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Chantal Jahchan, Spread from En Route depicting photographs of road signs in Beirut

We recently spoke with Chantal Jahchan, a young graphic designer in New York City who works at Pentagram and on independent projects. The conversation included not only her recent endeavors, but also her thoughts on the current revolution in Arabic type design. Read the interview here.

The talk prompted us to consider non-Western type more generally. Our senior design lead Jessica Leong, having attended a virtual talk on the evolution of Chinese typography, recommended The Chinese Type Archive as a rich and growing set of resources. Emi Takahashi, an associate designer whose Japanese-language project Kachi-Buwa was recently featured on ItsNiceThat, highlighted the 2018 book Bi-Scriptural. Takahashi and Jahchan both cited Wael Morcos, the New York–based Lebanese designer who recently created Lyon Arabic with Khajag Apelian. Given that we use Lyon heavily in-house, we were pleased to read more about its Arabic counterpart.

As Jahchan notes, however, “You can respond to the need for fonts that pair with existing Latin families, but you also need to push the boundaries and definitions of Arabic typography.” We’re keeping our eyes open for these projects. If you come across any, send them in!

And if you’re in Canada, we hope you can enjoy the holiday weekend in the company of loved ones, whether in-person or virtually. Despite the hardships 2020 has brought, we’re focusing on the many things for which we’re grateful.

Give and take care,
The Frontier team

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