Last time I spoke to Nadine Chahine, the type designer had just finished her latest Arabic version of a well-known Western Font. The Lebanon-born, then-Germany-based designer had been working with Herman Zapf to create an Arabic Zapfino – which followed Nadine’s versions of Frutiger, Neue Helvetica and Palatino.
Since then, Herman has sadly passed away and Nadine has moved to London to take on a new role at Monotype – a director of type design with a specific focus on legibility. I sat down with her to record a video interview (above), where we discuss the how type is best made readable across devices from the 27-inch 5K iMac I’m writing these words on to the smartwatch on my wrist. Nadine talked about how to use type differently based on the content – which can range from glance-legible app notifications to long-form stories from newspaper websites or Medium that you want to read on your smartphone.
We don't normally publish half-hour videos, but Nadine had so much fascinating insight that we've included the full interview. Expect to learn a lot.
We also discussed the effect of online environments where we have to give up almost all typographic control – such as Facebook’s Instant Articles – and how (or if) we should combat the purposefully awful type tools in Gif culture and apps such as Snapchat.
Nadine also put to rest some of the myths around the use of particular fonts for people with disabilities – including revealing that there’s no real evidence that Comic Sans is better for people with dyslexia.