Written By: Majid al-Kibsi
Article Date: May 31, 2012 - 5:53:36 PM
Islamic Calligraphy has always been an art that has been passed down the generation, carrying many definitions of life, culture, politics, and most importantly love.
Islamic calligraphy has always been an art that has been passed down the generation: it carries many life meanings, cultures, politics, loves and most importantly, the words of Allah. Quran is written in Islamic calligraphy and passed down from generation to generation.
But today, the calligraphy is taken a new turn in the world of advertisement.
It started to cooperate with the computer graphics design to create a new generation of advertisement based on the beauty of the Islamic Calligraphy. The designers have started to include forms of Islamic or Arabic calligraphy in their designs.
They try to approach the cultivated society as well as attracting the people to the beauty in the Islamic calligraphy. In Abu Salah’s Bookshop you would notice an artwork hangs on his shop.
The art work was a collaboration between two generations: the father is a calligrapher and the son is the computer designer. Waleed al-Ward, 16 web and graphics designer, redesigned and stylish the outlook of his father’s calligraphy.
He embedded them in his design. “I like Islamic calligraphy because it adds beauty to the design due to its distinction,” said Waleed, the designer.
He added “it is a living art that gives life to the design. The hand writing is different than the fonts of a computer and anyone could see the difference.”
According to Waleed, the handwriting resurrect the artistic design especially is the design is related to the culture. “Sometime the customer does not just ask for an Islamic calligraphy in the design rather they want it for website, advertisement or even a logo.
I add the handwriting automatically to the design samples and show it to them, particularly if the business is in the field of culture, traditional or classics because it gives the impression of the cultural sophistication and the civilization of Arabs.” He also complained that some customers request impossible tasks, which is the biggest challenge for him.
“It could be challenging to meet the customers’ expectations,” said Waleed. “Sometimes they ask for more additions that will ruin the design and I as a designer obligated to let them know that it could be inappropriate or does not integrate with it,” He added.
Waleed’s father, Khalid al-Ward, 39, a prominent calligraphy artist in Yemen, sees his son’s creativity in combining between the calligraphy art and the design.
“The Islamic calligraphy has adopted to the contemporary arts by expressing in the advertisement,” said al-Ward. He indicates, “One of the challenges that us faced as calligraphy artists is the modern technology, which we adapted to it and tried to understand it.
The designers have started to realize that they need a unique touch in their designs.
There is only the Islamic Calligraphy can provide.” According to al-Ward, designers tried to search for a way that will help Arab society to appreciate the artworks; however, that usually have western influence or adopt the western style.
“Not all calligraphy artists could adapt to the modernization. Publicity and advertisement is not the only beneficiaries from the Islamic Calligraphy but it was a good move to introduce the Islamic calligraphy,” said al-Ward.
Al-Ward has two sons: one of them is also a designer but the other is following his father footprints. “My younger son,Waseem, 10, has improved his calligraphy skills and I think that he will be an expert in less than one decade.
The two boys have influence by their father because they have lived in a house that is full with their father’s passion in calligraphy. This had an impact on them to learn and appreciate the Islamic Calligraphy.
Their father wished that they could follow the path they want and he assured that he will always support them wishing that they will integrate with each other skills. Waleed interests in computer graphic design and started working as a designer three years ago when he was only thirteen. Since then he has improved his competency in the field.
Today he is a web designer and carries out many design projects that comes through acquaintances. According to Waleed, some designs are targeting the West and English speaker customers; therefore he would not collaborate Islamic calligraphy in this design.
“I cannot express my feelings on all the designs because I have express from the customer’s perspective,” said Waleed. Walled’s father disagrees with him in this matter. Al-Ward assuried that the subject is not the matter since there is always the capacity for Islamic calligraphy.
“If you express some background about the Arab culture in a website with an Arab origin it would not hurt even if the website is addressing to western society,” he added Waleed explain more,
“The website might represent a technology aspect, in this field it might not be appropriate to add an artistic form of Islamic Calligraphy” According to Waleed, the design should get the acceptance of three parties “The Client, The designer and the public targeted by the design”.
• Yemen fifty years of diplomacy
• Yemen faces severe food insecurity, says international report
• FEWS warns of severe food insecurity and malnutrition in Yemen
• Yemen southern activists at risk say Amnesty International
• Yemen’s General People’s Congress 30th – Overview of the Ruling Party