Emanuela Conidi

An approach to the study of Arabic foundry type

November 5, Saturday 12:30 – Sakıp Sabancı Museum

This talk focuses on the discrepancy between the manuscript tradition and the typographic representation of the Arabic script and develops around questioning why this happened, when and with what implications. Tracing the origins of change in the adaptation to a new technological environment, the latter is at the core of the narrative and complimentary to the formal evolution of Arabic letterforms. Within this line of enquiry, an insightful method of analysis of Arabic foundry types provides the guidelines for their examination and assessment, whilst bridging their design and manufacture with the historical narratives. Illustrated by examples of Arabic foundry types produced between the sixteenth and the twentieth centuries, this talk argues the importance of typographic history to inform the critical assessment of Arabic visual forms, exemplified through the lens of movable metal type technology and its legacy on the structure of the Arabic script.


Emanuela Conidi is a typeface designer and researcher based in London, with expertise in Arabic script culture. Before relocating to the UK, she gained a Master Degree in Design and Visual Communication from the Polytechnic University in Milan, where she co-founded a graphic design studio. Previously at Fontsmith and CAST type foundries, Emanuela is now working at Dalton Maag, developing a variety of custom and library typefaces. She holds an MA in typeface design and a PhD from the University of Reading. Her academic research interests focus on the challenges of adapting the Arabic script from written to printed form.


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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