Boharat Cairo Type Foundry on the Vast Possibilities of Arabic Type Design
Viewing a typeface as a “beautiful group of letters, not a group of beautiful letters,” the studio’s approach is consistent and thoughtful. Believing that experimentation produces the most interesting results, his process begins with exploration and thorough research. His Felfel typography, created in collaboration with HeyPorter!, is inspired by 1920s Egyptian metal printing press publications and vintage Egyptian film posters. This classic typeface, which is still as “remarkable” today as it was then, is still visible on all the streets of Cairo, Abdo tells us. Following the team’s research, the sketch stage allows “to have a clear vision of the character” and “to try to find solutions to the expected challenges” which is then followed by the physical construction of the character.
The two most important stages for the studio, however, are the last two – the most “complicated” being the testing phase. Ensuring that the “symphony” of letters works well, the studio will make numerous modifications, testing posters and prints to ensure that the typeface matches the purpose and context. Finally, the typography is left for a while, looked at with fresh eyes and then uploaded for feedback: “I’m amazed at how people use the typeface, how people react to it on social media, and that motivates me to come back. sooner or start a new project.
Releasing a new font every quarter, Boharat Cairo is currently working on a new font inspired by Nastaliq calligraphy with a “different flavor”. Additionally, as part of a new venture, they are in the early stages of creating typography-focused products “designed and manufactured in Cairo from start to finish.”