don’t like at the same time…

[Click to Enlarge]

photo1 Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 11.05.19 PM

The whole idea didn’t appear the way I imagined it to be exactly and so I changed my mind about it, I guess to make it work I should’ve spent more time on it with a clear mind perhaps…

So I created two posters; an English one and an Arabic one, where from the quotes that I created with my typeface I chose two. Here is how the typeface looks like when the quotes where done: [Click to Enlarge]

Arabic quotwsScreen Shot 2013-11-07 at 11.11.54 PM

Here are the final posters: [Click to Enlarge]

English Poster   Arabic Poster

For the English poster I chose the quote that I liked the most from the 3 because I always feel like I want to leave a trail or foot prints something that is good, beautiful, peaceful and changing. With the quote is a picture of a runway and an airplane that just took off (you can spot it in the sky).

For the Arabic poster, I was inspired by 29Letters where this quote is always used to showcase a new typeface and I really like the meaning of it so I felt that it would be nice to see the quote in my typeface 😀 I decided to have an  ink bottle and a calligraphy pen by the side because I felt like it matches my concept behind the typeface and suited the quote beautifully.

Overall, I am very happy with this course and what we learned and the results we ended with. It was an eye-opening course where we had the chance to see some of what type designers go through from challenges, difficult times and good times. I now appreciate their work even more than before and if I heard or saw anyone talking without appreciation about them I will start speaking and defending them! It is NOT easy… I enjoyed this course with its ups and downs and my professor and classmates were really helpful and fun and I will miss you guys. I do not regret taking this course at all and I am happy with the final outcome. However, now that I have finished, I see a lot of things that I want to alter and change and make better. I would love to go through a similar project but maybe with more time 😀

Thank you my professor and my classmates you have been wonderful. 

*Good times & Good memories*


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: