Looking for font advice for Arabic version of logo

studiocat's picture

Hello Arabic font experts,

I am working on creating an Arabic version of an American corporate logo which uses "Helvetica Neue 85 Heavy". I found the font "Neue Helvetica® Arabic Bold", which matches stylistically. My question is...would this font be considered appropriate for a somewhat conservative corporate application, or is it considered a more modern face? I have been asked to show both a modern and a more traditional example.

From the small amount of research I have done on the subject, I have heard mention of Helvetica, Universe and Adobe Arabic under the more modern category and fonts such as Emiri, Karim, Amiri and Lotus in the more traditional realm? But since I am in unfamiliar territory, I thought I would reach out to the type community before proceeding any further.

I would love any modern vs. traditional recommendations that you guys may have, using Helvetica Neue 85 Heavy as a stylistic guideline.


hrant's picture

I'm glad you're being cautious, since this topic is like an Iraqi minefield. :-/

Linotype does have an Arabic expert in the person of Nadine Chahine, but even her great sensitivity cannot always totally overcome customer expectations... and customers are rarely sensitive enough to this topic. What I'm getting at is, no matter what the marketing people might tell you the Arabic companions to those classic Latin designs are indeed too modern - they don't say the same thing the Latin is saying. This doesn't mean you have to go full-on conservative (which is likely to backfire, irrespective of any stylistic discord). The good thing is you're not designing an entire harmonious typeface! That's a supreme challenge. You only need to make a logo. Although I assume you do also need to set extended text in Arabic?

Most of all, the actual nature and intent of the corporation you're dealing with will determine what direction to take. You might not be at liberty to disclose too much specific information here, but if you could elaborate a bit that would help greatly.


studiocat's picture

Thanks you so much for your reply, Hrant.

Yes, I definitely do nor want to offend by going to the extreme in either direction. Luckily, all I need to typeset is the name of the company and a small tagline. So no need to dive in to an entire typeface. True that I am not at liberty to go into too much detail. But to give you the general idea, I would like to convey the same feel that Helvetica Neue conveys here. Which is, in my view, traditional, clean, classy, slightly conservative and corporate...something a financial institution, lawyer, power company or high-end retailer may use. By no means cutting edge, but not overly official and stuffy either.

hrant's picture

So yes, Neue Helvetica Arabic would be way too "hip" here. But if you just throw in a traditional Arabic style, it would be like an argument at the UN.

BTW, some interesting stuff to contemplate here:


John Hudson's picture

Much depends on where in the Arabic-scripted world this company operates. Arab countries are far from homogeneous in their graphical culture: what looks avant garde in Oman may seem like yesterday's fashion in Lebanon.

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