This three-volume set is one of the few existing publications on the script and calligraphy of Western Asia and North Africa whose author is both researcher and calligrapher. With over 190 high-quality images in colour, this outstanding set of books, totalling 655 pages, is bi-lingual (English and Farsi, the English translation by a British scholar) was published under the imprimatur of the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, and was nominated for Best Book of the Spring Season, in Iran, 2011. In these books, the author seeks to carry out a comprehensive survey on calligraphy, from ancient (such as Kufic) to contemporary (such as typography). Box dimensions: height 16.7 cm, width 15.5 cm, thickness 5.7 cm.
Volume 1, A Study in Kufic Script (239 pages in two languages, English and Farsi, with 104 images in colour):
About Kufic: The oldest manuscripts of early Kufic script, some of which are now found in museums, date back to the advent of Islam. This old writing style has been named “Early or Primary Kufic”. The great variety of dazzling methods of the Kufic script is quite peerless and exceptional. Some styles are mostly ornamental while other styles were used for texts whose reading was of prime importance. Among the styles of Kufic script, some are characterized by “local” or “regional” peculiarities in keeping with the particular geographical features of that region. There has been a style in Iran named “Eastern Kufic” that enjoys widespread fame among the Kufic scripts. Another style has been used more frequently for writing the Qur’an in the western lands of the Islamic world and is known as “Western Kufic”. This styled adorns architectures as well.
Volume 2, Naskh & Thulth (240 pages in three languages, English, Arabic and Farsi, with 89 images in colour):
About Naskh style of calligraphy: Naskh script is considered as one of the renowned and frequently applied styles of Islamic calligraphy. This style emerged from the changes in the Kufic script. The widespread use of the style is due to its suitability for writing the Holy Qur’an. Due to its special capabilities for scriptural writing, this style has drawn the attention of most artists of the Islamic world. For this reason, numerous styles with indigenous characteristics in shape have emerged from the Naskh script. The Iranian and Turkish methods of Naskh have been used more frequently and have enjoyed more popularity. The Iranian style of Naskh, perfected by Mirza Ahmad Neirizi, flourished quite well during the Safavid era.
About Thulth style of calligraphy: A glance at traditional calligraphy reveals the use of different styles for religious texts. The Thulth script, along with the Naskh script, was applied to a great portion of such texts. Just like other styles, this style was able to find its special uses among texts and writings. This particular style was mostly used for inscriptions of mosques, religious places and architectural monuments in general. Although the Iranian method of this style is so fascinating, especially as used in the inscriptions, yet it reached perfection under Turkish master calligraphers as an obvious and unique display.
Volume 3, Typography and Contemporary Calligraphy (176 pages in two languages, English and Farsi, with 101 monochrome images). The book concerns “how to use/write Arabic or Farsi typography based on visual capacities of Ancient and Traditional calligraphy”. The typographic works were hand done (in pen, without software) by the author who is also a calligrapher in Kufic and other traditional styles such as Naskh and Thulth.
About Typography: “Writing requirements” in different historical eras have created certain styles and methods. These requirements are considered as the most important factors in the emergence of writing methods. Ornamental tendencies or text uses, which is the same as their simple legibility, stem from different needs that are fulfilled properly by various styles of writings. In the contemporary era, new needs are seen to be congruous with these requirements that cannot be completely fulfilled by other (older or traditional) calligraphy styles. As a matter of fact, circumstances that would have formerly led to creation of traditional styles, would now call for reconstruction of writings. In other words, modern designing methods are a reaction to the contemporary writing requirements in different fields.