Iman Morsy | Graphic Design Capstone 2020

May 13, 2020


With the lack of emphasis on design education in the Middle East, Arabic type design has been left in the hands of Latin language type designers with no native knowledge of the script. This has led to what is referred to as “Simplified Arabic.” However legible, it lacks the representation of a beautiful calligraphic language. There are few resources to learn about designing Arabic lettering and often require preexisting knowledge, so there has been little development in this area of type design.

Iman created an educational system, Tshkeel, for young designers with little to no knowledge of Arabic script. Designers are able to learn about the nuances of Arabic typography and design Arabic alphabets. Tshkeel translates to mean ‘form’ or ‘diacritics,’ which are signs placed above or below a letter indicate a difference in pronunciation, and a crucial contextual component of Arabic lettering. Tshkeel includes a comprehensive guidebook showcasing history, common nuances, a deep exploration of each individual letter, a beginner’s guide to designing letterforms and educational exercises. There is a companion app that builds the Arabic type design community by having users sharing their typographic experimentations, as well as a set of fun and tactile Arabic letterblocks. These blocks can be used as a learning tool, each block showcase a letterform, it’s English equivalence (if there is one), and a word with it’s translation.

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