Khatt Books – Miss Read

Khatt Books

Khatt Books is a specialized publishing house, established in 2010 as a commercial arm of the Khatt Foundation. Khatt Books focuses on topics such as typography, graphic design, architecture, and other applied arts from or about the Middle East and North Africa.

Khatt Books aims to disseminate information about design, designers, architects, visual artists and activists whose work instigates change and further development of the Arab visual culture. At Khatt Books, we hope to build an archive and make accessible the little known design history and contemporary visual culture of the region. We publish research-based monograms on key design personalities (or projects), as well as more experimental and creative publications by young designers and visual artists with remarkable voices.

Khatt Books believes that languages – just like cultures – should coexist ‘under one cover’, and therefore our publications are bi-lingual, namely in Arabic and English (and where necessary an additional language may be added if relevant to the content).

We strive to create a fresh impression of the region and help to set a high standard for contemporary Arab publications. We use innovative typographic solutions and typesetting for our books, and involve young designers in the process.
The Arabic Design Library series
Multiple, The Arabic Design Library series, Khatt Books, 2020 © Multiple

Book covers of seven of the monographs on design pioneers from the Arab World (2014–present).
Progress is built upon the achievements of predecessors. The Arabic Design Library series focuses on inspiring design achievements from the Middle East and North Africa. It aims to highlight the work of prominent Arab typographers, graphic designers and illustrators. With this series of concise monographs, Khatt Books strives to establish a visual record of Arab design history of the 20th century, and pave the way for critical writing, by Arab authors, on design from the region.

Arabic Typography, A Revised and Concise Sourcebook
Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès, Arabic Typography, A Revised and Concise Sourcebook, Khatt Books, 2021 © Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès

Cover of Arabic Typography, A Revised and Concise Sourcebook.
Arabic Typography takes the reader through a comprehensive study of Arabic letterforms, starting with a concise historical overview of their development and styles, and proceeding to the design and technological advances until the end of the twentieth century. This book will serve as a valuable reference on Arabic typography, and as an educational guide for design students, professionals and anyone who uses Arabic type and enjoys the visual appearance of this language and its letterforms.

Khatt Items
Edo Smitshuijzen, Khatt Items, Khatt Books, 2022 © Edo Smitshuijzen

Front and Back cover of Khatt Items.
The main objective of the author in creating this publication is to revive the age-old tradition in the Arab and Islamic world of using text on everything that surrounds us, from architecture to objects we use on everyday basis. In times where traditional handcraft is disappearing, a replacement using today’s technologies is urgent. Modern production methods like cnc routing, laser-cutting, and a plethora of different ways to do 3D printing, can easily replace traditional handcraft. Just like with handcraft, these production methods allow for creating small limited editions or even one-offs. The author undertook extensive research and tried to design as many examples as possible to show the various options of these new technologies. The result is 722 pages showing over a thousand examples of products in a plethora of colors, materials and designs.

Imprimerie Catholique (1848—200). The Catholic Press of Beirut: A Printing & Design Legacy in the Arab East.
Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès and John Kortbawi, Imprimerie Catholique (1848—200). The Catholic Press of Beirut: A Printing & Design Legacy in the Arab East., Khatt Books, 2023 © Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès and John Kortbawi

Cover of Imprimerie Catholique 1848—2000. The Catholic Press of Beirut: A Printing and Design Legacy in the Arab East.
The books explores the history of this remarkable independent press through its editorial and design production from the late nineteenth century until the end of the twentieth century. The book delves into the mission of the original Press and its transformation over its 150 years of existence into one of Lebanon’s most distinguished printing enterprises. It charts the Press’s contribution to raising the standards of typographic and graphic design in Lebanon.

Arabic Font Specimen Book II
Edo Smitshuijzen, Arabic Font Specimen Book II, Khatt Books, 2023 © Edo Smitshuijzen

Book Cover of Arabic Type Specimen Book II. It is the second, and possibly the last, publication of its kind. It is a must have for everyone working with Arabic type or interested in the typography of extremes.