ق Qāf, or Qoph, is the nineteenth letter of almost all Semitic alphabets including Arabic. Recently, I got to know an astonishing old story about Arabic letter Qāf. It turns out that the shape of Qāf, was derived from either the needle’s eye or the ape! In addition to this, old writers like Isaac Taylor in his ‘History of Semitic Alphabets’ had even mentioned that shape of Latin letter Q represents a monkey with its tail hanging down. Which comes to me as a surprise, considering that both letters; ق and Q are rounded and yes, they both have tails hanging down!
Such knowledge about letterform origins, I find it very interesting, and indeed inspiring.
While developing a new font project, this is what happened when I was inspired by a simple cutting knife laying down on my desk rather than being inspired by the traditional Arabic letters on the sheet of paper underneath it! The result was a diversion and I ended up with an absolute different project, pretty far from what I intentionally was planning to do. Thanks to the person who oneday promoted the “Think Different” phrase. I shall now add to it “And Inspire Different”
Different variations of letter ‘Heh’
‘Heh‘ is the fifth letter of many Semitic alphabets including the Arabic. Some believe that the Egyptian Hieroglyph symbol ‘ḫayt‘ (which means thread or yarn) is the origin of letter Heh in terms of sound and letterform. However, all we know about Heh that it is a special letter with three different shapes which changes according to its location in each word. I find the ‘Heh’ a uniquely interesting letter. In fact I can spend days or several weeks trying to develop various forms of ‘Heh‘. It is one of those letters which identifies a typeface style from another.
Arabic letters are characterized by their flexibility and scalability configuration. These are few of things I liked the most about Arabic typography. The letter ‘Kaf’ for instance has an interesting form. It is actually composed of two parts, main body and Hamzah. Without missing up with readability, I often integrate these two parts into one single form. I personally think that these integrations uniquely define my design style and they also enrich the user experience.
The ‘Kaf’ compositions also inspired me to do the same integration of ‘Hamzah’, but with other letters like ‘Alef’, ‘Waw’ and ‘Yeh’.