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Someone introduced us. We met like oi, oi, this is Steve Jobs, this is Ali, he's doing Arabic fonts, oh yes, hello how are you, and you move along. When the Mac came out, I didn't see him after that. Diwan was the company that produced the fonts and Arabic. We created it as a NFP. From it was Non For Profit. And then all Arabic newspaper used our software. At the time, Diwan was the one publishing software in the Arab world.

We had no competition. Microsoft didn't even produce Arabic at the time. We didn't think it would be the success it was. There were no shareholdings. We were the only ones. All the newspapers had to come to us. Diwan disappeared in '95 and I created knowledge view. What happened with Steve Jobs. For one Microsoft became big. Steve Jobs was evicted from Apple and Apple started going down. Industry observers were saying, 'when is Apple going to disappear? Then they called Steve back and he revived it again with his genius and so on.

Apple was going down. We did not have the dominance, but we were still influential. We started taking 60 per cent of the market again with Arabic newspapers. Well, under Tim Cook, it's doing quite well. Some people say Steve Jobs's innovations have a five-years span. People would say he's dictatorial and so on, but he wasn't. I mean, he was tough. But he managed to create a management class, a culture of innovation.

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And that management class continued to succeed when he was gone. He allowed a company to be innovative.

You need a different type of leadership for that. My prediction is that in the next two years, there's going to be the next big innovation. Just follow Apple's patents, then you can guess. Whether it has Steve Jobs's vision, you don't know. He was really quite visionary. Not a saint or a god. But he said the iPad would never be important. And his focus was in the iPhone. And then the iPad became very important. He said he would never do a big screen like the iPad, but tablets are going down. The mobile is the most important one. This mobile is a super computer.

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It has the processing power of a super computer 20 years ago. It's imprisoned in this little device. I don't think there will be a particular innovation in terms of fonts because now it's a universal approach for all fonts and languages. There are innovations in fonts, but these are no longer needed - you can break the glyphs of any part.

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The aleph, the ain, the noon, ta. Memory used to be expensive and limited. So we experimented with breaking glyphs of a character. Sub components of a character. But now memory is very cheap. So there's no need. Now, innovation is text-to-speech, speech to text for when people communicate, they can use their voice. We created 4 fonts, still a part of the Apple library.

They had an application font and a system font. I know Geeza. I chose the name. So there was a classic Arabic font called Yakout, by Linotype.

After 30 years, you lose the copyright. Yakout was all curvy like this. And Macintosh resolution wasn't nice. So I corrected it, made it more straight sic. We wanted it to have some kind of fixed font. What I did with Yakout, I made it more straight, with monospace and proportional. Geeza is straight.

But if you compare Geeza with Yakout, they have common characteristics. Geeza caters for limited resolution of the Macintosh screen. So Geeza was very successful. Not as strong as before.

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People have changed. Before we were very, very close. I don't know her. One of the greatest designers I worked with for many years was Mohamamd Sagar, who passed away in Paris a couple of years ago. He's the one who broke the Arabic characters in bits. Character matrix 8 by Sagar helped me create these characters that were 8 and 16 matrix.

I have changed my focus to knowledge system. But of course I am still very much attached to it. Some of my best friends are still designers. I don't know if you know Ishi Kuno? He designed most of the designs in Japanese for Microsoft, If you go to London, the underground has to be very clear, and that's Ishi Kuno's design.

Also, Aurobin Patel. He was with The Economist. Aurobin and Ishi are not Arabic but they are very much interested in Arabic types.


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Sometimes we meet in the Middle East and go cycling together Aurobin is the one who created this logo for me the company logo. That was We were in his house.

Why the love?

He said what about this? I've used it since then. He still advises Indian Newspapers on design. Aurbon Patel designed New Times Roman. And became font of The Times. And it's become a revolutionary font. We assume Arabic has a single base line. One of the challenges we face later on is how to create a font that has a single base line. My colleagues continued on it. Calligraphers in Iraq, Diwan in Iraq, they started working on the baseline and created some very nice fonts. You need it for the Koran as well.

More sophisticated fonts. People are going to appreciate fonts more, absolutely. The technology for display has improved. It's given the designer much more freedom. Choice is much higher and you can do so much more with it. Personally, I like Monotype Lotus, one of the classic Arabic font. And it's a very old font by Monotype. I think it's still one of the best fonts available. Linotype used to be a very good company.

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Now they have reduced. They still have a very good library of fonts, including this Lotus one. You could get it. I use the Macintosh. And it is the application I have done. It's Geeza. It's the one I use. This is the application font in Macintosh. When I write a new email in Arabic and I switch to Arabic. This is the standard application font. You can see it. This is the one. Not really. I feel comfortable with it laughs Well, I made it straight for a reason. But actually I prefer it to be a bit bendy. It is based on Yakout font. You could get it from Linotype Geeza is a really very successful font, simpler, very clear, even in high resolution, and the like it.

Readability is very nice, especially on mobile. We designed it to look good on lower resolution. My eyesight may not be good, but I can read it still. Oh, there are lots of ugly fonts. There is one called Wakawi - horrible. There is one called Al Harf Al Jadid.

It's terrible I think. In my view, that is. Other people will like it very much. A lot. Because the dominant culture is the Islamic culture. And Islamic culture had a tremendous influence on fonts. It tells a story. People in the old days weren't allowed to have pictures and drawings. So to express beauty, you expressed it in fonts. It's a way of expressing things you couldn't express otherwise. Not necessarily. We don't know about other cultures. Please link to any existing "freeware" fonts you may find on the web that despite being proprietary may be friendly to the Library - these are fonts you typically do not need to pay money to receive, and may or may not come with a license that grants other essential freedoms like redistributing the font and modifying it, but does not fit the free software definition in some way.

We will try to persuade these fonts' developers to "Go OFL! Free Handwriting fonts - Font Garden 40 freeware fonts Coptic fonts intended as free software not not yet properly licensed List of 20 good ones WebFonts. Please list foundries to contact and ask if they have any 'off cuts' or fonts they don't earn much from any more, and if they'd like to OFL them; Many foundries offer "freemium" fonts such as Carrois and these might be a good place to start.

Learn how you can help internationalize Font Library. Font Library Fonts Guidebook. Interested in joining the effort? Eben Sorkin's photos See the Flickr page for instructions on how to download them all Tom's type doodles A German type magazine publishes DVDs of old specimens ATF the Garamond series pepel flickr has type specimens bogtrykkeren flickr has many type specimens Type Specimen flickr mural with many old specimens Manuale Tipografico from Giambattista Bodoni started. Please publish scans of public domain type and link to them here!

People FreeDesktop. Freeware Fonts Please link to any existing "freeware" fonts you may find on the web that despite being proprietary may be friendly to the Library - these are fonts you typically do not need to pay money to receive, and may or may not come with a license that grants other essential freedoms like redistributing the font and modifying it, but does not fit the free software definition in some way.