Twenty five years ago, AUB was a pioneer in introducing the first graphic design program in the Arab world and the first to integrate the graphic use of the Arabic script in its core subject areas. Yet the implications of Arabic type design and the practice of its typography in other inter-related domains were not further explored under academic auspices but rather as individual efforts that were either not well-documented or academically researched.
As such, the Arabic Type Unit—an initiative by faculty members in the Graphic Design Program—is an academic entity that aims to research, develop and set standards of design in Arabic type, lettering and typography. It plans to centralize all possible resources pertaining to Arabic type development and its typographic practices, by building an archive of its historical development, publishing the research, creating forums of discussion and eventually develop a Masters program for Arabic type design and research. This Unit is planned to eventually become a full-fledged center of research, archive and hub of activities.
Among the past activities of the Arabic Type Unit is its collaboration with the bi-annual Arabic Type Design Beirut (ATDB), a 6-week intensive educational program held for local/international designers and students alike.
Leila Musfy, Reza Abedini, Yara Khoury