What did OpenType open for Arabic typography?


Mamoun Sakkal
Sakkal Design, Washington
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OpenType is a font description and rendering format adapted by major computer companies to address many issues related to composing and rendering digital type. In OpenType, specific script and language processing engines handle the different scripts which means that the unique qualities of Arabic are no longer forced into the molds of Latin script as was the case with previous technologies.

Mamoun Sakkal, a native of Aleppo, Syria, who immigrated to the United States in 1978, is founder and principal of Sakkal Design in Bothell, Washington. Providing graphic design and communication solutions to major national and international corporations, his firm has focused on Arabic calligraphy and typography since the 1990s and received several awards for calligraphy and type design. His clients include Microsoft, Linotype, and Bistream. Sakkal lectures on Arabic and Islamic art and architecture at the University of Washington in Seattle, and other Universities in the US, Syria, and Uzbekistan, and continues to participate in fine art exhibitions in the US and abroad. He is a recent doctor candidate working on the history of Islamic calligraphy and its use in contemporary art.

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