Archive for the ‘Amsterdam’ category

Typographic Matchmaking in the City 2.0

October 22, 2009

The Khatt Foundation, curated by Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares, launched the Typographic Matchmaking sequel — Typographic Matchmaking in the City V2.0 project — which focuses on typography’s use in place making within an urban context.

Just like the first Typographic Matchmaking project, there are 5 teams of matched designers, only this time there architects are on board, along with major new ingredients. This time as well, my friend Khajag Apelian and I, are both part of 2 of the teams in the project.

What remains the same:
-5 teams of designers from Europe and the Middle east
-The aim is to create 5 pairs of matching Latin and Arabic typefaces
-Showcase the result in a book and an exhibition (typographic Matchmaking, El Hema)

What’s new:
-Each team now includes an architect
-Latin and Arabic typefaces are both created from scratch
-The outcome is not a text face but a display one inspired from the urban cities of Europe and the middle east, more specifically Amsterdam and Dubai/Beirut
-Showcase the process and the result in a book and a participatory public art space
-A group of designers and film makers accompany the project and the teams, documenting each step to produce the book and a documentary movie. Both the film feature and the book are to represent means of exploring the project as a creative process and and a showcase for the outcome.

TEAM 1 Story Line, Fluidity & Friction
Max Kisman (Netherlands),
Naji El Mir (Lebanon/France),
Hisham Youssef (Egypt/UAE)

TEAM 2 DNA, Latin & Arabic Double Helix
Rene Knip (Netherlands),
Jeroen van Erp (Netherlands),
Reza Abedini (Iran/Netherlands),
Khajag Apelian (Lebanon)

TEAM 3 Urban Rulers, City Metrics
Erik van Blokland (Netherlands),
Pascal Zoghbi (Lebanon),
Joumana Al Jabri (Saudi Arabia/Syria/UAE)

TEAM 4 Local Reference System
Artur Schmal (Netherlands),
Wael Morcos (Lebanon),
Richard Wagner (Germany/UAE)

TEAM 5 The Kashida Project
Melle Hammer (Netherlands),
Yara Khoury (Lebanon),
Stealth: Ana Dzokic (Serbia) & Marc Neelen (Netherlands)


Three meetings took place already, the last one ended few weeks ago.

Amsterdam February 09 was the first meeting during which the teams explored Amsterdam. The trip included launching the project, briefing the teams, discussing the general concept and requirements. Presentation by each participant took place at Mediamatic. The paired designers took the time to get to know each other and sit for brief brainstorming sessions as well as random discussions.

Meeting 01



Vinyl stickers

October 3, 2008

Khtt foundation has recently launched a vinyl sticker competition with an Arabic twist theme into it. The following was my submission.

I always considered home as a place of self discovery and bringing back cherished thoughts to save them and preserve them infront of one’s presence…


El Hema in NOUN magazine

February 29, 2008

In its latest issue, Noun Magazine published an article about the El Hema exhibition that we were part of! Run to the shelves!

Or well, you can read it online HERE




November 16, 2007


On the 29th of November, KJ and I will join Raya Tueni and Maria Hakim to give a lecture about “El Hema” at Note Dame University – Zouk Mosbeh (The Exhibition that we worked on in Amsterdam in August 2007 with Medamatic). Pascal Zoghbi will start the lecture explaining about the project.

Date: 29 november 2007

Time: 6:00 pm

Place: NDU Friend’s Hall


October 22, 2007

Thank you for all who voted for El Hema for the dutch design award.


After the nomnation of the project amongst the best dutch design, the EL HEMA EXHIBITION WON THE FIRST PRIZE of the jury’s choice in the “Visual Identity” category. And thanks to the audience votes, WE WON THE SECOND PLACE in the “Public Choice” award. El Hema was nominated in the visual identity category against leading design studios, including JWT and Studio Dumbar.

Congratulations for the Arabic and Dutch team who worked on the project (Willem Velthoven, Pascal Zoghbi, Tarek Atrissi, Wael Morcos, KJ Apelian, Raya Tueny, Maria Hakim, Abrar Al-Musallam, Kristin Maurer, Vele Anderen & Marieke Bijster), for Madiamatic and The Khatt Foundation.

Willem Vilthoven and Jans Possel recieving the award. Willem wearing one of El Hema Tshirt with arabic typography. For more picture from the ceremony click here.

For more information about El Hema project visit the previous posts by clicking on any of the pictures below.


EL HEMA nominated for Best Dutch Design 2007

September 24, 2007

We are pleased to announce that El HEMA exhibition was nominated for Best Dutch Design Awards 2007 in the visual identity category. Out of 526 participants the jury chose the 100 best designs within the head categories: Communication, Space, Interaction and Product. The results of the awards will be announced on Saturday 20 October 2007.

We’re also on the shortlist for the Audi(ence) prize, and that’s where You, dear reader, come in… You can vote for El Hema by clicking here. On the right side of the page there is an orange coloured link “Ik kies dit werk”. After clicking they will ask you for name and email witch will not be published.

Thanks for helping us to win the audience prize!
Here are some other nominees in the same category as El HEMA



September 6, 2007

It does feel Hema!… This is one of the reactions visitors of el Hema exhibition had; and to me the most rewarding. The whole shop is practically in Arabic and all the products, interior, photography have an Arabic twist into them. This accomplishment is the work of the whole team who worked on the exhibition. It is also a happy moment for everyone interested in design, culture and specifically Arabic typography.

El Hema logos (Left: new logo, designed by Wael Morcos. Right: old logo, designed by Tarek Atrissi in collaboration with Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares. Arabic font used as basis for the logo is TheMix Arabic, designed by Lucas de Groot and Mouneer Al-Shaarani).

Arabic erotic poetry on uderwears, set in Fresco and designed by wael morcos.