Downtown Fonts Al Ismaelia Real Estate


Throughout its history, Downtown Cairo has always been home and source of inspiration to artists, thinkers, intellects and authors and the focal point of change in the social, and cultural fabric of the city.

Khotoot West El Balad (Downtown Fonts) is a typographic celebration of the ubiquitous Downtown Cairo shop sign. It is an initiative aimed at preserving the typographical heritage of the hand-painted Arabic calligraphy.

Original Arabic typefaces are scarce, so we drew inspirations from the old facades of DTC where a wealth of hand-written Arabic calligraphy is recorded, and turned the handmade craft to digital craft by creating a series of typefaces offered for free on the project website.

The key success measure to the DTF campaign is the number, as well as the diversity, of art expressions using one or more of the 6 developed fonts.

In less than four months, the 6 fonts provoked the art scene across Cairo and beyond, and inspired a wide spectrum of artists:

Arab and international designers: From local designers to a Brazilian artist living in San Francisco, the fonts provoked many designs

Contemporary jewelry makers: Dido Embaby and Noha Abbassi, two young jewelry makers, found inspiration in the DTFs and designed quite unique pieces. Earrings, bracelets and pendants that were initially produced as limited pieces are eventually turning into permanent lines as a response to an increasing customers’ demand. 

Art galleries: One of the typefaces that were digitally created found their way back to its original form on the façade of one of the key galleries of DTC.

Young underground musicians & the talented Azza Fahmy Design Studio incorporated the fonts in one of her workshop courses.

The fonts did not stop at the art scene. They found their way to less anticipated fields:

Food & beverage & Newspaper.


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Dubailynx 2016

Direct / Gold / Silver

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Dubailynx 2016

Design / Gold

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Dubailynx 2016

Interactive / Gold

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D&AD 2016

Craft for Design / Graphite Pencil

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Canneslions 2016

Design / Silver

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Loeries 2016

Direct / Silver

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Cristal Festival 2016

Design / Gold

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