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Arabic, Syriac and other non-latin typefaces

Started by John Cornelisse, April 16, 2022, 11:08:31 AM

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John Cornelisse

Recently I got a request for Arabic & Syrian... I myself do not have any of this.

From Monotype I have only a big specimen book with lots of plates.

For Hebrew I do know a place with lots of matrices available... The BookArtMuseum In L'dz, Poland.

Does anybody know a place where it is still possible to cast type for Arabic or Syriac?

Marco di Bella

Hi! Years ago I purchased arabic types from an old foundry in Cairo (Egypt). The factory is now closed but the owner still has the matrices. If interested get in touch and I can try to reach him.

Dave Hughes

Hi John, I have sent out a Tweet about your request here:

Arabic/Cyriac type-casting wanted - Twitter

It might be worth visiting the Tweet and re-tweeting it if you are active on that platform.

It will be interesting to see if anyone can help you.
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Nicolas Regamey

Hi John,

"L'Atelier du Livre d'art et de l'Estampe" the National Printing Office (Imprimerie Nationale) in France must have non-Latin monotype matrices. There is also the IFAO in Cairo which has hieroglyph and certainly Arabic matrices.

In the material that I recovered from Leipzig, thanks to your help, there is a keyboard and the keybars for composing Arabic but unfortunately not the matrices. The Arabic keyboards are stored at the API in Geneva for a future exhibition on foreign languages. I'm going to Geneva next week, I can see if there are any Arabic matrices in stock... Who knows?

Nick Gill (Effra Press)

I have mats for Monotype Naskh (Arabic) at 16D. Unfortunately, as it was made on 0.2” (small comp) mats, it needs quite an unusual mould to cast it - a 16D or above doghouse mould, different to a standard large comp mould. It might be possible to cast it on a 14pt body, though it’s not something I’ve had the time to try out yet, and I’m a bit snowed under with casting jobs. Please do email me if you’re interested, and I’ll see what comes up-


Nick Gill (Effra Press)

(I do also have Amharic mats, if anyone happens to need some Amharic type…)

Nick Gill (Effra Press)

I had the 14pt mould on today, in fact, so I’ve done a small trial to see if it might work. I’m not certain it’ll work for *all* characters, and I don’t yet have the set widths to work out how to do it all properly, but I don’t think it’s impossible. Just potentially very, very fiddly…

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