Lara Captan

When Ra meets Sheen & Qaf

June 14, Sunday 11:30 – SALT Galata

When Ra meets letters Sheen and Qaf, they form the Arabic root word RSHQ. RSHQ can have many sounds when associated with different [vowel] diacritics: R-a-SH-a-Q-a, R-i-SH-Q-u, R-a-SH-u-Q-a… These sounds create different meanings of the word, meanings that circle around the notion of swiftness: a fast, well-calculated, poignant action that is balanced and refined. It is therefore not surprising that one of the RSHQ derivatives actually describes the act of writing.

Through the lens of the Arabic language, Lara will take you on her journey exploring the richness of the Arabic script: from its past to the anatomy of letters, its inner structures and contrasts to the effects of technology on the script. She will also expose the ways in which her collection of script information has been a base for her adventure on how to move from script to type.


About Lara Captan

Lara Captan is an independent Lebanese designer based in Amsterdam. She taught design and typography at the American University of Beirut until moving to The Netherlands where she became an apprentice in DecoType’s ACE technology for Arabic type. Since 2005, she knew she wanted to become an Arabic type designer but refused to design any typeface before having sufficient knowledge over the history and mechanics of the script. Ten years of experimentation have passed and she is now working on an ACE-engined Arabic type family, with support from the Creative Industries Fund NL.