Mukhtar Sanders

Songs of Presence

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Inspired by traditional Ottoman book-binding, our book design and production for ‘Songs of Presence’ references illuminated manuscripts and traditional bookbinding methods. The design used a gold speckled paper for the book’s inner pages paired with tipped-in sheets, manuscript-style binding, gilded edges and elaborate debossed gold-foil details. With the aim of instilling elegance and handcrafted workmanship into an English and Arabic spiritual songbook, we wanted to create something that reflected the importance of this book of litany. Typeset in English and Arabic, the book strikes a harmonious balance between the left-to-right set Roman characters and the right-to-left set Arabic letterforms that sit beautifully alongside calligraphic artworks. Using specialist software called Tasmeem, each line of Arabic display type was intricately word-shaped to visually match the digital typography with the sweeping calligraphic letterforms.
In addition to the faux-leather mass produced version, published by Ihsan Press, we produced an exquisite limited edition real leather bound version with a special suede case.

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