From: Mark Simonson
> I just saw the Faux Arabic script featured on MyFonts.com
Yeah, it's kind of cool. My first reaction was actually negative,
but then I realized it was a much better idea than something like
Simran, even though I like that too.
As long as it's not too corny (like those
"chow mein" fonts), it can be very nice.
> Has anyone ever seen any examples of the reverse
Well, the Japanese do seem to do the type of thing you
describe, but I myself can't think of cases where it's
been done *concsiously* in other scripts.
However, the west has had a very strong undercurrent in
non-Latin type design in two ways (both somewhat negative):
1. Stylistic: Because of the wealth and prosperity of the
west (not to mention that they started typography before
everybody else - except the Chinese and Koreans), many
non-Latiners borrow styles and features. For example,
since the middle of the 20th century many Armenian* type
designers have started putting serifs everywhere, like
in conventional Latin text type. The problem in this
case is that the nature of the Armenian x-height makes
the fonts simply too serif-heavy. The semi-serif is the
ideal approach to Armenian text font design (and was in
fact the standard in the past), but since that's very
rare in Latin type, very few Armenians bother making
such fonts these days. And when westerners design non-
Latin fonts (which they get to do more often), lack of
fluency in the "visual language" often makes the results
imperfect, like in Van Kripmen's Greeks. Even Frutiger's
Devanagari and Gill's Arabic were not considered true
successes by "natives".
* Here's one sadly great reference of the negative influence
of the west: http://moon.yerphi.am/~hovik/Armenian/Taroumian/
But of course it's mostly the designer's fault, not the west's
or even any westerner's.
2. Technology: In a complex script like Arabic, the limitations
of technology have forced some compromises, and these tend to
persist in the aesthetic realm. For example, Linotype made
Arabic fonts with 2 cases instead of 4, to reduce complexity.
The result was a lowering of aesthetic quality.
The visual language of the west is very sophisticated, evolved,
refined and intelligent. Cross-cultural fertilization should be
beneficial, but for some reason -maybe because it's so difficult
to control- it usually isn't.
On the plus side, there's the technical "manufacturing" side,
which is non-cultural, and where the products of the west tend
to be of great quality (and that's attractive to me personally),
and learning from that is important.