The Naskh script was a natural starting point for the Arabic iteration of Basis Grotesque. With its smaller, geometric forms and horizontal baseline, the sans-serif script has been favoured for centuries in the writing of official documents and the transcription of important texts. These qualities contribute to its harmonious proportions and ease of legibility, making it a natural pairing for a latin counterpart like Basis. In the present day, Naskh has becoming the prevailing style for typesetting Arabic books, newspapers and publications.
In addition to its simplified and more uniform structure, Naskh’s groupings of diacritical points (used to denote changes in sound) offer one of several notable opportunities for alignment with the latin: in Basis Grotesque Arabic, these diacritical marks take a diamond form, a simple rotation of the familiar square tittles found in the latin.
With Basis’ initial conceit as a rationalistation of several proto-Grotesques, its charm could be attributed to the little moments of idiosyncrasy that still reside within the family’s more robust confines. These characteristics are explored across the extent of Basis Grotesque Arabic too – the slight pinching at the crotch of the ‘a’ for instance – is present in in the form of the Arabic ‘waw’. Similarly, the ‘collapsing’ apertures of the ‘a’ and ‘s’ can be seen in the pullback of strokes within glyphs like the Arabic ‘hah’.
٢. Basis باسيس Regular عادي
٣. Basis باسيس Medium متوسط
٤. Basis باسيس Bold سميك
٥. Basis باسيس Black أسود