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How Not to Construct an Arabic Typeface | Wael Morcos | 25 Years of VCUarts Qatar

In this episode of the Tasmeem podcast, we asked Wael Morcos, the founder of Morcos Key, about the dos and don’ts of designing an Arabic typeface in 2024. He talks through the realities of such a task, about Nasri Khattar’s influence with his unified Arabic typeface, whether there’s a Comic Sans equivalent in Arabic, and gives insightful examples on the topic.

0:00 Introduction

0:37 Constructing & Designing Arabic Typefaces

15:44 the People Behind the Fonts We Use Everyday

22:41 Font Designers vs Font Technologists

27:20 Arabic as It Was Written by Hand & Falling in Love With Arabic Fonts

33:09 Building Better Typefaces & Products

35:46 Tasmeem Doha 2024: Under Construction

40:13 Typography Book Recommendations

Wael Morcos is a graphic designer and type designer from Beirut, Lebanon. Since graduating from Notre Dame University with a BA in Graphic Design, he has worked on developing identities and Arabic-Latin bilingual typefaces. In 2013, he completed a MFA at RISD and went on to found Morcos Key, a Brooklyn-based design studio that collaborates with art and cultural institutions, non-profits and commercial enterprises in North Africa and the Middle East.

Connect with Wael on Instagram: waelmorcos

 Tasmeem Doha is a biennial international conference that focuses on unique and contemporary themes in art and design. For 2024, the theme of the event is “Under Construction”, which is both a metaphor for creative research as well as a celebration and investigation of transformation. It is also a state that Doha has found itself in for decades: a transformation that has presented an outsized impact on the residents of the city.

Under Construction will also explore the past, present and future of VCUarts Qatar’s flagship event Tasmeem Doha. As part of the 25th anniversary of VCUart Qatar’s campus in Doha, the event will bring together voices from the past, present and future of various disciplines involved in this cycle of rethinking and remaking.

Theme music: Peninsular, Tarek Yamani https://spoti.fi/47I59ns


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