Borna Izadpanah

Naskh types from Europe, Ottoman Empire, and Russia in nineteenth-century Iran and their legacy

November 5, Saturday 14:30 – Sakıp Sabancı Museum

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.


November 5, 2022

09:00 — 10:00

Morning Coffee


Welcome Remarks: Meltem Müftüler Baç

The Dean of Sabancı University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences


Welcome Remarks: Nazan Ölçer

Director, Sakıp Sabancı Museum


Gerry Leonidas

Arabic typography: a paradigm for research-informed practice


Titus Nemeth

Building bridges: the case for a book that straddles two worlds

11:30 — 12:00

Coffee Break


Orlin Sabev

The Ottoman transition from scribal to print culture: the layout of the Müteferrika prints


Emanuela Conidi

An approach to the study of Arabic foundry type


Onur Yazıcıgil

The Ottoman printers’ 8 pt Naskh typeface and its Turkish type maker Mehmed Emin Efendi

13:30 — 14:30

Lunch Break


Borna Izadpanah

Naskh types from Europe, Ottoman Empire, and Russia in nineteenth-century Iran and their legacy


Özlem Özkal

A curious case of Ottoman Typography: detached Arabic Letters

15:30 — 16:00

Coffee Break


Thomas Milo

Script grammar: a linguistic approach to digitising Islamic script


Ayşe Aldemir

Members of the Ottoman dynasty who were calligraphers


November 6 — 7, 2022

10:00 — 17:00

Borna Izadpanah & Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer

Arabic-script type design workshop: considering the past, designing for the present

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