Mehraban Book Pahlavi is the first typeface for the Book Pahlavi script, furnishing an indispensable means for scholars of Middle Persian as well as the Zoroastrian community to typeset new and historical texts.
Book Pahlavi is an Iranian script that was most commonly used from the 3rd to 11th centuries CE and is critical both for linguistic studies of Iranian languages and for understanding the culture of Iranian people during pre-Islamic and early Islamic eras.
Designer Amir Mahdi Moslehi developed Mehraban Book Pahlavi beginning with a careful study of manuscript folios from Iran and India. Consulting with linguistic advisors to ensure that he preserved the script’s unique structure, he designed the full set of ligatures and alternate forms necessary to reproduce the combinations and rules of Book Pahlavi calligraphy.
Mehraban’s design is adapted for use in contemporary typesetting, with letter proportions, alignment, and extender treatments fine-tuned to accompany Arabic or even Latin text. Like many complex, connected scripts, Book Pahlavi requires careful attention to its joining behavior. Mehraban Book Pahlavi supports the core alphabet as well as alternate and historical forms and provides Aramaic heterograms necessary for Middle Persian.
The Book Pahlavi script’s Unicode encoding is still awaiting final publication, so Mehraban Book Pahlavi also includes a full stylistic set mapping the script to Arabic encoding, enabling publishers to use it immediately and migrate their documents as soon as the Unicode update is released. When the encoding is final, we will provide an update for existing users.
Mehraban Book Pahlavi is an outcome of the Missing Scripts research programme at the ANRT (ENSAD Nancy, France) in collaboration with the Scripts Encoding Initiative (Berkeley, USA) and Hochschule Mainz (Germany). The publication was jointly funded by the Erasmus programme and Rosetta. It has been made open source and released on GitHub. Please use Issues on GitHub to provide feedback.
The Mehraban collection currently supports Arabic, Avestan, and Book Pahlavi as individual families.
* For more information regarding typing Book Pahlavi on your keyboard, see our Help page.
Amir Mahdi Moslehi is an Iranian type designer, calligrapher, and researcher, currently based in France. He completed his post-master’s degree in typographic research from the Atelier national de recherche typographique (ANRT) at ENSAD in Nancy. His Arabic-script typefaces are based on thorough research practices and his extensive background in calligraphy. Several of his typefaces are distributed by the Iranian type foundry Marayamsoft. Amir’s typefaces have received numerous awards, including both a TDC certificate of excellence and a second prize from Granshan for his Nasta’liq text typeface Mirza, and a first prize from Granshan for his Ekhtiar Arabic display typeface.