Noor Type is a simplified, hybrid Kufi/Naskh type family in three weights, light, regular, and bold. Its contemporary outlines reflect the new branding strategy for the Noor Bank in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) developed by the brand consultancy in Dubai, Wolff Olins.
In the past, the Noor bank, formerly known as the Noor Islamic Bank, had a traditional brand identity with an old, serif-style type for Latin characters and traditional Kufic type for Arabic characters. Wolff Olins wanted to give the bank a contemporary visual identity. They replaced the old-style serif font by the modern sans serif “Aktiv Grotesk” type, and asked Pascal Zoghbi to create the Arabic counterpart.
Pascal designed the Arabic with a large tooth, loop, and eye height to echo the large x-height of the Latin, with short ascenders and cut descenders for the Jeem, Ha’, Kha’, Ain, Ghain, and Meem. To allow for such proportions while keeping the Arabic look proper, not Latinized, he drew the letters based on a hybrid structure of the Kufic and Naskh scripts instead of adopting just one style of proportions.
Since the word-mark doesn’t have an icon, the typeface is the solitary graphical element to distinguish the bank. We decided to make an edgy cut in the Arabic letters that contain loops and give the font an open and contemporary characteristic. Thus the font is both edgy and organic, containing straight pen strokes that are balanced with curved outlines. The tension between the straight and curved lines gives the font unique properties with contemporary appearance.
Besides the logotype, Noor type is used in all the bank’s branding and advertising. You can also see the font at the Noor Bank Metro Station in Dubai as well as all the bank’s branches in the Arab region.