Amman Panoramic Map 1995

While exploring my archive I’ve stumbled on this map of Amman, it was published by “International Media Services”, as you see their credentials at the map footer.

It’s really a strange thing to find! I don’t recall how it came into my archive.. it’s like seeing a visualised memory directly in my hands. Anway, the map is really interesting, it shows you  the brands, shops, venues and landmarks of Amman two decades ago, I’m sure many of us still remembering few parts of this map, the map of a vivid city who changed a lot.

The map, obviously, was drawn by hand, the artist who done that used some weird orientations, so you find Rainbow street is west of Al-Husseini Mosque and they share the same horizontal level, then you keep going west until you reach Abdoun, a few steps after Abdoun you find yourself in the Queen Alia Airport! Funny..

However, the artist made a good effort to draw the building’s facade, I was impressed to see some iconic buildings of Amman drawn in a nice way, it seems like someone did a big research for photos and logos, and delivered them to the artist’s hands.

Many brands in this map have been extinct, and many are still surviving, but it still Amman that we love!

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Bilingual Typography at the map’s masthead.

 

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Good job on drawing this building, still exist on the Queen Rania Street.

 

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Childhood memories at Jollibee restaurant in Shmaisany.

 

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You can download a high-res photo of the map from here.: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alazaat/27737641776

 

 

 

Secret harmony in Islamic manuscripts

This is a big research that I’m working on, I’m so thrilled to dig more to reveal more and more stories from our own history. Here I’m sharing a piece that amused me, it’s a spread from Ibn al-Nafis book: Compendium of the Canon of Medicine which he wrote around 1240 CE – 1288 CE, I added some guiding graphics to emphasis my findings.

Enjoy looking!

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A 27 years of waiting..

As I’m always saying; my first design instructor was Mohie El Deen El Labbad, the late artist, designer and cartoonist–or as he used to describe himself: A bookmaker!

I started reading Labbad articles in Majed magazine, at the age of 8 and 9, he had a weekly article about art, design thinking, graphic design, art critique, visual understanding, culture and identity re-forming, all for children readers, of course, he was the pioneer, and sadly saying; I’m not sure if there is anyone still doing this at the present time.

He launched several series, each having one title and one theme, in this article from 1988, he wrote under the title “The Beautiful Books’ Closet – خزانة الكتب الجميلة” a review on something he admired a lot; the Arab Arts. The catalog was published by The Freer Gallery of Art, at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museums in Washington, 1975.

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Continue reading →

Theeb film, Arabic calligraphy in the OSCARS

At one evening in October 2013, I sat down with the Jordanian director Naji Abu Nowar to discuss the collaboration between me and him to design the Arabic main title and credits for his new feature film Theeb, I was more than excited to take the job, it was a great honor for me to work with such a brilliant director like Naji, for a great shining opportunity in the Arab film industry.

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My initial quick sketches with Naji, discussing styles and calligraphy approach.

We agreed to adapt the Nastaliq calligraphic style, that relates to the Ottoman official signage system that was popular in our region in 1916, where the film’s events are happening in. Continue reading →

Islamic Seals Design

I was impressed with this amazing collection of Islamic seals on different manuscripts from various Islamic cultures and ages, this database was collected by Chester Beatty Library in Dublin from their own fine archive of manuscripts, more than 2600 seal impressions were found and documented!

Yes, 2600!

I’ve picked some of them to share with you, copy rights are reserved to Chester Beatty Library:

 

My next little project is to make one seal for my name inspired by these designs.. stay tuned!