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Markazi text typeface

Izadpanah, B. ORCID: and Ross, F. ORCID: (2018) Markazi text typeface. Google Fonts.

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This typeface marks a milestone in typographic history as it comprises the first variable font published by Google Fonts. Markazi Text is inspired by the award-winning Markazi typeface design created by Tim Holloway, in 2002 that was never completed nor any part digitzed, and only published as a typeface sample. As such it was regularly employed by Fiona Ross for teaching purposes since it demonstrated an instance of an Arabic typeface that was low in contrast and yet was informed by the proportions of Naskh printing types; and furthermore, it was not subject to a common typefounding practice established in the 1950s of over-simplifying characters to reduce the character set. The Markazi Text typeface is the result of a new Arabic type-design project directed by Fiona Ross, with encouragement from Tim Holloway, and undertaken with PhD student Borna Izadpanah as the designer. This research-led project explored the possibilities of developing a new text typeface following similar principles to Holloway’s original design. Markazi Text’s most marked development is the introduction of stroke contrast and, taking the project a step further, through the use of OpenType features and the new possibilities afforded by variable font technology, that its design is also optimised for use on the web. Research into establishing the full character set and the language coverage was undertaken: it was decided that it would cover Arabic, Persian and Urdu scripts. The application of contrast through careful stroke modulation in four weights required a great deal of deliberation and testing. The challenge was to enable interpolation between the different style/weights by ensuring the points are consistently allocated. This is unusual as in most Arabic-script fonts the counters or ascenders may differ greatly between typestyles of one family as weight is added in the bolder weights. As a variable font it enables responsive design on web pages, providing access to a continuous range of style variations without the necessity of loading multiple fonts when wishing to adjust the weight and width, etc. of the type. Released in 2018 in the following weights: Regular, Medium, SemiBold, Bold. Markazi Text is a Libre font, i.e. it is freely available for use to anyone under an open source license. A Latin counterpart designed by Florian Runge, directed by Gerry Leonidas (who initiated the contract between UoR and Google) was developed alongside the Arabic.

Item Type:Other
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Typography & Graphic Communication
ID Code:81883
Uncontrolled Keywords:typeface, Arabic
Publisher:Google Fonts

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