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does anybody know if the Gill Sans family now includes an Arabic version ?
Know for sure it has been/is being worked on, but can't seem to find it in any of the fontshops ...
Well, Gill himself once made an Arabic (during a sojourn in Egypt) but: it wasn't meant to match Gill Sans; and it was somewhat freaky so was never published. A while back* there was an article about it (embarrassingly called "Gill Sands") in Print magazine (in which the dunces actually managed to put one of the illustrations upside-down).
* I just checked - it was exactly 14 years ago.
I remember that Eric Gill made a rather freaky Hebrew that was published... but this post reminded me of a Peanuts cartoon with the punchline "How can a hula hoop be hi-fi?" - in this case, the question is, how can an Arabic be Gill Sans?
Of course, for most practical purposes, putting in a generic Arabic typeface as part of a Times Roman or Arial typeface works to allow the characters to be displayed - and, thus, there is no real need to truly capture the spirit of Gill Sans in the Arabic portion of the font. Although that might still be a thing for a type designer to attempt - but such a typeface would presumably be sold separately and cost extra, as it probably should.
His Hebrew was a few notches freakier than the Arabic. It's on the order of the cra... stuff in Schonfield's book.
I think it's possible to make any sensitive non-Latin of any font - it's just that most people wouldn't have the eye to see what's really going on. That's just the nature of the beast. In fact not unlike how most people think Georgia is a big Times.
Oh? And here Ah sat ova mah cuppa and thot Georgia wuz a kyoot Modern.
And because it had oldstyle figures (but they got the 1 wrong for the sake of protecting the typographically illiterate from confusion), I thought it was some kind of a hideously deformed Garamond... or an awkward grafting of oldstyle features on a Century Expanded-like base. But those aesthetic sins could be excused as it was a passable font designed to be readable on low-resolution displays.