Gerry Leonidas

Arabic typography: a paradigm for research-informed practice

November 5, Saturday 10:20 – Sakıp Sabancı Museum

Contemporary typographic practice exists at the nexus of literate culture, craft practice, educational frameworks, commercial imperatives, and demographic shifts. This practice takes place within the scope of technology that -- whether conservative or transformative -- represents layers of motivations, assumptions, and a long tail of decisions whose consequences far outlast their original frames of reference. With that in mind, this talk argues two points: firstly, that it is possible to put in place a structure for enquiry that protects against these shortcomings, enables knowledge generation that is sensitive to both historical contexts and current concerns, and reinforces informed reflective practice. Secondly, that the book celebrated in this event represents a model of such enquiry: it encompasses methods that are transparent and open to interrogation, and approaches that are transferable to other writing systems. The talk concludes with the assertion that this volume represents a paradigm shift for typographic scholarship, across writing systems.


Gerry Leonidas is a Professor of Typography at the University of Reading, UK. His research and PhD supervision focus on reframing narratives in typeface design through theoretical and archives-based methodologies. He is increasingly active in developing research methods for archives-based research from diverse sources and for diverse audiences. He works regularly on knowledge transfer projects, course development, external validation, and community outreach. He is a Past President of ATypI, and co-founder of ISTVC and the Granshan Foundation. He directs three Masters programmes on Typography and Typeface Design.


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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