The Center for Book Arts is hosting a series of 3 seminars dedicated to Arabic type design and typography, curated by Dr. Nadine Chahine, taking place on March 5, 7, and 19.
The theme of the series revolves around concepts of modernity in Arabic type design, the heritage of Arabic letterforms in the context of current technologies, contemporary Arabic branding design, and the history of Arab graphic design. The series brings together renowned and award winning designers working with Arabic type, both from the US and the Middle East.
This History of Art seminar will be on Contemporary Arabic Graphic Design. The evening will feature Tarek Atrissi, who will be discussing Branding with Arabic Typography; Abbott Miller will be leading a discussion on the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; Tala Safié will be presenting, “Haza al Massa” (or “Tonight”), a documentation of the golden years of Lebanese cinema through posters, zines, press books, and film ephemera; and Bahia Shehab, who will be giving a discussion entitled, From Calligraphers to Type designers: Arabic Script in Transition.
Lebanese-Dutch Tarek Atrissi is one of most recognized designers across the Arab world. He has gained an international reputation for his graphic work and has received prestigious awards and honors through his design career. He established in 2000 his Netherlands-based design studio, Tarek Atrissi Design (www.atrissi.com). The studio’s typographic and cross cultural design approach produced projects that left a significant influence on the contemporary graphic design landscape in the Middle East. Atrissi was listed in 2017 as one of the most influential 100 Lebanese professional figures around the globe.
Born in Beirut, Tarek Atrissi has worked, lived and studied in Lebanon, The Netherlands, Qatar, Dubai, Spain and the United States. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design with distinction from the American University of Beirut; a Masters of Arts in Interactive Multimedia from the Utrecht School of the Arts in Holland; and an MFA in Design entrepreneurship from the School of Visual Arts in New York. He holds as well a postgraduate degree in Typeface Design from the type@cooper program of the Cooper Union New York.
Abbott Miller was born in Indiana and studied design at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York. In 1989 he founded the multidisciplinary studio Design/Writing/Research where, in collaboration with Ellen Lupton, he pioneered the concept of “designer as author,” undertaking projects in which content and form are developed in a symbiotic relationship. He joined Pentagram’s New York office as a partner in June 1999.
Abbott has received numerous design honors, including medals from the Society for Publication Designers and three nominations for National Magazine Awards. In 1994 Abbott—together with Ellen Lupton—was awarded the first annual Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design. He is a member of the Type Directors Club, the Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD) and the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI). He teaches in the Graphic Design Department of the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. His work and critical writing has appeared in Eye, Print and other publications, and he is the co-author of four books, including the classic Design/Writing/Research: Writing on Graphic Design. A survey of his design work, Abbott Miller: Design and Content, was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2014.
Tala Safie is a graphic designer from Beirut based in New York. She currently works as a designer for AIGA Eye on Design, and as an art director for the New York Times.
Bahia Shehab is Professor of design and founder of the graphic design program at The American University in Cairo. Her work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and streets around the world. She has received a number of international recognitions and awards, which include the BBC 100 Women list (2013), a TED Senior fellowship (2016), and a Prince Claus Award (2016). She is the first Arab woman to receive the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture. Her publications include “A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif” (Khatt 2010), “At The Corner of a Dream” (Gingko Library 2019) and a co-authored book “A History of Arab Graphic Design” (AUC Press 2020).
Dr. Nadine Chahine is an award-winning Lebanese type designer and principal at ArabicType Ltd. She has an MA in Typeface Design from the University of Reading, UK, and a PhD from Leiden University, The Netherlands. She has numerous awards including two Awards for Excellence in Type Design from the Type Directors Club in New York in 2008 and 2011. Her typefaces include: Frutiger Arabic, Neue Helvetica Arabic, Univers Next Arabic, Palatino Arabic, and Koufiya. Nadine’s work has been featured in the 5th edition of Megg’s History of Graphic Design and in 2012 she was selected by Fast Company as one of its 100 Most Creative People in Business. In 2016 her work was showcased in the 4th edition of First Choice which highlights the work of the 250 top global designers. In 2017, Nadine was selected by Creative Review to their Creative Leaders 50.
Contemporary Arabic Graphic Design, March 7, 2020
The Center for Book Arts promotes active explorations of both contemporary and traditional artistic practices related to the book as an art object. The Center seeks to facilitate communication between the book arts community and the larger spheres of contemporary visual and literary arts, while being a model organization locally, nationally, and internationally within the field. We achieve this through exhibitions, classes, public programming, literary presentations, opportunities for artists and writers, publications, and collecting.
Support for the Center for Book Arts’ Visual Arts Program is provided, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Image courtesy of Tala Safié and Tony Elieh