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You are here: Home / Conferences / Antwerp 2018 / Programme

Early Persian printing and typography in Europe

When Sat 15 Sep 0930
Where Arenberg Theater
Who Borna Izadpanah
This presentation discusses the birth of Persian printing and typography in Europe during the late 16th and early 17th centuries, a subject has so far has eluded rigorous investigation by historians. It draws on materials of the Medici Press and Propaganda Fide Press, which have not been presented publicly before in any typographic environment. The aim is to demonstrate how historical enquiry can support the discussion of visual culture in the typographic representation of different language communities, and their relevance in designing type today. Since the 9th century, the Persian language, which is written in an extended version of the Arabic script, also known as “New Persian,” has been used by most Persian-speaking people. The Persian language gradually found a distinct visual identity through the introduction of new writing styles, especially nastaʿlīq. Early European printers who wanted to print Persian often ignored this stylistic distinction and used any available Arabic types for setting Persian text. The presentation will show the rare yet significant instances of Persian printing where the distinct identity of Persian writing styles has played a role in the typographic representation of the Persian language.

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