Typography workshop with Tarek Atrissi

07 May, 2011 § 3

I had the chance yesterday to attend a typography workshop with Tarek Atrissi.
As a student, Tarek was always a sort of idol, himself being a lebanese student who travelled abroad for studies and then settled in the Netherlands to start a studio that will later on handle the most innovative arabic typography projects worldwide.

What was quite interesting about the conference/workshop is seeing the process of some projects and making out the difference between calligraphy, typography and lettering. I had always thought that I needed to be excellent at calligraphy in order to come up with good typographic design. Tarek made it clear that a designer can not be a calligrapher unless he puts lots of effort and most of his time into calligraphy. That is why a designer's job is mainly to know how to art direct calligraphers and typographers. I've always been someone who needs to be great at everything or nothing at all so this kind of gave me a wake up call to change my perspective!

The workshop focused on arabic lettering (which comes halfway between calligraphy and typography). We had to choose one word then come out with a typographic design of the word following 10 possible approaches ranging from geometric, calligraphic to 3D.

I hesitated at first between the words "nisrine" and "zamharir" but chose the latter because it represented a bigger challenge!
Following are the sketches and final results of the workshop.

And here is the digitalized outcome!

I think the next lebanese oldies song will be inspired by this workshop!

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