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The artistic practice of western calligraphy is nowadays clearly remote from the technical construction of digital type on screen. In cultures that have a writing system based on cursive scripts (and graphemes, such as Chinese characters) the calligraphic practice is the model for type design. Though the common perception is connected with handwriting, the practice of Arabic calligraphy resembles, in many ways, more a type of lettering. Thus the writing styles are not just calligraphic styles anymore, but have been absorbed into typography and are now also type classifications.

Following the fact that one sees only what one knows, the calligraphic practice certainly causes one to look closely.My typographic exercise made me look from the Arabic calligraphic practice to the European interrelationship of calligraphy and type. The outcome has left me with an interest in other calligraphy traditions and their influences on inter-linguistic type.In the Islamic culture the respect for calligraphers is, by far, greater than its awareness of type designers. Likewise a related phenomenon occurred in Europe in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when the transition from calligraphic handwriting to punchcutting and letterpress printing occurred. I see Arabic type design in a similar context to the interwoven development of type design and calligraphic influence.Arabic Typography, which ultimately builds upon calligraphic writing styles, nowadays receives more attention.

Having a remarkable relation to its cultural embedment in design and construction, the shift and merge from traditional calligraphy to a mature typography will be a most interesting development to observe.
This coming fall she will begin the MA Typeface Design program at the University of Reading.

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