Arabic type design: now what?
maajoun was commissioned a short opinion piece on the possibilities of Arabic type design, to be featured in The Outpost‘s pilot issue, published in September. Below is the unedited version of this piece.

Type design is the practice of creating typefaces. This practice is rather complex; it requires a deep knowledge in the history of type, a solid understanding of type anatomy, a capacity to draw beautiful letter shapes and a strong technical know-how that allows the designer to turn their letters into a functional font that could be used on multiple platforms depending on the intended usage of their font. more…

maajoun for Masha3
On September 28, Beirut’s Saint Georges Bay hosted the launch celebration of Masha3 which is a people’s initiative to reclaim and create public spaces in Beirut. The launch party grouped supporters from across the arts; performers, musicians, DJs, illustrators and designers. maajoun was delighted to take part of this launch; we participated with a simple idea that was adapted to a poster and postcards, a 42″ animation and an interactive wall.

Strategically, the initiative chose to start campaigning around the backfilled Beiruti waterfront, notably the area in between the western port currently known as the Marina and the eastern port which is still under construction. Solidere Real Estate Development company aims to transform this area into a money-making business hub, while Masha3 argues that, by law, any backfilled area is and should remain public property. more…

When maajoun meets egg

After many months of work, was finally launched. The result clearly shows how well crafted copy could enhance visuals – and vice versa.

We met the guys at egg around a year ago when we had just started. Originally a two-people start-up like us, egg had a lot of advice for us on the logistics and dynamics of small creative businesses. Some time later, Egg came to us for their website. more…

Kasheeda: Yara Khoury shares her 3-D type design experience


Type designer Yara Khoury shares her experience on designing the first 3-D typeface ‘Kasheeda’ through an inspiring interview hosted by the maajouns. In addition to her independent practice, Yara is design director in Mohtaraf Beirut Graphics and faculty member in Notre Dame University (NDU) in Lebanon.

01. Can you start by telling us how you got interested in type design in general?

It all started during my undergraduate studies in NDU. The design program in NDU is quite focused on typography, which is probably an influence taken on from Professor Peter Rea who had re-structured the whole program at the university a few years back on the model of the Bauhaus school. My MA study in Middlesex was also type-focused. But mostly I would say I got deeply involved in type through the practical work I do at Mohtaraf Beirut Graphics–a very calligraphy and type-oriented graphic design studio. The studio’s work has a long history or tradition in calligraphic practices that started off with calendars and then gradually progressed into type design. more…

maajoun in PKN Beirut 10
In March, the maajouns were invited to take a shot at the famous 20×20 format during the 10th edition of Pecha Kucha Night Beirut.

The event took place in Art Lounge and featured 12 speakers: Koulourz, Hibr, Nadine Feghaly, Noel Nasr and Mary-Angela Willis, Rana Abou Rjeily, maajoun, AsILE, Wissam Koteit, Hote Libanais, Nino Azzi, Laboratoire d’Art and Mashallah News. For those who have missed on the actual presentation, we prepared a small video of the slide show. Many thanks for Bilal Yamani who helped us record the sound in his home studio. more…

Together for the reopening of ‘Horsh Beirut’
Horsh Beirut, also known as ‘Horsh al-Sanawbar’ or ‘Bois de Pins’ is one of the few green spaces left in the city of Beirut after concrete has taken over. This green space –which area is in constant shrinking– has been closed to the public since 1992.

Nahnoo have been working hard on a campaign that advocates the reopening of ‘Horsh Beirut’. Primarily targeted at the municipality and other governmental entities, the campaign approaches the topic from a legal perspective and highlights the many social and health related advantages of reopening the space. The campaign also offers a clear logistical plan for this reopening; i.e. opening times, security and maintenance measures. more…

The making-of our season’s greetings
To mark the beginning of 2011, and the launch of our studio, we ventured into a play-dough session where we had great fun confectioning our mini-mes. These were designed to star in the first maajoun greeting card.

The process was simple, somewhat meditative, and definitely messy! A full account of the operation can be viewed on our flickr page. more…

Season’s greetings

Arek wins Granshan 2010
Arek comes first in Granshan’s Armenian text typefaces category, and takes home the competition’s Grand Prize! The third International Eastern Type Design Competition for Armenian, Cyrillic and Greek typefaces, took place on Sep. 9 to 12, during the ATypI conference in Dublin.

Developed during my studies at the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague (KABK), Arek is an Armenian typeface initially designed to be used for schoolbooks. A modern interpretation of the ancient Armenian script used in old manuscripts, it currently comprises an upright and cursive style in two weights; regular and black. Arek is a typeface rich in various OpenType features such as ligatures and contextual alternates, developed to remain true to the original structure of Armenian letter shapes. more…

Shimal/Noord: The first Arabic travel guide to the Netherlands

A group of 22 artists and designers from the Netherlands, Egypt and the Middle East have met in Amsterdam this summer (Jul-Sep 2010) for a mapping project initiated by the Mediamatic foundation.

The different mapping exercises have resulted in an exhibition and a travel guide which was published as a supplement in one of Amsterdam’s most highly circulated dailies Het Parool. Maajoun was happy to lead the design team which was responsible for the identity of the project, and the design of the travel guide. This experience was one of a kind for us: it was the first time we work within such a big team of artists, designers, researchers, editors, writers and translators. And the first time our work results in a roomful of printed matter: more than 106.000 copies of the guide were printed at one go! more…

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