Arabic-script printing with movable type was introduced to Iran in the second decade of the nineteenth century. It was practised in Tabriz, Tehran and Isfahan until 1859 when the last known publication of this early phase was printed in Tehran. The reintroduction of Arabic-script printing with movable type coincided with the first European tour of the fourth Qajar monarch of Iran Naṣir al-Dīn Shāh (R. 1848–1896). Reportedly, while in Istanbul and on his return to Iran Naṣir al-Dīn Shāh ordered the purchase of a typographic press and Arabic and Latin types with which the diary of his first travel to Europe was published in 1874. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, other Ottoman and European naskh types were imported and employed in Iranian printing establishments. This talk explores the origins of these naskh types and their long-lasting legacy in forming the twentieth-century Persian typography in Iran.
Borna Izadpanah is a Lecturer in Typography at the University of Reading, UK, from where he was also awarded a PhD, and an MA in Typeface Design. His doctoral research explored the history of the early typographic representation of the Persian language. Borna has received numerous prestigious awards for his research and typeface design, including the Grand Prize and the First Prize for Arabic Text Typeface in the Granshan Type Design Competition, a TDC Certificate of Typographic Excellence, and the Symposia Iranica Prize for the best paper in Art History.