Fragments of an Alternative Future

Radical Project by Levi Hammett, Fatima Abbas & Hind Al Saad

The evolution of typography has primarily been driven by technological innovation designed to meet new use-case scenarios. The 20th century saw an exponential increase in typographic diversity created to take advantage of new technologies and communication needs. Unfortunately, the locality of these technological innovations was primarily situated in the English-speaking west and focused only on the Latin script. The power of these innovations further marginalized and endangered languages using alternative scripts that were not in a position to adapt to the new technologies and domains of communication.

This project imagines an alternative future where Arabic is a primary language and evolved together with the technological innovations of the 20th century. To explore this future, a number of typefaces were envisioned, designed, and produced utilizing technology that represents specific typographic domains. In this case a segmented LED typeface, as well as a dot matrix Arabic typeface. Based on our research, this is the first fully functioning segmented Arabic typeface design ever produced (some patents were created in the 1980s but were not produced). The typeface was designed by Fatima Abbas, programmed by Levi Hammett and Hind Al Saad, and constructed by Levi Hammett.

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