Interstate of Mind » Arabic http://www.interstateofmind.com Ideas from the heart. Creative minds for the driven and uncompromising. Interstate Creative Partners. Fri, 10 Oct 2014 13:18:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Al Riwaq + Alwan 338 http://www.interstateofmind.com/al-riwaq-alwan-338/ http://www.interstateofmind.com/al-riwaq-alwan-338/#comments Fri, 20 Apr 2012 13:22:14 +0000 http://www.interstateofmind.com/?p=2047 Coinciding with the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix is Alwan 338, a month-long arts festival introducing Bahrain’s up and coming generation of conceptual artists. Exploring the possibilities generated by placing art in the public space, the event is centered around three key locations: Local gallery Al Riwaq, Bohemia – a vacant building in the heart of Adliya, and The Park – a new open public space with unconventional planting and quirky seating.

At Al Riwaq, a London Tube inspired map presents you with a local guide to selected street bars, restaurants and venues, film screenings, readings, exhibitions, performances and workshops. In a bid to promote public engagement with the outdoors, visitors are invited to go on a journey following a series of unique commissioned public art installations.

Our team is present and reporting about a very funky experience.

Visit Alwan 338

Visit Al Riwaq

Follow @alriwaq + @alwan338

Clockwise from the top: Installation by Cardiff based artist Alan Goulbourne, currently artist in residence at Al Riwaq, Al Riwaq signage, Bohemia house wall.
Main image: London Tube inspired map at Al Riwaq.
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Interstate Team in KSA http://www.interstateofmind.com/ih-in-ksa/ http://www.interstateofmind.com/ih-in-ksa/#comments Tue, 06 Dec 2011 14:33:05 +0000 http://www.interstateofmind.com/?p=1851 Our first visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia introduced us to sudden rain and floods, lebanese sheep brains for lunch, 7p per litre petrol, two huge towers overlooking a city that never sleeps and unforgettable taxi rides.

Caroline of course had to make a few wardrobe alterations to make the trip, but we clearly made an impact at the top of the Al-Faisaliah Tower with the locals who insisted we starred in their photos. No doubt we are now on someone’s Facebook page somewhere…

Insightful and enjoyable.

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Big Ben http://www.interstateofmind.com/big-ben/ http://www.interstateofmind.com/big-ben/#comments Thu, 12 May 2011 07:53:14 +0000 http://www.interstateofmind.com/?p=1537 Creating artwork on a LARGE scale.

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This was artwork on a LARGE scale. Asked to supply Mumtalakat, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund, with a billboard to be erected in support of the government, we set about designing with the bigger picture in mind. But I, like most designers, am shielded from the full force of actually delivering the final product to the client; this was Ben’s job.

Poor Ben… We knew the dimensions of this giant advertisement but quite frankly, at 0.18% of the size of your artwork, there is no easy way to comprehend 715 metres square. Supported only by managing director Nick, supplying endless cups of tea and a shoulder to cry on in the wee small hours, the boys struggled on with 28gb images, that after waiting 90 minutes for them to save, couldn’t even be placed. Even building the file at 10% was too much for InDesign to handle and soon the dreaded ‘spinning umbrella of justice’ was circling round and round.

17 hours, 2 macs, 9 restarts and a Royal Wedding later, Ben finally left the studio having delivered this mammoth piece of artwork. And I would personally like to thank and congratulate him as we received images of the billboard in action and it looks truly awesome…

Nice one Ben xlx

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A Food Journey to the Heart of Morocco http://www.interstateofmind.com/a-food-journey-to-the-heart-of-morocco/ http://www.interstateofmind.com/a-food-journey-to-the-heart-of-morocco/#comments Fri, 01 Apr 2011 14:01:12 +0000 http://www.interstateofmind.com/?p=1408

Today sees the international launch of ‘A Month in Marrakesh’, a recipe book and travelogue published by Hardie Grant, with food by Andy Harris; editor of Jamie Magazine, who embraces the wealth of flavours that Morocco has to offer, all of which are brought to life by beautiful photography and illustrations from renowned photographer David Loftus. To see how we brought to life the recipes and memories that both Andy and David experienced during their stay in Morocco, click here.

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When is Shari’a not Shari’a? http://www.interstateofmind.com/when-is-sharia-not-sharia/ http://www.interstateofmind.com/when-is-sharia-not-sharia/#comments Fri, 29 Jan 2010 12:03:23 +0000 http://www.interstateofmind.com/?p=31 As a financial product offering needs to have a seal of approval or Fatwa from a Shari’a scholar, interesting anomalies can occur. In a recent BBC News article (read the full story here) whether a product gets approved or not depends on the individual scholar’s view on the matter. If a scholar refused a product, the bankers would practice ‘Fatwa Shopping’ by going to another, “If he doesn’t give it to us, we phone up another scholar, offer him a sum of money for his services and ask him for a Fatwa. We do this until we get Shari’a compliance. Then we are free to distribute the product as Islamic.”

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As a financial product offering needs to have a seal of approval or Fatwa from a Shari’a scholar, interesting anomalies can occur. In a recent BBC News article (read the full story here) whether a product gets approved or not depends on the individual scholar’s view on the matter. If a scholar refused a product, the bankers would practice ‘Fatwa Shopping’ by going to another, “If he doesn’t give it to us, we phone up another scholar, offer him a sum of money for his services and ask him for a Fatwa. We do this until we get Shari’a compliance. Then we are free to distribute the product as Islamic.”

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Birds of a Feather http://www.interstateofmind.com/birds-of-a-feather/ http://www.interstateofmind.com/birds-of-a-feather/#comments Mon, 02 Nov 2009 16:48:58 +0000 http://www.interstateofmind.com/?p=404 During a lunchtime walk along Westbourne Grove last week I noticed an identity on the side of a taxi that reminded me of something similar we produced at Interstate. The Egyptair logo in question (launched as part of a 2008 rebrand) had a lot in common with a marque we developed for Dubai-based DXB Sports in 2007.

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During a lunchtime walk along Westbourne Grove last week I noticed an identity on the side of a taxi that reminded me of something similar we produced at Interstate. The Egyptair logo in question (launched as part of a 2008 rebrand) had a lot in common with a marque we developed for Dubai-based DXB Sports in 2007.

On my return to the studio I Googled my sighting and discovered the commonalities were far deeper and intriguing than originally met the eye.

The Egyptair identity and the marque we created for DXB Sports both feature dynamic falcon heads

A stylized Falcon’s head provides the inspiration for the two identities and in both cases for reasons of heritage, history and national pride. The Egyptair logo is a stylized rendering of Horus, the sky deity in ancient Egyptian mythology, usually depicted as a falcon or a man with the head of a falcon. Horus was adopted by the airline as its logo because of its ancient symbolism as a “winged god of the sun”. Likewise, we used the Falcon for DXB because of it’s association with the Emirate of Dubai. Falconry is a massive sport in Dubai and the Middle East as a whole, it is the sport of Royalty and therefore is both respected and recognised, providing the basis for an iconic national and international brand.

The Egyptair identity features Horus, one of the oldest and most significant of the deities in the Ancient Egyptian religion

The original sketch and moodboard images that inspired the DXB identity

The ‘DXB Falcon’ was rendered in a more abstract and dynamic style to echo an underlying theme of a ‘convergence of international sporting excellence’ centered in Dubai. The marque also took inspiration from the particular markings and feathers of the head of a prairie falcon and the colour palette was dictated by the proportions of red and white that constitute Dubai’s flag. These references lend the marque authority, a keen sense of direction and the highest levels of precision.

In both cases the history and prestige of this famous bird has lent itself to an effective brand identity. To whoever was responsible for the Egyptair rebrand all I have to say is “great minds think alike”!

The final DXB identity

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Arabic Typography in New York http://www.interstateofmind.com/arabic-typography-in-new-york/ http://www.interstateofmind.com/arabic-typography-in-new-york/#comments Fri, 30 Oct 2009 18:34:21 +0000 http://www.interstateofmind.com/?p=92 Nigel and myself attended the Arabic Typography workshop at the TDC (Type Directors Club) in New York last weekend. The event was hosted by Nadine Chahine, Linotype’s branding manager and Arabic Type expert.

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Nigel and myself attended the Arabic Typography workshop at the TDC (Type Directors Club) in New York last weekend. The event was hosted by Nadine Chahine, Linotype’s branding manager and Arabic Type expert.

Proceedings kicked-off on the Thursday evening with a short presentation and introduction and then we got down to the fun stuff at 8.30am on Friday morning. In preparation for the event we each had to select a ‘latin’ logotype and our task, with the help of Nadine’s expert advice, was to create the Arabic version.

I worked on the Arabic version of a current branding project we have in the studio, as such I can’t show the results at present as the project is still in development. Nigel chose to create an Arabic version of the Allianz logo and its modern and heavy Latin appearance led to some interesting results when trying to achieve the correct balance between the two. What really surprised both of us was the fact that out of all the attendees we were the only two who decided to sketch first, everyone else jumped straight on to the Mac!

Equally as intriquing as the workshop itself was the venue in which it was held. The TDC is located on West 35th Street and when not in use for events it is used by House Industries, the Delaware based type foundry, as their New York showroom. They had some great products on display and together with the TDC’s collection of lead letterpress type and related artifacts it all created a wonderful and inspiring environment.

All in all it was a great weekend and an invaluable experience. Thank you to everyone at the TDC, especially Carol Wahler, for hosting the event and a very big thank you to Nadine for sharing with us her experience and expertise.

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The World’s Best Player… in any Language http://www.interstateofmind.com/the-world%e2%80%99s-best-player%e2%80%a6-in-any-language/ http://www.interstateofmind.com/the-world%e2%80%99s-best-player%e2%80%a6-in-any-language/#comments Fri, 11 Sep 2009 18:43:46 +0000 http://www.interstateofmind.com/?p=96 In my opinion the words ‘global brand’ are overused in modern day football and are often taken out of context of what the ‘beautiful game’ stands for. However, as a designer with a growing interest in Arabic typography it was refreshing to see Real Madrid’s recent issue of language specific player shirts.

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In my opinion the words ‘global brand’ are overused in modern day football and are often taken out of context of what the ‘beautiful game’ stands for. However, as a designer with a growing interest in Arabic typography it was refreshing to see Real Madrid’s recent issue of language specific player shirts.

I’ve no doubt that Ronaldo’s worldwide marketability as well as his footballing talent was a major reason behind Real Madrid’s willingness to pay Manchester United £80 million for football’s most prized asset. With Ronaldo shirts tipped to outsell even that of David Beckham during his time at the Bernabeu, Real Madrid have decided to offer Japanese, Chinese and Arab fans Ronaldo shirts in their own language.

Ronaldo (or Cristiano) in Arabic, Chinese and Japanese

The part of me that thinks a centre forward should still only wear a jersey that displays the number nine and not even the player’s name says this is an over-the-top way of making more money, but the western graphic designer part of me only sees the characters and letterforms as intriguing and great to look at (although I believe the Arabic one reads ‘Cristiano’ and not ‘Ronaldo’). I just hope the trend doesn’t make it on to the pitch at next year’s World Cup or poor old John Motson will be lost for words!

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