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Nadine Chahine

نادين شاهين

Driven by the need of modern Arabic typefaces that represent the modern voice of Arabs and illustrating a live example of how a single person can make a difference; Nadine has successfully developed and released more than 14 typefaces and font families. Most of which are the Arabic version of popular Latin typefaces such as: Noto Sans Arabic, Univers Next Arabic, SST Arabic, Zapfino Arabic and more.

Identity and Typefaces

الهوية والخط

For Chahine, typefaces are a matter of identity and should reflect its current cultural context. As a result, political background is often part of her design decision making process. This is typefaces noticeable in her Gebran2005 and Kafa. Gebran2005 (جبران2005) was designed for Al Nahar news-paper after the assassination of the old newspaper head as well as a major journalist. Chahine interrupted the project as her way of fighting for the freedom of the press and count it as her most personal project. Whereas Kafa (كفى: enough) has been developed as Nadine vote and protesting against Trump policies. In particular, the relocate of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and the withdrawal from the Iran agreement JCPOA.

Another concern of Chahine is literacy rates in the Arab world and how could she, as a designer, encourages Arab to read more. She finds the answer in making typefaces more reading friendly to encourage the Arabic reader to pick up the book of the shelve and read it. To do so most effectively, she did a first of its kind research on Arabic legibility with the key questions “How does the complexity of word formation affect reading speed in Arabic? What role do the short vowels play”. The research provides a better understanding of the Arabic reader and encourages similar researches to be made.