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Between Heritage and Modernity: Contemporary Arabic Graphic Design

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Center For Book Arts Inc

28 West 27th Street

New York, NY 10001

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The Center for Book Arts is hosting a series of 3 seminars dedicated to Arabic type design and typography, curated by Dr. Nadine Chahine.

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The Center for Book Arts is hosting a series of 3 seminars dedicated to Arabic type design and typography, curated by Dr. Nadine Chahine, taking place on March 5, 7, and 19.

The theme of the series revolves around concepts of modernity in Arabic type design, the heritage of Arabic letterforms in the context of current technologies, contemporary Arabic branding design, and the history of Arab graphic design. The series brings together renowned and award winning designers working with Arabic type, both from the US and the Middle East.

This History of Art seminar will be on Contemporary Arabic Graphic Design. The afternoon will feature Tarek Atrissi, who will be discussing Branding with Arabic Typography; Tala Safié will be presenting, "Haza al Massa" (or "Tonight"), a documentation of the golden years of Lebanese cinema through posters, zines, press books, and film ephemera; and Bahia Shehab, who will be giving a discussion entitled, From Calligraphers to Type designers: Arabic Script in Transition.

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Lebanese-Dutch Tarek Atrissi established in 2000 his design studio, Tarek Atrissi Design (www.atrissi.com), with offices in Barcelona and The Netherlands. The studio’s cross cultural design approach has gained an international reputation and produced projects that left a significant influence on the contemporary graphic design landscape in the Middle East. His awards includes TDC New York, the Adobe Design Achievement Awards, and the Design for Asia Award, among others.

Tarek Atrissi holds a BA in Graphic Design with distinction from the American University of Beirut; a Masters of Arts in Interactive Multimedia from the Utrecht School of the Arts in Holland; and an MFA in Design entrepreneurship from the School of Visual Arts in New York. He holds a postgraduate degree in Typeface Design from the type@cooper program of the Cooper Union. Atrissi founded www.ArabicTypography.com - an Arabic Type Foundry specializing in multilingual typeface design. He has been on the judging panel of many international design competitions, including the Tehran Typeface Design competition in Iran, The Taiwan International Student Design Competition, The TDC competition in New York, and 100/100 Poster design competition in Egypt. He is board member at Creative Industries Fund NL in the Netherlands: the Dutch cultural fund for architecture, design and digital culture.

Tala Safié is a graphic designer from Beirut based in New York. She currently works as a designer for AIGA Eye on Design, and as an art director for the New York Times.

Bahia Shehab is Professor of design and founder of the graphic design program at The American University in Cairo. Her work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and streets around the world. She has received a number of international recognitions and awards, which include the BBC 100 Women list (2013), a TED Senior fellowship (2016), and a Prince Claus Award (2016). She is the first Arab woman to receive the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture. Her publications include "A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif" (Khatt 2010), “At The Corner of a Dream” (Gingko Library 2019) and a co-authored book “A History of Arab Graphic Design” (AUC Press 2020).

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Dr. Nadine Chahine is an award-winning Lebanese type designer and principal at ArabicType Ltd. She has an MA in Typeface Design from the University of Reading, UK, and a PhD from Leiden University, The Netherlands. She has numerous awards including two Awards for Excellence in Type Design from the Type Directors Club in New York in 2008 and 2011. Her typefaces include: Frutiger Arabic, Neue Helvetica Arabic, Univers Next Arabic, Palatino Arabic, and Koufiya. Nadine's work has been featured in the 5th edition of Megg's History of Graphic Design and in 2012 she was selected by Fast Company as one of its 100 Most Creative People in Business. In 2016 her work was showcased in the 4th edition of First Choice which highlights the work of the 250 top global designers. In 2017, Nadine was selected by Creative Review to their Creative Leaders 50.

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The schedule:

Modernity in Arabic Type Design, March 5, 2020

Contemporary Arabic Graphic Design, March 7, 2020

Technology and Heritage, March 19, 2020

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All presentations will be in English, and will be live streamed.

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The Center for Book Arts promotes active explorations of both contemporary and traditional artistic practices related to the book as an art object. The Center seeks to facilitate communication between the book arts community and the larger spheres of contemporary visual and literary arts, while being a model organization locally, nationally, and internationally within the field. We achieve this through exhibitions, classes, public programming, literary presentations, opportunities for artists and writers, publications, and collecting.

Support for The Center for Book Arts’ 2020 History of Art Series is provided, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council.

Image courtesy of Tala Safié and Tony Elieh

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