Despite their rich tradition of calligraphy, the Arab World and Persia are not known
for their contemporary graphic design, illustration and typography. Especially
now, it s worth taking a look at the region s creativity. Young designers are just
beginning to chart their own compelling course between local visual convention
and a modern, international style.
Arabesque investigates the creative potential of the Arab World and Iran. This
book features examples of recent innovative and groundbreaking design work
that is inspired by the richness of the region s visual culture.
Given the important role of calligraphy in the Middle East, Arabesque focuses
on typography. The book presents a wide range of Arabic fonts and typefaces
inspired by traditional calligraphy; these are accompanied by a rich selection of
applications. Further examples of design and graffiti serve as powerful demonstrations
of how text can be used illustratively. This work is particularly relevant
to those now creating street art and poster design.
Arabesque also features graphic design, logos and illustration by young designers
and activists from Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which
is complemented by selected projects by Western designers, who are strongly
influenced by Arab culture. Regardless of the location and ancestry of their
creators, all of the examples included in Arabesque combine modern design with
the traditional, letter-based canon of Arab forms in striking ways.
Supplemental texts describe the environments in which the featured designers
and artists work. Arabesque also includes a CD-ROM that features a typeface
created by the book s editors, Ben Wittner and Sascha Thoma.