Arabic Scripts

Thomas Milo
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Amsterdam–born Thomas Milo is independent scholar, typographer and inventor. Tom was guest lecturer among others at Cooper Union in New York, the Agha Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT in Cambridge, MA, USA, the Dept. of Typography and Graphic Communication of Reading University, UK, the Graphic Design Department at VCUQ, Doha, Qatar and recently in the Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman. With his DecoType team he pioneered smart font technology in the early 1980’s, a concept later adopted by Microsoft and Adobe and now a key feature of every day’s computer typography. In 1985 he incorporated DecoType together with his partners Mirjam Somers and Peter Somers. DecoType’s approach to Arabic computer technology is based on exhaustive analysis of the structure of pre–typographic Arabic script. For Brill, Leiden’s renowned academic publishers, DecoType produced in 1989 the first ever computer–typeset Persian and English dictionary. The latest resulting product, WinSoft’s Tasmeem, is a platform for sophisticated, both traditional and contemporary, typographic designs. This year Brill has resumed its 325 years old tradition of Arabo–Dutch typography by adapting Tasmeem for its Arabic texts. Recently the government of Oman commissioned DecoType to typeset the Koran, the icon of Arabic script culture, as both a beautiful and a searchable text for the internet, using Tasmeem.