ISIS Typography

Since the creation of ISIS in 2013, I witnessed as an Arab and Muslim citizen the bloody image of ISIS, and their strong media presence as well, and I observed the usage of type and calligraphy in their designs for social media and other outlets. In this post, I’ll show my findings* for ISIS designs and will comment on them.

isis01

The official logo and flag of ISIS, which is the stamp of prophet Mohammad under the “Shahada” phrase that say: There is no god but Allah. The typographic style here is mimicking the stamp design in the 7th century, very basic, primitive and without any diacritic marks. ISIS used this design to declare their rights of “Khelafa” or caliphate. While in fact, the prophet Mohammad have not used his stamp as a war symbol, he used it as a personal stamp on messages to invite other rulers in the region to know about Islam. (We didn’t see the real stamp or its impression, the current known one is fake and was made by a Turkish artisan in the 19th century, the words’ order in the fake stamp above is wrong, Arabic words should stack over each other from top to down not the apposite)

isis02

The ISIS branding was seen in Bahrain, seeing this typographic design is a bad omen for anyone!

isis03

Here I’ll come to an interesting find, many of ISIS designs and publications is using a famous Arabic typeface, which is Al Jazeera channel corporate font.

isis04

Al Jazeera, that broadcast form Qatar, a contraventional TV channel and well-known world-class brand. As we see here their font is being used on their TV interface.

isis05

Al Jazeera channel’s font is being heavily used in ISIS designs, here it’s used as a caption on the first appearance of the caliph Ibrahim of ISIS

isis06

~ The Best Nation

isis07

Bilingual design, Using Al Jazeera font combined with a semi Futura font!

isis08

Breaking news style, very similar to Al Jazeera visual language

isis11

The other branch of ISIS in Libya, in this deign they are threatening to rise the ISIS flag over the coliseum in Rome! Using Al Jazeera font of course..

isis12

Here, we come a very interesting part of ISIS typographic study, which is the branding design for each state in the ISIS, I was impressed when I saw this for the first time, there is a serious effort has been made to create a typographic logo for every state!

isis13

Custom lettering for Al Khair state (Means the good) inspired from the Kufi Qairawani style with an intervention to enlarge the dot of Khaa, interesting and powerful!

isis14

Kerkuk logo, set in old Kufi Nesaburi style..

isis15

Diala and Nainawa states, in Sunbuli calligraphic style..

isis16

More logos for Al Furat, Al Raqqa and Aleppo states

isis17

Interesting design approach for Salah El Deen state (top right corner) that look like a ship, also Sinai and Al Janoob states

isis18

This photo was distributed on the internet claiming to be the official car plate of the ISIS, we see here the use of Ruqaa style in the design

isis20

Virtual mockup for the ISIS passport, using a computer Kufic font to reflect the grandness and the glory of the caliphate, and it say the following phrase: “The armies will be moved to carrier of the passport if any harm happened to him”

isis21

Intersting coin design of the ISIS, the face of each coin is using a computerize version of Thuluth script, and on the back there is a different illustrations and icons with Arabic/Hindi numerals set in Al Jazeera font again

isis22

English designs, ISIS famous magazine, and the usage of Trajan

isis23

Screen grab from a video of ISIS, where they demolish the borders between Syria and Iraq, the logotype of this campaign used a humanist sans serif font

isis24

A joyful script type over a condensed bold type, to celebrate the Eid occasion

isis25

Cyrillic script is presented here is well, since ISIS is targeting mercenaries from Eastern Europe and West Asia

isis26

Bilingual stenciled typography, the bridges in the English title is way better than the Arabic one

isis27

Despite of the consistency in brand implementation of ISIS, we still see some designs are off from the brand guidelines, here is Al Khair state logo is incorrect, and the design title is set in Luxor font of Diwan Software, UK!

isis28

And now, to the biggest surprise, my own font, Kharabeesh, which I designed as a comic and sarcastic typeface for the Kharabeesh network in 2011. I was really shocked to see it here, the font design purpose was to bring smile to people and to create sarcasm on the local affairs of the Arab world, the font was stolen of course, and it reached the ISIS designer’s computer somehow..

isis29

My Kharabeesh font a long with another Arabic typeface..

ISIS is definitely a nightmare, I hope it will be vanished soon, so people will gain their freedom and dignity, better than anytime before.

* Photos: different resources found on the internet

Advertisements

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s