Following the redesign of the mother-page of the BBC News, the BBC Arabic and BBC Persian launched their redesigned websites. It is probably one of the first, and certainly the biggest site yet to use webfonts – Arabic webfonts that is. The BBC uses custom versions of Nassim by Titus Nemeth. The typeface was painstakingly optimized for screen and for web with the help of Thomas Grace (hinting) and Tim Ahrens (webfonts production).
“The challenge in this endeavour was to come up with a solution that on one hand corresponded well with the BBC Arabic site, and on the other didn’t loose the distinct character that made Nassim win multiple design prizes.” says Titus in regard of the customization process on his personal blog: “In close collaboration with the designers and editors of the BBC World Service I revised a number of features and letters to accommodate for the style and specificities deemed most appropriate for the Arabic language website. The resulting BBC Nassim stays true to the qualities of the original design, whilst toning down some idiosyncrasies and giving it a generally more ‘Arabic’ look.”
The typeface was further redesigned for the BBC Persian redesign (the last three images). Titus redraw Nassim to give the website a distinctly Iranian look, whilst maintaining the coherence with the BBC brand visual language. On this project, he worked in close collaboration with the Persian language service, and supported his decisions with historical research. For a more detailed account of the Persian cutomization see also Nemeth’s blog.
You can also read a post on BBC Internet blog by Kutlu Çanlıoğlu, Senior Creative Director of UX&D at BBC Future Media.