Nadine Chahine Honored for Arabic Type Contributions

Designer Named to Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business

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Nadine Chahine of Monotype Imaging Holdings Inc. was named today to Fast Company's 2012 ranking of The 100 Most Creative People in Business. Chahine, who designs Arabic typefaces at Monotype's Germany-based subsidiary, Linotype GmbH, was recognized alongside individuals from a variety of professions who use creativity for transforming industries and reinventing the world in which we live.

According to Fast Company, this year's honorees "dare to think differently. They're the ones taking risks and discovering surprising new solutions to old problems." Other honorees included actress Jessica Alba, director Wes Anderson, entertainer Cee Lo Green, NBA analyst Shaquille O'Neal, in addition to individuals from companies such as Facebook, Starbucks, JC Penney, American Express, Nike, Twitter, Google and Microsoft.

"I'm deeply honored and humbled to be in the company of so many accomplished people," said Chahine, who is from Lebanon and is #69 on Fast Company's list. "My focus has always been on the complex and evolving societies of the Arab world. There's a lack of high-quality Arabic typefaces, so the challenge is to create beautiful Arabic type that's culturally relevant and invites people to want to read, write and take action. We also need Arabic typefaces to work well alongside texts in other languages, on screen and in print. Typography is integrally connected in the environment in which it sits. As a designer, I see more than just letters and numbers — I see type as the means to engage in the larger context of culture and society."

"This honor is well deserved," said Doug Shaw, president and chief executive officer of Monotype Imaging. "Nadine's work is helping companies to expand into the Middle East or to communicate in Arabic in their own regions. Her contributions reflect more than creating beautiful Arabic type. They represent tools to improve communication and the exchange of ideas across cultures."

In addition to being a typeface designer, Chahine is a Ph.D. candidate at Leiden University in The Netherlands, where her research spans multiple disciplines, including design, type design, linguistics and psychology. Fast Company's recognition spotlighted Chahine's focus on improving literacy in the Middle East. Moving forward, she expects to become increasingly involved in design as it relates to cultural, social and political engagement.

Chahine's design achievements include her work during the redesign of An-Nahar, Lebanon's leading Arabic-language daily newspaper. In 2011, she completed the Gebran2005™ typeface, a custom design named after Gebran Tueni, the publication's editor and publisher of who was assassinated in a car-bomb explosion in 2005. "It's a bold design for bold times," said Chahine, who grew up reading An-Nahar, which has been committed to free speech throughout its near 80-year history. Her work during An-Nahar's redesign was profiled in Co.Design, Fast Company's online magazine.

Between 2007 and 2010, Chahine designed award-winning Arabic versions of three popular typeface families with the approval of their original, legendary designers, Adrian Frutiger and Hermann Zapf. The introduction of Chahine's Frutiger® Arabic design, Monotype's best-selling Arabic typeface, expanded Frutiger's namesake design into the Middle East, enabling companies to support Arabic languages with the look of Frutiger, used extensively in branding and advertising. Clients include Emirates NBD, the largest banking group in the Middle East; Mobinil, a large mobile phone operator in Egypt; and Dubai Airports. After reviewing Chahine's design before its launch, Frutiger called it a "touch of genius."

Chahine also created an Arabic version of Frutiger's Univers® design. Univers Next Arabic is a clean, low-contrast typeface that "makes you want to just keep looking," she said.

Working with Zapf, Chahine designed Arabic versions of Zapf's Palatino® and Palatino Sans designs. Palatino Arabic and Palatino Sans Arabic both received design excellence awards from the Type Directors Club of New York City.

Chahine has also designed the Arabic version of the Helvetica® typeface, one of today's most popular branding fonts. Designed in 2009, Neue Helvetica Arabic is used in a diverse range of applications, including magazines and television channels such as SKY News Arabia.

Other projects include contributions for the fifth edition of Meggs' History of Graphic Design, a reference book on the topic; the creation of a children's font for the Baraem TV channel in Qatar; brand identity work with Deutsche Welle TV in Germany to reach Arabic audiences outside the country; and the Koufiya™ typeface, a design Chahine created as a student at the University of Reading in the U.K. Koufiya is the first typeface family that contains a matching Arabic and Latin font designed by the same person at the same time. In addition, Chahine has designed the Janna™, Badiya™, Berytus™ and DIN Next™ Arabic typefaces.

Fast Company's fourth annual ranking of The 100 Most Creative People in Business is available in the June issue and online at According to Fast Company, the listing counts down the most influential and surprising executives, artists and impresarios crafting our culture — and our future. The ranking excludes individuals featured in the past. Honorees will be celebrated on May 23 in Montreal at the C2-MTL conference on commerce and creativity.

About Monotype Imaging

Monotype Imaging is a leading provider of typefaces, technology and expertise that enable the best user experience and ensure brand integrity. Based in Woburn, Mass., Monotype Imaging provides customers worldwide with typeface solutions for a broad range of creative applications and consumer devices. The company's library and e-commerce sites are home to many of the most widely used typefaces — including the Helvetica, Frutiger and Univers families — as well as the next generation of type designs. Further information is available at

Monotype is a trademark of Monotype Imaging Inc. registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered in certain jurisdictions. Helvetica and Frutiger are trademarks of Linotype Corp. registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered in certain jurisdictions in the name of Linotype Corp. or its licensee Linotype GmbH. Univers and Palatino are trademarks of Linotype GmbH registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered in certain other jurisdictions. Koufiya, Janna, Berytus and DIN Next are trademarks of Linotype GmbH and may be registered in certain jurisdictions. Gebran2005 is a trademark of An-Nahar. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © 2012 Monotype Imaging Inc. All rights reserved.

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