Reviewing Apple’s new Arabic font

Reviewing Apple’s new Arabic font

  25 Dec 2019   , ,


everyone. As you can see, this is the new Apple Persian font called San Francisco Arabic. From now on, this will be the exclusive font for Persian text on Apple devices. It seems this has been introduced in iOS 11. Some iOS developers have seen issues with this font; they’ve sent it to me so I can review the issues. I try to explain them so that they can report them to Apple if possible. Generally, this font did not appeal to my taste at all. Despite the high standards we know from Apple, it’s better to say it’s disappointing. Of course this font has many positive points; such as the correct chosen pattern for designing which is modern Naskh. It’s not an old type of Naskh; it’s not a minimal Sans Serif either. This design style has many supporters. Also, it has a complete package of weights: Normal, Semi-Bold, Medium, Light, Heavy. I have typed some combinations in this file; I’ll explain the issues on these. The first point is about the three-dots below letters. The designer has chosen to decrease the size of these dots in order to avoid the problems in fixing the distances. You can see in the words “چشم” and “پژو” that the dots above and below have disharmonies and strange sizes. Because the designer wanted to avoid the collision of dots to a letter such as “ی”, this wrong decision was made. This is unacceptable. You can see in the word “چین” that how ugly is this disharmony. For example, look at the collision between “ر” and the dots below “ی” in the word “ریا”. This is so easy to fix if you work on Kerning. Also, the dots of two consecutive “ی” in “یید” are so close to each other. The strange point is that the designer has fixed this issue in Kerning settings for “ي” (which is the Arabic form of “ی”). When I type “ي”, this issue seems fixed. The designer hasn’t taken the Persian letters into account when fixing the distance issues. Another problem is in the letter “آ” (which has something like a tilde above it. It’s called Madda). So that the “آ” doesn’t collide with the letter “گ” in a word such as “آگه”, they decided to design another “آ” with a smaller Madda; this is a strange solution. Again by working on Kerning, this can be fixed. Here, another odd problem is that for trying to have a wrong harmony between the heights of letters, they decided to make the “آ” very small. In the word “قرآن”, it seems that I have manually made this letter smaller than the other letters of the word which is very unnatural. The “آ” is a vertically long letter; this should not be lower in height than a “ق”. The diacritics below the letters lower than the baseline, are placed in a wrong place. They are on the left side of the letter. This leads to errors in reading. For example in “دروغِ‌سیزده” one can’t know to which letter this diacritic (“ِ”) belongs. I can say this isn’t a professionally designed font. Form of letters are nice. Some of them are designed very well. But when you look closely, you’ll see many issues. About the form of letters, I’m not sure they have designed and created them all from scratch. For instance, I’ve put together this combination (“حس”) in both SFArabic and MyriadArabic. You see that the “ح” letter is completely ripped off. Even if say this is inspired by Myriad, it’s a high percentage inspiration! Thanks for watching. From now on, I try to make more videos about fonts and typography. Follow me in Social Media (Telegram and Aparat). Bye.

4 thoughts on “Reviewing Apple’s new Arabic font

  1. سلام و روز بخیر. میشه لینک دانلود این فونت را به اشتراک بذارین. من هیچ جا پیدا نکردم. ممنون.

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