Kristyan Sarkis’ Thuraya is an Arabic display typeface, a contemporary interpretation of the complex Diwani style emphasising calligraphic features. The research for Thuraya focused on finding the optimum balance between calligraphic and type elements within a digital type environment. Thuraya’s defining characteristics include its completely curved baseline, horizontally slanted letters and extensive character set (including ligatures and alternates, which are crucial for a harmonious calligraphic flow). Thuraya started as Kristyan’s thesis project in the Type and Media masters course in The Hague and has since developed into a typeface with 2 styles, Regular and Slanted. Read more about development of Thuraya typeface
One of the most important characteristics of the Diwani style is the slanted baseline. Thuraya Slanted recreates this aspect through a typographic system of levelling which is unique and a pioneering development in digital type. The script for Thuraya Slanted was written by Erik van Blokland.
To keep a harmonious calligraphic flow and a rhythmically curved baseline, several letter combinations were designed as ligatures. The 416 ligatures (included in both styles) include every combination of the terminal forms of waw, waw hamza, feh, qaf, yeh, alef maksura, alef maksura hamza, reh and zayn with the initial and medial forms of all the other letters.
The Titling Alternates
For an even more authentic calligraphic expression, Thuraya also offers a set of alternates mainly intended for titles. They involve mostly letters that connect vertically instead of horizontally.
Author & Awards
Thuraya was designed between 2010 and 2011 by Kristyan Sarkis. Thuraya was awarded a Certificate of Excellence in Type Design by the Type Director’s Club in 2011, and was selected as a best of the decade typeface at Letter.2 competition.