Skip to main content

RTLTR III: 2017- Almanya auf Arabisch/ دويتشلاند باللغة العربية

We now find ourselves at the end of 2017, at the inception of a new project: Almanya auf Arabisch, which is conceived as a series of workshops in and around refugee camps, targeted at Arabic-speaking residents interested in integrating in Germany. And I have a written brief detailing what the design is supposed to communicate to a number of target audiences- when working with NGO's this is a rare and precious thing to hang on to.

This occasion was enriched by detailed discussions around exact design placements, some serendipity in transparencies and the colour palette we had established over the last year.

We decided early on that the Logo would include alphabetical and cartographical (fancy for: a map) elements. I still find the map questionable, as it delineates a geographic border which does not represent the breadth of its population and inhabitants in their entirety. But it is an understandable graphic representation which does not include beer, sausages, Lederhosen or cars, if I am to be equally reductive. It also needed to be serious, because reports would be written and accounts made. 

The hamza is a glottal stop specific to the Arabic (and Farsi) script. As it is a diacritic symbol, it is combinable with different letters. So what happens when the letter A becomes a language hybrid A-ء ? A vowel at the beginning of a word can be a glottal stop, so- why not? Although an A- د combination piqued our visual interest, it became too illegible when combined with the map. Having established a colour palette to represent the association with, we decided to apply that to the logo, representing them visually in this new context. The Arabic name was chosen to mirror the German one, which transliterates the Arabic word for Germany (Almanya- which is close to the historical Alemani), and transliterates "Deutschland" into Arabic.  So:
Considering this context, we wanted a hand-made feel to promotional materials- and to ask a question that still feels relevant to all of us.  


After some deliberation on the advantages of centralised vs. localised distribution- centralised was cheaper, in spite of preferences for local responsibilities- flyers were designed and posters were designed and sent out for local printing. Paper was selected, things were printed and we had taken a step in developing the language that we would use in future developments.


Popular posts from this blog

Two minutes: Addiction is Life is Yellow.

Addiction is a much-maligned, muddy word. Until (ca.) the 18th century, it connoted tendency and drive, rather than (self-) affliction. Opium changed that- reportedly. 
Lives described as addiction: to the approval and company of peers, to power and its accumulation, to enjoyment and personal satisfaction (to some people, this may be suffering) and to basics such as air, food, water… and possibly even living. When framed this way, and defined in reference to this word, life suddenly becomes a selfish pursuit in which the living will do anything to get their fix, devoted addicts all. 
On that note: Marylin Manson - I Don't Like the Drugs, But the Drugs Like Me. 
Also: Addiction is apparently yellow. 

HNS Diary 3: The Man Who Stole Nothing / الرجل الذي سرق المفيش

When Heba told me she had the prints, my first instinct was to burn them.
It had been a week since our first call concerning a series of golden silkscreen prints. She, Don and the manager of the gallery representing Heba had discovered them by accident at the Berlin Art Fair. The prints are rather unremarkable- a series of nine, subdued silkscreens of pictures taken off the internet, printed with a shimmering, golden hue. They reminded me of my grandmothers' furniture in Cairo. What they depicted, however, was very familiar to us- we had made it, and these were blatant copies of our documentation of the work on the Homeland set.
Set picture: Bottom left, next to the flag: This series does not represent the view of the artists.

What they had come across was a series by David Krippendorff entitled “This Show does not Represent the View of the Artist”, a tiny play on one of the slogans we used. I was somewhat flattered, at first, at this attempt at an homage, until I read the artists st…

A grain of rice can save the world…

…with a bit of help from all its other grains of rice friends.
Not being able to do decent research into nutrition forced me to get a bit creative with this one. And do actual maths. Thanks to Ugur & Silke for their help in this.
Extra Info: this is what a single grain of rice looks like close up:

from AMagill on flickr
I wonder if a series of single grain infographics would be would be interesting?