Free Font Friday: Blaka
by Taylor Slattery | August 18, 2022
Blaka is an experimental blackletter typeface created by Amsterdam-based designer Mohamed Gaber. Building upon the conventions of a traditional blackletter, Gaber adapted the calligraphic construction technique into a typeface that supports both Latin and Arabic alphabets. The primary design challenge for Gaber was finding a way to use a calligraphic approach designed for Latin letterforms to construct an Arabic alphabet. The solution was to utilize strokes that change their orientation depending on their direction.
A traditional blackletter owes its distinctive look to the angle of the nib. By maintaining a forty-five-degree angle, a stronger visual emphasis is placed on the verticals, with the horizontally-oriented components like arcs and crossbars often implied through proximity. Compared with a traditional blackletter typeface, Blaka is more flexible in approach, incorporating a variety of different stroke angles to maximize stroke weight while still retaining its visual ties to its traditional source of inspiration. The result is a contemporary typeface that feels new and interesting with a subtle hint of heritage. If you find yourself designing posters for a local Oktoberfest, Blaka is a strong contender.
Blaka is available in one weight. You can find it for free here.
Taylor is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Taylor is a graphic designer, illustrator, and Design Lead at Weirdsleep.