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Kamilah Albahri


“ I am still mostly concerned with design that has the ability to touch the viewer’s heart. We see so much professionally done and wellexecuted graphic design around us, beautifully illustrated and masterfully photographed. Nevertheless, almost all of it leaves me cold. There is just so much fluff. Nothing that moves you, nothing to think about. Some is informing, but still all fluff. Our goal for the future will be to touch somebody’s heart with design.” —Stefan Sagmeister


IDENTITY & PACKAGING DESIGN

Dar Levantine Foods is a startup ethnic grocery that markets food items from the Levant countries of the Near East: Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine. Young, modern, yet traditional, Dar is geared towards modern Arab American consumers who want accessto the foods they grew up eating without the hassle. Many Levantine foods can only be found in small, interspersed Middle Eastern markets; and the product packaging is often times culturally and linguistIcally illegible for many Arab Americans

in diaspora, much of the time written entirely in Arabic. Dar Levantine Foods’ visual identity incorporates traditional Arabic designs with a modern, western aesthetic, reflecting a product that can appeal to Arab Americans who find themselves in a similarly hybridized world. Dar Levantine Foods products are designed to evoke nostalgic sentiments, memories of family gatherings, and traditional communal meals. After all, the word dar is the Arabic word for home and household.


LINES & PATTERNS

COLOR PALETTE

Lentils

Olives

Bread

Coffee

The color palette was largely inspired by food commonly eaten in Arab homes.

These lines, shapes, and patterns were inspired by Arabic style carpets found in many Middle Eastern homes.


Food is a major aspect of Arabic culture. I was deeply inspired by the natural color and textures of the spices and grains found in Levantine cuisine.

TYPEFACE

Univers 59 Ultra Condensed

LABELS

THE MARK

Served in a special finjan kettle, coffee is a symbol of Arab hospitality and is provided at gatherings and social events as complements of the house.

I selected a condensed, elongated typeface to compliment the tall, slender shape of the Arabic coffee pot. The thicks and thins of Universe 59 Condensed mimics the contours of the finjan.


HALE JAR

Because the intended audience of this product is primarily English speaking Arab Americans who may not know how to read, write, or speak Arabic, the design is English language based. However, many of the products retain their Arabic names in transliterated form for consumer convenience and experience. Exclusively translating Arabic product names into English can cause confusion for consumers as well as detract from the strong Arabic identity of the brand.


ZATAR JAR

ZAYT ZAYTOON BOTTLE


JARS & BOTTLES

I selected label colors that would compliment the color of the jars and the foods.


QAHWA TIN PACKAGING

Because Arabic food is usually sold in bulk to accommodate large families, food contents of Dar Levantine Food packages do not exceed 2-3 serving sizes. Adjusting the packaging and serving sizes make these products more appealing to the independent Arab American with a small household.


KA’AK PACKAGING


STOREFRONT & SIGNAGE

BUSINESS CARD & RECIEPT

453 TOWNSEND ST. SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94109 415·810·9045

The storefront is an extension of the young, modern, aesthetic that is reflected in the other brand components. I designed the business cards to reflect the overall aesthetic of the mark, and they are a bit slimmer than the standard business card. At the bottom of the receipt is a phrase shukran, which is the transliterated Arabic word for “thank you.”

2 1 1 3

KA’AK @ 2.00 ZAYT ZAYTOON ZATAR KHUBZAH @ 1.00

4.00 10.00 3.00 3.00

SUBTOTAL $20.00 TAX 7.75% TOTAL $21.55

SHUKRAN.


SHOPPING BAG


Red lentils, olive oil, cardamom pods, tea biscuits, coffee, bread, oregano mix and olives.


The djembĂŠ, a traditional drum played in West Africa served as the design inspiration for this branding case study as well as the mark developed for the WorldBeat Cultural Center.


BRANDING CASE STUDY

The WorldBeat Cultural Center is non-profit multi-disciplinary cultural organization dedicated to promoting, presenting and preserving indigenous cultures of the world through music, art, education, education and technology. They strive to enhance the visibility of cultural artists, expand opportunities for cultural enrichment, and broaden the understanding of world cultures.

DESIGNED IN COLLABORATION WITH JEN YUN LIO


THE BRAND

THE MARK

The Brand

The Mark

Mark Variations

The primary goal of the brand is to create a communal space for individuals to participate or learn more about indigenous cultures through art, music and dance. The branding system will enhance their public presence and garner involvement from the San Diego community.

The new mark will have a more prominent universal presence. The hand rendered type of the letters “w” and “b” convey a sense of movement and rhythm. The organic shape that surrounds the “wb” strengthens the mark and emboldens its overall appearance. The mark as a whole is a symbol of being expressive and energetic and the simplicity of the mark will reinforce recognizability.

The logo can be used in three variations: as a whole (previously shown), as an iconic mark without words, and as a logotype with an organic rectangular shape surrounding it.

Brand Attributes The brand will reflect indigenous cultures, artistic expression and the liveliness of the center’s environment. The colors convey a natural earthy feel and the vibrant patterns express the energy and diversity of the cuturally-riched center.


PRELIMINARY MARKS

Contact Information Lock-up

Minimum Size & Clear Zones The logo can be used in three variations: as a whole (previously shown), as an iconic mark without words, and as a logotype with an organic rectangular shape surrounding it.

DESIGNED IN COLLABORATION WITH JEN YUN LIO


VISUAL IDENTITY ELEMENTS

COLOR PALETTE

R: 174 G: 154 B: 0 C:7 M:13 Y:100 K: 28 PMS: 104 HTML: AE9A00

R: 91 G: 86 B: 23 C: 26 M: 21 Y:100 K:68 PMS: 581 HTML: 5B5617 R: 75 G: 71 B: 26 C: 32 M: 31 Y:96 K:76 PMS: 147 HTML: 5B5617 R: 133 G: 89 B: 20 C: 20 M: 50 Y:100 K:42 PMS: 1395 HTML: 825C26 R: 176 G: 126 B: 9 C: 0 M: 33 Y:100 K:35 PMS: 125 HTML: A17700

The graphic elements were inspired by designs usually found in indigenous cultures. These elements also needed to communicate a sense of movement and liveliness.

TYPEFACE

Frutiger Roman Frutiger Italic Frutiger Bold Fruitger Bold Italic Frutiger Black

LINE ELEMENTS


FRAMES

PHOTO TREATMENTS

DESIGNED IN COLLABORATION WITH JEN YUN LIO


WEBSITE


EPHEMERA


PRINTED COLLATERAL

EVENTS

PROGRAMS

CLASSE S

DESIGNED IN COLLABORATION WITH JEN YUN LIO


STATIONERY

WORLDBEA T CU LT UR AL CENTER

2100 Park Blvd San Diego, CA 921011

Ms. Jane Doe 8090 Westburry Ave San Diego,CA 92126


DESIGNED IN COLLABORATION WITH JEN YUN LIO


PROMOTIONAL POSTERS & ADMISSION TICKETS

This design solution was inspired by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Op. 35 Symphonic Suite, Scheherazade. The title of the suite is an allusion to the legendary Persian queen and main story teller in the One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. I created three distinct characters featured in the suite: Sinbad’s ship, Shahriar, and Scheherazade. I was interested in arabesque designs but wanted to incorporate a more modern interpretation of traditional Orientalist aesthetics. I did this by experimenting with minimalism, negative space, and flat shapes. I chose decorative papers that were reminiscent of European conceptions of Oriental textiles and patterns.


COLOR PALETTE

I chose blues and purples to represent the evening and reflect the setting in which Scheherazade would tell her stories.

PAPER/ TEXTURES


CHARACTERS


SCHEHERAZADE


The decorative papers were used to construct stylized images of Scheherazade and Shahriar dressed in luxurious cultural costume. I exaggerated their silhouette and elongated their figures in the tradition of Orientalist art. The papers were individually scanned into the computer and were then masked out with basic shapes. I wanted Scheherazade and Shahriar to seem as though they were in motion.


TICKETS


In addition to the posters I created tickets for the event which feature either Scheherazade and Shahriar.


SINBAD’S SHIP


SHAHRIAR


IDENTITY & PACKAGING DESIGN

The Libre Coffeehouse brand and products were created as a whimsical marketing tool to educate consumers about historical revolutionary figures and struggles. All items sold are individually packaged, taking on the identity of one of the four featured activists: Malcolm X, Sitting Bull, Che Guevara, and Emiliano Zapata. Each functional design posits the narrative of the individual struggle of the featured leader and their cause. The coffeehouse is an important center of intellectual life, exchange, and community organizing. The Libre Coffeehouse exists as the perfect blend of activism and coffee.


ICON DEVELOPMENT

TAGS

LABELS


COLOR PALETTE

FONTS & TYPEFACES

LOGO TYPE

ABCDEFGHI JKLMNOPQ RSTUVWXYZ 123456789 Clarendon Condensed BT Regular

ABCDEFGHI JKLMNOPQ RSTUV W X YZ 12 3 4 5 678 9 Futura Medium

ABCDEFGHI J K L M N O P Q RSTUVWXYZ 123456789 Futura Condensed BT

The mark is inspired by American Southwest aesthetics. I felt that Clarendon was an appropriate type, because its boldness and authoritative qualities best expressed determination and a sense of ruggedness. The exclamation mark communicates an imperative to action.

Four different icons were developed to represent each of the featured activists. The symbols I used are derived from distinguishing artifacts associated with each revolutionary: Zapata with a handlebar mustache, Malcom X with horn-rimmed glasses, an eagle feather for Sitting Bull, and an iconic beret for Che Guevara.


CARTONS


The innovative accordionesque coffee cartons can be opened by simply lifting the lid, as this makes accessing the coffee beans an easy task. The enclosed burlap drawstring bag ensures the freshness of the bean and evokes an organic feel.


BARCODE

I designed custom barcodes that incorporated the icon I developed for each activist.


BISCOTTI JAR

To widen the scope of my representation of the struggles beyond the images of revolutionary leaders, I featured young South African men and women protesting the state’s apartheid.


The names for each coffee type are double entendres that reference both the activist and different varieties of brew and bean.


Left to right: Revolucion Biscotti, Malcolm Xpresso, Sitting Bold Organic Coffee, El Che Vive Bold Infusion Coffee, Viva Zapata Extra Bold Bean Coffee.


POSTERS & BOOK OF POEMS

the catastrophe

This project was a personal, artistic venture to explore my identity as the product of Palestinian refugees who were ethnically cleansed from their homeland in 1948. My own grandparents were forcibly expelled from their homes and villages in northern Palestine in this historic year. They lived for the rest of their lives as refugees in foreign countries-never able to return to the land of their birth. These photographs are from a database collection that documents the personal narratives of Palestinian refugees in the mid20th century.

Most of these images were taken by UNRWA photographers, which feature Palestinians in abject poverty and most importantly in transience. The title, The Catastrophe, is a translation of the Arabic word An-Nakba-a term that is used by Palestinians to refer to the expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians and the systematic destruction of 531 villages, and appropriation of their homeland in 1948. For Palestinians, An-Nakba encompasses a complete loss of land, identity, history, culture, and purpose.


POSTERS


ACCORDIAN FOLD BOOK OF POEMS


This study seeks to explore these concepts through the use of basic graphic elements, color, explorations, and composition with hopes to explore the emotional and psychological dimensions triggered by the Catastrophe. This project includes several posters and a book that incorporates a collection of poems written by Palestinian refugees. This project is also an attempt to humanize Palestinians-a representation that we are systematically denied in media and in politics.


POETRY BOOK SPREAD


POETRY BOOK SPREAD

This book features poems written by Palestinian poets in diaspora. The poems are coupled with treated photos. I chose Adobe Jenson Pro Regular and formated the text just as the poet intended.


I chose different colors to capture the mood of the photos and poems.


PROMOTIONAL POSTER & ADMISSION TICKET

Digibot is an Electronic music duo based in Rancho Cucamonga, California. The musical group wanted a unique design to advertise their annual Horrorween show; an electronic music show held during Halloween at a popular music venue in their hometown.


POSTER


Their distinct costumes-black suits accented with neon lightsserved as inspiration for this design solution. I wanted to create an edgy, fun, morbid, minimalist design that experimented with negative space. The illustrations resemble the duo. I also used Futura Bold to balance out the morbid imagery.


TICKETS


The tickets are thematically linked with the posters: the artist’s hanging feet are featured at the top of the ticket and the colors are reversed, with a full bleed red background color that compliments the stark white poster.


EXPERIMENTAL TYPE & POSTERS

EXPRESSIVE TYPE STUDY SOCIAL AWARENESS POSTERS

This project was an expressive type study that used unconventional materials to raise awareness about social issues. Some of these type studies also doubled as public service announcements. I feel that American society ignores discussions about rape and rape culture. Victims of rape are often silenced and marginalized in profound ways. Several pieces in this project focus on child sexual abuse-a particularly virulent form of violence.


TYPE EXPLORATIONS


For my expressive type study of the word “corruption,” I used bits of yellow string and black yarn because of the color combinations association with caution or danger.

For the word “genocide” I used black Play-Doh, red plastic lanyard string, and red glitter to simulate bloodshed and corpses.


RAPE AWARENESS POSTERS

For this study I used silver pipe cleaners against a pink foam background, which is intended to be reminiscent of grade-school art projects. I wanted to contrast the ugly, gravity of the subject and word (rape) with an innocent, and child-like aesthetic that would emotionally jar the viewer. I also incorporated statistics from the RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network.)


Similarly, this eerie tension is echoed in this composition in my use of Play-Doh and polka dot paper.


Here I rendered steel wire to form the word “rape� and placed it upon a pile of shredded fabric. I wanted to simulate the hard, cold, weight of rape upon a victim. The cardboard background resembles flesh.


Photo courtesy of Muslim American Photographer Thomas J. Abercrombie. Abercombie was a senior staff writer and photographer for National Geographic. He was the first American photographer to reach the South Pole where he took this photo of the American flag at half mast. This photograph was the design inspiration for this project.


INFOGRAPHICS SOCIAL AWARENESS CASE STUDY

Islamophobia: The Accepted Form Of Racism In America is a case study that illustrates general American attitudes towards Muslims and Islam in the post 9/11 era. Its primary objective is to raise awareness about anti-Muslim bigotry in America. A pervasive and prevalent form of racism, Islamophobia is often perceived by many nonMuslim identified Americans as insignificant both in scope and in content. This project seeks to challenge the misconception that anti-Muslim racism is a Muslim problem, rather than an American problem; and underscores the effects that Islamophobia has on both Muslim identified and non-Muslim identified Americans.


CASE STUDY

PERSONAS

Problem

Research Methods

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York there has been a perceived trend of increasing Islamophobia. Islamophobia is defined as discrimination against Muslims through exclusion from economic, social, political, and public life derived from the pretense that Islam has no values in common with other cultures and religions, is inferior to the West, and is a violent political ideology rather than a religion or set of spiritual beliefs.

The data I incorporated into the project explores common manifestations of Islamphobia, the effects of Islamophobia on American society including Muslim American communities, as well as the use of media propaganda in the advancement of anti-Muslim and anti-Islam ideas and rhetoric. My goal is to critique Islamophobia in a proactive and constructive manner.

Solution One possible method to ameliorating the effects of Islamophobia is to raise awareness about the prevalent negative attitudes and opinions held by many non-Muslim Americans about Muslims. I do this by presenting information from opinion poll results and statistics in simple graphic form.

The target audience of this project are Americans who are generally misinformed about Muslims, Islam, and Islamophobia.

GENERALLY MISINFORMED ABOUT ISLAM & MUSLIMS

ISLAMOPHOBES & XENOPHOBES


COLOR PALETTE

TYPEFACES

Univers 59 Ultra Condensed Univers 47 Light Condensed Univers 57 Condensed

Color was a significant component of my design objective. Given the controversial and sensitive nature of the topic, I chose a rich, yet muted color palette that would evoke a traditional sense of patriotism to make the concept more relatable and thematically relevant, as well as calming and aesthetically pleasing.

PROCESS


POSTER PROCESS

SHAPES & PATTERN

The flag, constructed from shapes found in Islamic pattern and tile work, is a commentary on the prevalent belief that Islam is an inherently un-American religion. This rendition of the flag demonstrates that Muslim Americans are a significant part of the American historical narrative and contemporary society.

These shapes were layered to create interesting compositions and secondary shapes with the intentions of illustrating the idea of the “interweaving� of people and identities. While these patterns were an integral aspect of the design of this flag, it was important that overall design was something that a general American audience could relate to.


STARS & STRIPES

Symbolism was another important aspect in my design for this case study. The American flag is perceived by many Americans as a symbol of liberty, freedom, and justice. American society is a composite of diverse peoples of different cultures, religions, races, ethnicities, genders, and sexualities. The flag is a perceived representation of our unity as a nation. Paradoxically, our nation’s history is defined by institutional exclusion; racism; sexual, gender, and ability discrimination; and xenophobia. The deconstruction of the flag illustrates how this history and socialization disrupts this imagined unity.

Although the poster features the flag disintegrating, it was important to me that the audience did not feel threatened or uncomfortable by the imagery. I wanted the poster to be something that was beautiful to look at and would encourage the audience to reflect on the content.


ACCORDIAN FOLD BROCHURE

I created a supplementary brochure to inform readers about the effects of Islamophobia on American society. The graphic models present statistical information, and the iconography utilizes imagery associated with American-ness to challenge the belief that Muslims are different from the “average American.�


The brochure guides the reader through the larger global context to a more localized and national picture about Islam and Muslims. Additionally, the brochure illustrates how Americans view Muslims and how Muslims are subsequently affected by these negative perceptions.


NEWSPAPER LAYOUT DESIGN

SPECIAL ISSUES

The Daily Aztec is San Diego State University’s student-run newspaper. It releases four issues a week during the academic year. As assistant art director, I make design decisions for the general layout of the newspaper as well as the bi-monthly special issues which highlight editorial themes like sports, music, food, and entertainment.


ABOVE THE FOLD

I was assigned to create a special issue in celebration of SDSU Month which commemorates the university’s achievements and its leaders. I created illustrations of SDSU’s major landmarks like Hepner Hall, Hardy Tower, the Dome Library, the Turtle Pond, and SDSU’s iconic palm trees.


PAGE LAYOUT

The layout included a standard five column grid; justified paragraphs; and customized bylines, headlines, captions, photographic treatments and pull quotes. The illustrations were used to break up the text.


DOUBLE TRUCK


ILLUSTRATIONS


ABOVE THE FOLD

This music issue featured local musical groups. I created a magazine-esque layout. Similarly, I also utilized a standard five column grid; justified paragraphs; and customized bylines, headlines, captions, photographic treatments and pull quotes in this issue. The graphic elements included musical notes and cut-out collage images. I used bright pops of color to draw and hold the reader’s attention.


DESIGNED IN COLLABORATION WITH JENNA CLAYTON


INFOGRAPHIC

I created an interactive infographic that would help the reader chose a local band to listen to.


DESIGNED IN COLLABORATION WITH JENNA CLAYTON


BOOK , SYMBOL & ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN

TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION TERRORIST GUIDE SET

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), travelers wearing religious garments or loose fitting cultural attire during the airport security screening process may be directed to a security officer for additional public screening. Although the protocol may seem applicable to people of all backgrounds, Muslim travelers are often overwhelmingly subject to these secondary screenings. The guide set is divided into three main components: The Terrorist Profile: A Practical Field Guide for Identifying Terrorists, the Transportation Security Administration Muslim Profiling Symbol Set that includes placemaking and directional signage.


SPIRAL BOUND HANDBOOK


The Terrorist Profile: A Practical Field Guide for Identifying Terrorists is a manual that will be distributed to TSA officers. This handbook is intended to aid TSA officers in the event that they encounter Muslim passengers.

The overall aesthetic of the book is intended to reflect designs one could find in an airport. Helvetica was an obvious choice for type as well as the color scheme; yellow and black.


The images in this book function to expose racialized, stereotypical representations of Muslims existing in the collective American imagination. I chose images that would reinforce a sinister, mysterious, comical and homogenous conception of the potential Muslim terrorist. Furthermore, the language I employ in the book is also a satirical representation of the semantic construction of the Muslim figure as threatening, untrustworthy, duplicitous, violent, and wholly un-American.


INFOGRAPHIC

Data in reports released over the past several months from New York University’s Center for Security and the Law; the Congressional Research Service, and the Rand Corporation reveal that over the past decade not only are many defendants in terrorism cases Muslim, but they trace their national or ethnic identity back to specific countries.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

AL-SHABAB MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD WAHABIS HAMAS HEZBOLLAH IRAN (ENOUGH SAID) TALIBAN AL-QAEDA


TRANSPERANCY OVERLAY

The overlays are designed to be humorous and incite discussion about the imagined threat of Muslim violence especially in relation to air travel. The transparencies help create a more interactive layout for the viewer.


TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION MUSLIM PROFILING SYMBOL SET

These symbols were developed and designed for the Transportation Security Administration. The symbols feature stereotypical physical displays of the so-called “common Muslim.” These symbols will be applied to signage which will preemptively direct the flow of Muslims travelers to alternative spaces to speed up security processing for travelers with no such cultural signifiers.


PLACEMAKING & DIRECTIONAL SIGNAGE

Signage will direct the flow of all Muslim travelers to alternative spaces to speed up processing for travelers who do not fit the Terrorist Profile.

All passengers that fit the terrorist profile will be directed to designated areas where additional security checks will be administered.

Signage will direct female passengers to special burka screening rooms where they will be asked to remove their veils.


The introductory gatefold of the handbook is a commentary on “unveiling� the imagined threat of Muslim violence. Additionally, its aesthetics and whimsy help make the handbook more interactive and engaging for the reader.


GATE-FOLD INTRO SPREAD



Kamilah Albahri's Graphic Design Portfolio