Dr. Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès is the Founding Director of the Khatt Foundation and Khatt Books publishers. Based in Amsterdam, her professional, cultural, and educational activities extend from the US and Europe to the Arab World. She holds degrees in design and design history from Leiden University (PhD, 2017), Yale University (MFA, 1990), and Rhode Island School of Design (BFA, 1987). She was a jury member of the Third Jameel Prize for Islamic Art and Design 2013 (Victoria & Albert Museum, London), and member of the grants selection committee for Mondrian Foundation & The Netherlands Architecture and Design Fund (2011-2013). She is member of AGI (Alliance Typographique Internationale), the international association of influential graphic designer.
She specializes in multilingual typographic research and design, with focus on Arabic typography and design history. She has published several seminal books on typography and design from the Arab World as well as essays and articles to publications and journals. She is the author of Arabic Typography: A Comprehensive Sourcebook (London: Saqi Books, 2001), Experimental Arabic Type (Dubai: Saatchi & Saatchi, 2002), Typographic Matchmaking (Amsterdam: BIS Publishers, 2007), Typographic Matchmaking in the City (Amsterdam: Khatt Books, 2011), Arabic Type Design for Beginners (Amsterdam: Khatt Books, 2013), Typographic Matchmaking in the Maghrib (Amsterdam: Khatt Books, 2019), Nomadic Traces: Journeys of Arabian Scripts (Abu Dhabi: Warehouse421, 2019), Kameel Hawa: The Art of Shaping Arabic Letters (Amsterdam: Khatt Books, 2019), and The Catholic Press of Beirut: A Printing and Design Legacy in the Arab East (forthcoming). She taught design and typography courses at the American University of Beirut and the American University in Dubai, where she was Chairperson of the Visual Communication Department. She currently supervises PhD candidates at Leiden University’s Arts Program and works as design curator, writer, designer, and publisher.