German and International Research on Oman 1998

New Perspectives for Omani Ornaments
by Georg Popp, Zugspitzstrasse 23, D-85221 Dachau, Germany [abstract]

Transformation of Omani / Arabic design patterns into computer fonts could prevent the loss of this cultural expression. Furthermore, this could open new perspectives for its application in a modern technical Arabic society.

Most of the Omani ornaments were linked to the technic of wood carving on doors. Within the last years most of these wooden doors were replaced by metal or vanished by the erosion of abandoned houses. Wooden doors are simply out of fashion. Therefore, the ornamental heritage of Oman is threatened to be extinguished within the next decade.
Design patterns are abstract and are not necessarily linked to a certain material or craft. Their transformation into computer fonts could prevent the loss of this cultural expression and furthermore, could open new perspectives for their application in a modern technical society. Additionally they provoke progress in national design based on tradition. Fonts are cheap and can be handled by everybody working with a computer, especially graphic-designers and print shops of Oman today. They can be used with any simple program and open a big variety of graphic possibilities even to non professionals.
A first attempt to save Omani ornamental tradition was performed by the author creating the font SINDBAD (fig. 1). It extracts Omani / Arabic patterns which can be used as an single symbol as well as a strip or panel (fig. 2). Many of this symbols can be combined to new patterns (fig.3) The font SINDBAD was awarded the first prize of the 2nd International Digital Type Design Contest in the category symbol. It is available now from Linotype Library GmbH, Du-Pont-Strasse 1, D-61352 Bad Homburg.

For more information on the SINDBAD font and its designer, go to Linotype Library's DesignerPortraits page and click on Georg Popp.

Index of Papers presented at the Oman Conference 1998
Oman Conference 1998 - Main Page
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Last updated on 11 June 1998.