Awami Nastaliq

Arabic script font for writing systems using the Nastaliq-style


Awami Nastaliq is a Nastaliq-style Arabic script font supporting a wide variety of languages of South Asia, including but not limited to Urdu. This font is aimed at minority language support. This makes it unique among Nastaliq fonts.

Nastaliq, based on a centuries-old calligraphic tradition, is considered one of the most beautiful scripts on the planet. Nastaliq has been called “the bride of calligraphy” but its complexity also makes it one of the most difficult scripts to render using a computer font. Its right-to-left direction, vertical nature, and context-specific shaping provide a challenge to any font rendering engine and make it much more difficult to render than the flat (Naskh) Arabic script that it is based on. As a result, font developers have long struggled to produce a font with the correct shaping but at the same time avoid overlapping of dots and diacritics. In order to account for the seemingly infinite variations, the Graphite rendering engine has been extended just to handle these complexities properly.


Awami Nastaliq includes all the vowel diacritics and base characters (that we are aware of) required for languages using the Nastaliq style of Arabic script. A type sample showing an inventory of some of the unusual of glyphs and features can be seen here: design type samples.

Smart Features

Awami Nastaliq uses state-of-the-art Graphite font technology. It requires software enabled with the updated Graphite engine (version 1.3.4+) in order to render correctly. Read about the applications that support this font in Resources.

This font includes variant glyphs for a number of characters for use in particular contexts. Read more about our smart font features.

Character Set Support

The Awami Nastaliq font does not provide complete coverage of all the characters defined in Unicode for Arabic script. Because the font style is specifically intended for languages using the Nastaliq style of South Asia, the character set for this font is aimed at those languages. Read more about our character set support.

Common questions

What does Awami mean?

Awami is an Urdu word meaning “of the people”, “of the common population” or “public”. It is an Arabic script font specifically intended for a wide variety of languages using the Nastaliq style of southwest Asia.

What is so special about Awami Nastaliq?

This is the very first Nastaliq-style font with support for a wide range of languages, made possible by a flexible technology. This is the only freely-available font to provide an authentic Nastaliq style with kerned calligraphic segments.

This font is designed to work with the Graphite advanced font technology. To take advantage of the advanced typographic capabilities of this font, you must be using applications that provide an adequate level of support for Graphite. These advanced capabilities provide access to the variant character forms used in some languages.

See also Smart Font Features and What is Special About Awami Nastaliq?

See complete Awami Nastaliq – FAQ list.

See Resources to understand the complexities for using this font.

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