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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.


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