Head Heart & Hand


Head Heart & Hand is my ISTD project to be presented to the assessors in London (fingers crossed!)
The brief was about investigating a space 3 meters long, 3 meters high and 3 meters wide and to interpret it typographically using just 1 single A1 sheet and some sort of packaging/mailing.

The space of investigation is my design studio, my room, the place where I spend time for thinking and working. A relatively small space, three meters long, three meters wide and three meters high. Like any designer’s working space it witnesses a process and a thinking methodology.

The research tackled many aspects and subjects like studying geometric cubic shapes, folding, history of popups, design thinking and processes, ambigrams, type in 3D… To further push the theoretical part, the research had inputs from readings of Jessica Helfand, Paula Scher, Michael Bierut, Erik Speikermann, Huda Abifares, Milton glaser, Richard Saul Wurman, Michael McDonough…


The investigation follows one way of understanding this process, the one that approaches design by the ‘Head, Heart and Hand’ process (3Hs). In the room, each of these terms is one of the isometric axes. The volume defined within is the multiplication of these three axes; the synergy of Head Heart and Hand at work.


Head (semantic) refers to the cognitive ability of the designer to understand decode the brief and to establish the client’s needs. It is the functional and intellectual part of the design which relies on logic and rational; the intelligence to apprehend and educate the client.

Heart (semiotic) stands for the intuitive solution that a designer finds, based on knowledge and unconscious previous experiences. This solution is a visual styling that answers the problem. It is a response characterized by its emotive aspect and imaginative dimension away from feasibility. Each person tends to have his own personal affective function and reacts differently to similar messages and experiences.

Hand (pragmatic) denotes the execution, refinement and production. It underlines the actual design and the implementation part of the process. ‘Hand’ can also be the interaction of the audience with the final product. The final output in this case should be taking the idea one step further and not holding it back. Craftsmanship is no longer just coupled with the actual organ (the hand); it can also be considered the clever conversion of the idea to a visual medium. The aesthetic sense at this point is of crucial importance.


The project focuses on these three divisions of design process and tackles some of the other ways of categorizing Design within three parts (Semiotics/Semiotics/Pragmatics, Structure/Space/appearance, Discipline/Appropriateness/Ambiguity.)
The project is an attempt to visually represent the three divisions and their inter-relations in space through both a generic and a personal approach.

I have also transferred all the visual/theoretical conclusions to a screen output; 4 short movies (45 seconcs each) each for the Introduction, Head, Heart, Hand, Attainment. I’ll upload them here when I get more used to my new blogging hobby and figure out how to post videos 😀

Meanwhile feel free to post any comment or discuss the subject!

Explore posts in the same categories: Broadsheet, Typography

3 Comments on “Head Heart & Hand”

  1. boucci Says:

    wa22222222eeel i will always remember the day i should say the journey we went through to glue this thing together specially l toz7eet :D:D::D:DD: yalla 3a2bel l prize !!!!!

  2. wael Says:

    yeah rebecca! the long process of this project had its literally dangerous phases haha:>
    thanks for being there!

  3. celine doumit Says:

    hye wael i’m a ndu student and john passed us ur ISTD project it’s amazing,good job…
    We’re going to present the ISTD at may 5
    Can u give me an advice!!!

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