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Khatt Fonts: Matchmaking Amsterdam-Beirut
Design lecture, book signing, online community launch and exhibition.

December 15 - 22, 2007

Opening date: DECEMBER 15, 2007 @ 7PM followed by lecture, book signing & art exhibit.

Venue: Art Lounge, Beirut, Lebanon
Info line: +961.3.997676 or info@xanaduart.com


xanadu*, Khatt Foundation and Art Lounge, will be hosting a multi-faceted event: a lecture on Arabic typography and design, the presentation of the 'Typographic Matchmaking' project and book by Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares, the launch of the Khatt Foundation's rapidly growing online community ( www.khtt.net ), and an exhibition of the fonts and designs produced in this unique design project.

The lecture will introduce the Khatt Foundations' collaborative pilot design project 'Typographic Matchmaking'. Five design teams consisting of internationally renowned Dutch and Arab designers collaborated over a period of two years in order to design five new Arabic fonts that match a selected range of the Dutch designers' fonts. This project was an intiative of the Khatt Foundation (Center for Arabic Typography) and was spearheaded and coordinated by Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares. The participating Dutch and Arab designers were as follows: Fred Smeijers and Lara Assouad-Khoury, Martin Majoor and Pascal Zoghbi, Peter Bilak and Tarek Atrissi, Lucas de Groot and Mouneer Al-Shaarani, Gerard Unger and Nadine Chahine. The lecture will end with the presentation of the Khatt online community, and will mark its official launch for the first time in the UAE. A book signing and an exhibition of the presented work will follow.  

The book, 'Typographic Matchmaking: building cultural bridges with type design', presents a documentation of the collaborative Arabic type design project described above. It provides insight into the design process of Arabic fonts with a concise overview of the aesthetic and technical aspects. The book provides more than lasting lessons in Arabic type design, it also offers the Arab 'design community' a set of fresh and contemporary Arabic fonts (included on the CD in the book) that in richness and refinement meet international quality standards and are ideal for bilingual design and communication in the Arab world of today. The book will be available for sale at the venue at the market price of US$ 45.

In Beirut, 15 local designers were commissioned to produce posters that incorporated the new Khatt fonts. The only requests were to use Beirut as the theme to the work, and that the end product be A0 in size. Local participants include: Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares, Haig Aivazian, Lara Balaa, Lana Daher, Nathalie Fallaha, May Ghaibeh, Lina Hakim, Wael Hattar, Richard Kahwagi, Alya Karame, Zeina Maasri, Lena Merhej, Anna Ogden-Smith, Alfred Tarazi and Jana Traboulsi. Their work will be on display until December 22.

Opening Night Schedule:
7pm open
7:30 lecture begins followed by Q & A
8:30 book signing follwed by art exhibit

The lecture is free of charge & open to the public.

For detailed information about the book and the 'Typographic Matchmaking' project, as well as the Khatt Foundation's activities, please visit the Khatt Network ( www.khtt.net ).

For more information: contact Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares ( habifares@aud.edu , or call 009714-3183205). In Beirut, contact Zena el-Khalil ( zena@xanaduart.com , or call +961.3.562259)

.Exhibit samples

. Anna Christina   . Nathalie Fallaha
. Lana Daher   . Lara Balaa
. Alfred Tarazi   . Lena Merhej





* a beautiful place