Designs, engineers and develops fonts.

She worked as a Font Developer at Dalton Maag, taking various roles in projects for companies like Airbnb, BBC, Sky, Google, Jacobs, and DHL. She also worked on the design and engineering of Aktiv Grotesk Arabic, a variable font with a weight axis that ranges from Hairline to Black. Prior to joining Dalton Maag, she worked with a number of foundries including Morisawa, Miles Newlyn Foundry, and particularly TypeTogether, where her fonts Athelas Arabic and Portada Arabic were published as companions to the existing Latin designs.

Researches and writes about type and print history.

Outside of her practical work, she holds a PhD on the history of Gurmukhi type designed and developed by British printers in the 19th and 20th centuries. She holds her degree from Birmingham City University, which granted her a full STEAM scholarship for the duration of her doctoral studies. An article containing one chapter of her thesis, The Gurmukhi Type of Oxford University Press has already been published by the Midland History journal. She is also a member of the Centre for Print History and Culture, where she contributes with activities like co-curating a two day international conference titled Script, print, and letterforms in global contexts: the visual and the material. The outcome of this conference was a book she is now editing with her fellow curators, to be published soon by Peter Lang. She sometimes writes short pieces for where she is a member. She also contributed to this first issue of Typegeist on the issue of Decentralizing type with her article Through The Typographic Looking Glass: Reflections On The Concept Of “Decentralizing” Type.

Speaks at conferences and judges design competitions

From her first presentation at ATypI 2017 in Montreal, she has continued to share what she knows about the various aspects of type, print history, and calligraphy whenever possible. This includes TypoLabs 2017 (Liberating Digital Type from the Metal Rectangle panel); Centre for Printing History & Culture Annual Symposium (Punjabi printing: a historical analysis of design, production and consumption from 1800); Type Directors Club Judges Night 2018 (Sours, flips, and fancies); TypoLabs 2018 (On extending connections (AKA making it fit) with José Solé); Birmingham Design Festival 2018 (The future is no longer what it used to be: an overview of variable fonts); ISType 2019 (Muses, methods, and thereafter), ATypI 2020 Working Seminar (PhDs in Europe: Students); TypeTech Meetup 2021 (Web multiscript and web typography panel); TypeCal 2021 (The cultural Narrative of Letters); ATypI Tech Talks 2021 (Thinking Outside the Vox panel); and a Futuress roundtable, (Who Gets to Design Arabic Typography).
Apart from taking the microphone when it’s offered, she has also been on the judging panel of design competitions like the Type Directors Club’s annual type design competition, ADC Young Guns, and the Updike Prize for Student Type Design.


Sahar is the Lead Instructor for Type West Online, a postgraduate certificate program in type design. As a mentor at Alphabettes, she has helped a few people with various aspects of their journey into type and typography. She also contributed to the Alphacrit program in a session dedicated to Arabic type design. She has held various workshops in the UK and Iran, and has spoken to students of type design and provided feedback on their work at universities like ECAL, Reading and Central Saint Martins. The most rewarding of all, however, was her time teaching English to female high school students in Tehran back in 2014. She thinks of this time fondly, and still keeps in touch with some of her students who have gone on to do amazing things. She is always happy and ready to help students and early career professionals who reach out to her.

Doodles, draws, and drinks tea

In her spare time, she likes to draw things that are sometimes letter related, like blog headers for, headings for articles like this one for Intercom. She doodles a lot, like this tribute to Mohammad Reza Shajarian when he died, or this typography and doodle pairing as a tribute to her love of her grandmother. Sometimes she draws things that have nothing to do with type at all, like this backgammon board she illustrated using traditional Iranian Negargari motifs. All the time, she loves to drink tea, particularly her favourites, Japanese Genmaicha, Taiwanese Alishan, or Iranian saffron and cardamom infused tea.

To get in touch you can write to, or connect with her on Insta @sahafshar.