The Kuficpedia project is developing through an international group of scholars and designers with a shared interest in the Kufic script. The project came together around the historical research and achievements of calligrapher and typeface designer, Seyed Mohammad Vahid Mousavi Jazayeri. Vahid’s study of Thulth and Naskh scripts began in 1982 and after nearly ten years of training he began teaching students in Tehran since 1991. Within a year, he was developing two complementary fields: historical calligraphy research in a range of media (ceramics, coins, plaster and stone, as well as manuscripts) and contemporary type design.
He took a major step forward in 1993 when he rediscovered the lost technique of cutting a qalam (pen, writing implement) for the Primary Kufic script. Surviving Primary Kufic pens have been recut several times to refresh the tip and this has left characteristic scars that may also be seen on Vahid’s pens. Noting these scars, Professor Kalhornia, graphic designer and historian of calligraphy, concludes that Vahid has indeed recovered the lost technique. But, more than this, Vahid’s continuing research into the history and development of the script has led him also to recover the authentic calligraphic technique, and this means that Primary Kufic can not only be revived knowledgeably and relevantly but can also pave the way for – or even inspire – contemporary new scripts that correspond to its stateliness and range.
Vahid’s developing professional interest in type design continued alongside his historic researches, thus putting him in a uniquely authoritative position to revive the Kufic script and guide its contemporary development. He has designed over 3,000 logotypes as well as creating unusually rich and nuanced fonts whose expressive range is comparable with Primary Kufic.
An important core of his work was published in the Kufic Encyclopedia, which not only provides superlative, fully identified, historic exemplars but also gives technical training for the script. Kufic has, of course, already inspired other scripts such as Thulth and Naskh, and initial surveys of these are found in the Script and Calligraphy set, and in Stone Inscriptions: Kufic and Thulth.
Kuficpedia’s members and contributors are active in a variety of disciplines (including art history, philosophy, calligraphy, graphic and typeface design) and one of our core activities is conducting workshops in different countries. Kuficpedia is a non-profit group.