RASM: Contemporary Arabic TypoGraphic Posters 2008—2018

Curated by Dr Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares

9 Nov 2018
26 Jan 2019

RASM is the first exhibition at 1971 – Design Space solely dedicated to graphic design. It presents posters of designers since the launch of the Khatt Foundation’s design community as well as two new commissioned works by Dubai-based designers.

Opening: Friday 9 November, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.
Panel Discussion: Friday 9 November, 5—6 p.m.

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The posters were carefully selected to represent a wide array of Arab nationalities and styles and reveal the experimental typographic explorations of designers in the region. It presents the best regional talents and their contribution to the fields of type design and typography, focusing on diversity and unique design approaches. The exhibition will be opened on Friday, 9 November 2018 at 4:30 p.m. at 1971-Design Space, Sharjah, and will run until Saturday, 19 January, 2019. The opening will be followed by a panel discussion at 5:00 p.m. with the curator of the exhibition and the Founder of the Khatt Foundation, Dr Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares, the two commissioned designers and the graphic designer Ben Wittner from Berlin, Germany.

“RASM” (meaning ‘drawing’ in Arabic), underlines a challenge that designers face: when drawing Arabic lettering or typefaces, designers must inevitably assume the responsibility of taking creative risks that question set conventions, recognize contemporary design trends and question what one takes for granted. Experimenting with materials and techniques, creating clear and innovative concepts as well as engaging with social, promotional and public issues are all necessary ingredients for a critical understanding of the role of design in contemporary Arab culture today.

The exhibition is divided into a section of selected Arabic typographic posters from the Khatt Foundation’s design community from the past decade and another section is dedicated to newly commissioned artworks from two Dubai-based designers. The commissions are typographic installations by designers Ranim Al Halaky and Abjad Design. They are results of experimenting with Arabic scripts - one which transforms into a physical installation in the gallery space itself and relates to the poetry of Nizar Qabani (“Unheard Voices” by Ranim Al Halaky) and another one which acts as an interactive visual sound installation exploring the relationship between music and the Arabic script (“A Hidden Quintet” by Abjad Design).

RASM is a celebration of the creative development of contemporary graphic and typographic design in the region in the 21st century. It invites young designers from the region to carry on exploring new creative avenues for Arabic lettering and typography.

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