About Rakkas

Creator: Zeynep Akay

License: SIL Open Font License, 1.1

Rakkas is single-weight display typeface that supports the Arabic and Latin scripts. The Arabic design is inspired by Ruq'ah lettering on Egyptian movie posters from the 50s and 60s, and makes use of contextual alternates to emulate calligraphy. It offers several different forms for many letter positions. For example, there are three different initial behs, and which is shown depends on the proceeding letter. This increases the fidelity to the whimsy and fluidity of traditional Ruq'ah. It also cascades vertically, giving the user an opportunity to play with wordspacing.

The Latin design infuses a blackletter design with informality. One of the things the Latin and Arabic have in common is the stroke that shapes each letter. In Arabic letterform traditions the horizontal stroke is typically the thickest. The Latin design was initiated after the Arabic design was established, to be both visually complimentary and contextually relevant. This led to the Latin design's thick horizontal instrokes, seen in the lowercase a, and to the occasional moments where the traditional stroke contrast is reversed, as in the lowercase z. The Arabic dot marks are significantly smaller than what one might expect, as they do not share the thickness of the stroke. This was another quirk adopted from many of the lettering samples that were used as reference material. The Latin follows suit: Not only are the diacritics quite a bit smaller, but also many of the punctuation marks and symbols make use of the thin monolinear stroke instead of the more common stem width. The result is two scripts united under a stylistic umbrella but neither pretending to be the other, and each interesting in its own right.

The Rakkas project is led by Zeynep Akay, a type designer based in London, UK. To contribute, see github.com/zeynepakay/Rakkas

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Use on the Web

The Rakkas webfont is available for use on the web via the Google Fonts API.

1. Add this code to your website:

<link href='https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Rakkas' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>

Instructions: To embed this font into your web page, copy this code into the <head> of your HTML document.

2. Integrate the font into your CSS:

font-family: 'Rakkas', Arial, sans-serif;

Instructions: Add the font name to your CSS selector just as you'd do normally with any other font.

Use in Desktop Software

The Rakkas font has been extracted from the Google Fonts API for use in desktop software.

1. Download the font file in your desired style:

Download TTF
Rakkas-Regular.ttf
Note: As these fonts come directly from the Google servers, they will need to be renamed.

2. Install to your computer

  • For Windows 10/8/7/Vista
    Right-click the font file then click the "Install" menu option.

  • For Mac OS xx 10.3 or above
    Double-click the font file then click the "Install Font" button at the bottom of the preview.