TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Thu Feb 15 08:18:22 EST 2024






Nahib Jaroudi

Designer of the Arabic font family Yakout (1964, Linotype). Linotype staff developed it further. Fiona Ross writes: In the 1950s, the Arabic typeface design Yakout was developed. It was produced in 1956 by Linotype&Machinery for hot-metal typesetting, being specifically intended to function as a newspaper text typeface (dispensing with diacriticals and ligatures). With the dual intention of fitting the Arabic script onto a Linotype linecasting machine for setting type for rotary printing, and of maximizing keying speeds in creating copy for daily newspapers, much effort was concentrated on reducing the normal Arabic character set of over 100 characters. Yakout was designed in a similar manner to Arabic typewriter fonts created during this period: used a limited range of letterforms to represent the full Arabic character set. The resultant style of type design became known as 'Simplified Arabic'. The number of characters was reduced to 56, which enabled the typeface to fit into one 90-channel magazine. A brochure at the time claimed that 'the output of work may be increased by as much as 30 per cent'. Yakout was manufactured in six different point sizes and became, indeed remains, one of the most popular Arabic typefaces. When I joined Linotype in 1978 as research assistant, the typographic department, under the management of Tony Bisley, was converting existing type designs such as Yakout, or implementing new designs like Badr, for film composition. New Arabic in-house designs, such as Lotus, were being developed under Walter Tracy's consultancy. [...] Yakout was one of the first Arabic typefaces to be digitised. The design was revisited by the typographic department, and additional forms were introduced since the Light and Bold fonts no longer needed to be 'simplified' for the Linotron 606 machine. Perhaps this was the only design which was treated fairly conservatively in its initial adaptation to digital technology: the typeface was in daily use by major newspapers which did not want a significantly different appearance or word count to affect their columns.

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Nahib Jaroudi
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file name: Nahib Jaroudi Yakout Bold 1964

Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html