When we first met Tawfiq Dawi, the man behind experimental type studio Hey Porter! back in 2021 we discovered that he had something of an affinity for posters. To remedy his boredom while making infographics and reports through his work for an NGO, he created a poster every day for three years – often resulting in 5am bedtimes. It therefore comes as no surprise to hear that Tawfiq’s most recent typeface, Kahaza, is inspired by posters, specifically the titles you might find on vintage Egyptian film posters from the 1970s and 80s. (If you fancy a look at the rich legacy of material that has inspired Kahaza, we covered the Moving Pictures Painted book of cinema Egyptian posters from CentreCentre earlier this year.)
Alongside vintage film posters, Tawfiq also took inspiration for Kahaza from Naskh script, a form of lettering used commonly in newspaper and magazine headlines across the Arab world. These two influences make Kahaza a perfect display font, ideal for editorials, posters, branding, music videos and film titles, Tawfiq lists. It comes in regular, if you’re looking for a more clean and polished look, or bold for “a more impactful statement”.
Despite being rooted in vintage aesthetics, Tawfiq was intent on ensuring that Kahaza still had a “dynamic contemporary balance”. This is where Hey Porter! really lives up to its experimental credentials, taking traditional aesthetics and graphic legacies and infusing them with touches that bring them firmly into the present day.
“The typeface takes a step beyond vintage influence by incorporating distinctive sharp characters that highlight detailed design work,” Tawfiq explains. To accentuate the modern feel, glyphs are elegantly expanded, but finished with distinct points, creating a feel that “blends the poise between sharpness and smoothness”. Tawfiq has also enlarged the dots (shaped more like diamonds) throughout the typeface which gives a “humanist appearance” while also giving the font a more “informal vibe” as Tawfiq puts it. So, if you’ve got a project that’s in need of a bold typography treatment, look no further than the authentic yet refreshing Kahaza.
Kahaza supports a variety of scripts including Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Kurdish. Hey Porter! also keeps prices low to ensure that they are accessible to design students from diverse backgrounds.
GalleryHey Porter!: Kahaza (Copyright © Hey Porter!, 2023)
Hey Porter!: Kahaza (Copyright © Hey Porter!, 2023)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.