[XeTeX] A typography question

Mike Maxwell maxwell at umiacs.umd.edu
Mon Aug 3 05:27:26 CEST 2009

I know zip about fonts.  We're creating some books that have lots of IPA 
characters (and some other Roman characters with diacritics), as well as 
Arabic (Nasta'liq and now Naskh).  So it would be nice to choose fonts 
that go together harmoniously.

The need for IPA coverage rules out a lot of fonts.

We've been using the Charis SIL font for our Roman serif font, DejaVu 
Sans for our Roman sans serif font, and Nafees Nastaleeq for Nasta'liq.

Sans serif is used exclusively in section and chapter titles.  Charis 
doesn't exist in a sans serif font; is the Deja Vu sans font a 
reasonable match?  If not, would it be better to use the Deja Vu serif 
font in place of Charis, or conversely is there a sans serif font that 
is a better match for Charis?

There's not much choice among Nasta'liq fonts, but for standard Naskh 
there are of course lots of choices.  We do need to typeset Pashto, for 
which some of the Unicode code points are not standard Arabic 
characters; so I suppose there might be some Arabic fonts that wouldn't 
have those characters.  But apart from that issue, does one try to match 
an Arabic (Naskh) font to a Roman font?  Or do we just look for an 
Arabic font that is "pretty"?
    Mike Maxwell
    What good is a universe without somebody around to look at it?
    --Robert Dicke, Princeton physicist

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