We’re regularly asked to suggest analogues for our typefaces in other script systems — the “Japanese Gotham,” or a Devanagari to accompany Hoefler Text. While pairing alphabets based on their formal qualities is important, it’s not necessarily the first step: in all cultures, different lettering styles have different associations, and designers who ignore typography’s cultural dimensions do so at their own peril. Choosing between Arabic’s Ruqaa and Nastaaliq styles is like deciding between Helvetica and Dom Casual. Proceed with care.
Our Latin alphabet’s closest cousins are Greek and Cyrillic, but even when producing these designs we seek the input of our Greek and Russian colleagues. We similarly encourage designers working on international design programs to solicit the perspective of their counterparts abroad.